15 Minutes

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

Lessons to Unlearn from School, part II

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Think inside the box

Remember what I said in part 1 about the goal of public schools? Reminder: It’s to create complacent followers not independent thinkers. To teach students what to think, rather than how to think.

Recollecting your school days, have you ever tried to push a project or assignment beyond the parameters of the lesson plan? And been punished for it? More often than not, it’s because the teacher is not qualified to teach outside of their box. They are certainly not incentivized by their government bureaucrat bosses to explore lessons outside that box. And besides, most teachers are the ones that memorized the contents of that box better than everyone else (“A” students wind up teaching…). Their job is to teach the box.

Back in one of my jobs as a barista, I worked with a lot of college students. One of them (attending public university) was showing me a list of available topics for her final paper. Along with each topic was: the thesis of the paper, a list of all the points that must be included to support the thesis, and the conclusion she must end with (I only wish I were making this up). In other words, these students were not being required to come up with their own thesis, analyze data and come to their own conclusions. They were being required to parrot back their professor’s opinions in order to get an “A.”

When I asked her “what if you disagree with your professor’s conclusion?” she didn’t really have an answer. To be honest, when I was her age I wouldn’t have had an answer to that either.

In public schools, conformity assures passing grades. Thinking outside the box will almost assuredly damage your academic record (unless your teacher is Robin Williams from Dead Poets Society). In the real world, conformity destroys individual initiative. And initiative is infinitely more valuable in the real world than conformity.

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.

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