15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.

Lessons to Unlearn from School, part I


I constantly rip on the public education system in this country, but it is not without valid reasons. For those who think that it is a good thing that our children are required by law to attend 13 years of government school, can you answer this simple question: What is the purpose of government schools?

In case you didn’t know, our school system was modeled after the Prussian education system designed under Otto von Bismarck. The purpose of the Prussian education system was to provide a population of soldiers and laborers; an entire caste of people that follow orders rather than think for themselves. Congratulations, if you got straight A’s through school you are a perfect candidate to be an unthinking soldier or laborer.


Looks like there is some truth to the adage: “A” students wind up teaching, and “B” students wind up working for “C” students.

The first lesson everyone should unlearn from school is this:

1. Failure is permanent

What do I mean by this lesson? Let’s say in your Freshman year of high school you get 5 A’s and a C in wood shop. Congratulations, you will never be the Valedictorian of your class. Since your grades are part of your permanent academic record, that C has ruined your chances of having a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA. You are tarnished goods.

Just like being sick one day for an emergency appendectomy (either receiving or performing one) will ensure that you will never get an award for perfect attendance. But that’s alright, since that is a stupid thing to award to someone anyway.

Compare these two students. Student A, who breezes through Algebra easily and gets an A without trying very hard. Or Student B, who fails Algebra. But after every single failed test, Student B re-studies all the material to learn why he made the mistakes he did. He then re-takes the test even though his grade is already established, just to make sure he has a firm grasp on it. Then next year, Student B retakes Algebra and gets a solid B.

Student A didn’t lift a brain cell to pass. Student B learned a valuable lesson about persistence and discipline.

Which student received more from the course? Which student is better suited to succeed at life after school?

Author: Matt_S_Law

Matt S. Law is an author focusing on success principle and motivational books. He was born, raised and currently resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.

2 thoughts on “Lessons to Unlearn from School, part I

  1. Julie here again, Matt. And I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of “education” in the U.S. (and possibly the rest of the “civilized” world). A bunch of crock. Yes, where are the courses on integrity, accountability, open-mindedness? Apparently, many from the U.S. establishment skipped those classes. I cannot wait to read Part II. Carry on …

  2. Pingback: Lessons to Unlearn from School, part II | 15 Minutes

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