Facebook feed is definitely a source of writing inspiration nowadays. Especially if you have different kind of people in your list — people from different cultural backgrounds, age group, jobs or expertise, etc, who love posting statuses, or sharing stories. Or in this particular day, someone from my list shared a video.
It is not just a video. It is a video from a TED talk. A boy. A teenage boy. Talking about how — according to him — school is making us less intelligent. I couldn’t post the video directly from facebook, so I went to youtube and found it there for you — obviously to make your lives so much easier.
There. What do you think?
Do you agree with what he said? That school makes us less intelligent? So, should we all just drop the education and stop going to school altogether — for the sake of creativity?
Or, you can start seeing the flaw in his argument — when he started contradicting himself about the meaning of success, and that there are different kind of intelligences? I let him off for that one, mainly because he is still young, and probably he didn’t get the chance to learn that in academic writing such flaws would be heavily scrutinised by the professors.
But of course… That’s not the problem.
The problem is… I agree with him to a certain degree.
I too was a “victim” of how school tried to shape us into something that we are not. I remember quite clearly what happened when I told my teacher that I wanted to go to Language Department, instead of Natural Science Department. I remembered that I was coerced to change my option, because I was “too smart” for Language Department.
Now? Now I am working with languages, and I love it. I still wish I took that Language Class. If I did, I might be better now in my German. Maybe I didn’t have to start from the very beginning. Maybe I would have got a basic knowledge of German or French… Who knows?
I also agree with him that there are different kind of intelligences. I too have witnessed so many of my friends who were considered as stupid, or slow has flourished after they graduated high school and took art and design route, or music, or business. Something that they didn’t learn at school at all.
But how about people who don’t have that “specialities”? How about people who are just the average? People who needs to get a basic level of education to get a job — to get money — to feed their family, etc.
What this boy said about “school makes us less intelligent” is not unfamiliar for me at all. I have heard the same argument over and over again, only at that time when I was younger it was “school doesn’t make us rich” or “school doesn’t guarantee our success“.
This is what I considered as the hole in this boy’s argument. He started impeccably when he said that people are unique because they have their own unique intelligences, but he forgot that we also have our own unique aspirations. For him success is having a flourished company, that makes a lot of money — that’s why he argued that he is better at managing a company than those who graduated from Harvard. For some people it is being a president, or an MP. For other… it is having a happy family.
For me, it is mastering 10 languages, and writing books.
So, if you ask me if you should drop out from school… well… you probably might.