The Hamstrung Footballer

7 05 2009

How many high quality quarterbacks have there been? Not legendary player level, but just high quality? Many, right? After all, you don’t get onto a major football team if you’re not a high quality player?

Now, how many high quality quarterbacks have there been who never had anyone who would teach them to play football until they got to college or beyond? Not many, and it would be ridiculous to expect someone, even someone with a lot of talent, to become a high level player entirely on their own. So why the **** does this not apply to school? Why should a young, talented musician have to learn on their own rather than having a teacher who will teach them to play? Why should a budding writer be told that they have to figure out how to improve their writing on their own just because they’re a better writer than the other kids in their class?

Anyone who has ever dealt with a person with talent should know that even among very talented people, sufficient talent and drive to achieve at the height of one’s ability is extraordinarily rare. To put it differently, it doesn’t work that way. It’s one of the most bizarre and persistent delusions of all in education. It hardly makes sense even on the surface, and any substantial look at it reveals an argument that is more hole than substance.

Not only that, but when did “fine” become the standard we should strive for? “She’ll be fine.” So what? Why is it only important that she be fine, and not great? Why do GT kids in any (every) area other than sports only need to get by to please those responsible for their education? Your job is to educate, not get high scores on standardized tests. It shouldn’t matter whether giving a kid more attention will raise your school’s test scores. If you honestly care about educating children (and I think most educators do), then give kids attention based on whether it will help them. Stop worrying about the measures that everyone knows are flawed and start worrying about the reason those measures were made:

TO MAKE SURE KIDS GET A PROPER EDUCATION.

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