Sunday, March 31, 2013

Facility / Faschmility

What a drag to be a talented kid!  Praised to the sky for facility which, while it may pass for achievement in the eyes of the less facile, amounts to next to nothing in terms of real achievement.

The curve ruled when I was in school.  That was bad enough to level incentives, achievement, real learning.  Now that there are only numbers it has become a lottery.  Who are neglected in the process?  The truly creative children, the really talented who might just turn the established order on its nose and come up with something really compelling.

We are guaranteeing that this will never happen by shifting the emphasis entirely in the wrong direction.

My kids attended a two-room schoolhouse in NYC: No grades, just a distinction between those who needed to learn to read and those who could already read.   The older/abler ones helped the others, in the process confirming their own achievement while becoming also observant of the inborn differences between people.  What could be more significant?

Why are parents reluctant to engage their smart kids in learning exchanges with kids who are challenged, either physically or intellectually?  What kind of a world do we live in -- even more important, what kind of world do they live in?