In The Genius Myth, Michael Meade said:
If each person has natural gifts and innate talents, then the true nature of education must involve the awakening, inviting, and blessing of the inner genius and unique life spirit of each young person. [Kindle location 371]
In You, Your Child, and School, Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica said:
We all create our own lives. Helping your children develop what is inside them is the best guarantee of them creating a rewarding life in the world around them. (p. 41)
In World Class Learners, Yong Zhao said:
[T]he traditional paradigm, by forcing children to master the same curriculum, essentially discriminates against talents that are not consistent with the prescribed knowledge and skills. Students who are otherwise talented but do not do well in the prescribed subjects are often sent to spend more time on the core subjects, retained for another grade, or deprived of the opportunity to develop their talents in other ways. (p. 45)
In The Game of School, Robert Fried said:
We have opted not to create schools as places where children’s curiosity, sensory awareness, power, and communication can flourish, but rather to erect temples of knowledge where we sit them down, tell them a lot of stuff we think is important, try to control their restless curiosity, and test them to see how well they’ve listened to us. (p. 59)
Our actions exemplify our beliefs. We can change our ‘forced homogeneity’ models of schooling. Or we can just keep pretending that children are interchangeable life products into which we should shove low-level standardized content and procedures from age 5 through 18. And keep penalizing them when their diversity doesn’t fit our one-size-fits-all model (because, you know, it’s them, not us). And keep paying the price as a society for our incredible waste of human talent.
Which will your school choose?
Image credit: Misfit, Josh