It was Albert Einstein who once had this to say about education, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
The education system remains an exercise in micro-management that provokes memories of the music video to Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall ‘, of school children being fed through a meat mincer by their overbearing headmaster.
School children are regularly bombarded with politically motivated half-truths or information that is plainly wrong leaving a trail of disaffected and disenfranchised youths in its wake. Many are tested within an inch of their lives, even those as young as 5-years-old do not escape this indoctrination programme, such is the possible future in the U.K., where national tests may be rolled out, when teachers the world over are all too aware that much can change in those early years, and tests at this stage of their development have little value in determining a child’s future potential.
Regardless, those unable or unwilling to conform to this outdated and regimented methodology are deemed stupid, disobedient, or worse still, of having attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and are therefore, worthy of medication.
Howard Gardner, an American developmental psychologist, identified 9 forms of intelligence in his 1983 book, ‘Frames of Mind’, which include: Naturalist, Musical, Logical, Existential, Interpersonal, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Linguistic, and Spatial.
It has long been understood that what we call education today is purely geared towards left-brain thinkers, those of an analytic and logical mind, able to accurately regurgitate the information fed to them, and pay lip service to other subjects that encourage creativity and independent thought, which are essentially discouraged. With little choice they fall into line, but are never likely to push the envelope to their fullest potential, becoming no more than excellent employees, unable to sufficiently develop their own unique perspectives to challenge the status-quo and the decisions made on their behalf. And so it has been for over a century despite it being clearly evident that there are many other forms of intelligence, but only the ‘logical’ that is recognised or valued by the current education system.
There were those however, who charted their own course and are often cited as individuals who found success despite not traversing the traditional route within academia, these include: Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of the hugely successful website Facebook, Ted Turner, the American media mogul, Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and business woman, Winston Churchill, the influential British Prime Minister of WWII, Albert Einstein, the German theoretical physicist and Bill Gates, the American businessman and philanthropist.
The roll-call of those bucking the trend is hard to ignore, and further emphasises the need to find your own individuality, life purpose and what you can excel at, hopefully becoming sufficiently empowered to break away from a control system intended to stifle our creativity and individual genius.