What Schools Teach

Schools encourage perfectionism, not excellence. They encourage people to avoid mistakes, not to be creative.

John Cook

John goes on to argue that schools reward us for our worst performances instead of for our best. Thought-provoking and worth reading if you can act on it. In any case, something we need to think about.

As an aside, one of the great triumphs of modern education is how it has set itself above criticism by making its practicioners far too busy to have any time to think about what they are doing.

The unexamined school is not worth building.

3 Responses

  1. Just to clarify, I wouldn’t say that schools reward students for their worst performances. It’s that they judge students by how good they are at their worst. For example, the highest achievement is “all A’s”, i.e. an A even in your worst class. There’s not the encouragement to excel even more in the classes you’re already good at. It’s all about shoring up your weaknesses, not building on your strengths.

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