-“That root is this: we underestimate ourselves.While we educate a small portion of our population extremely well, we unknowingly leave the rest behind. We don’t even come close to tapping into the intellectual potential of the vast majority of our citizens – and we don’t even see this.”
“We unknowingly leave the rest behind. Ironic isn’t it?” That’s what I said after reading this post on The Globe and Mail on the matter of all students can be top-performing students if we all just lend a hand. On the contrary, this doesn’t always exist and I’ll explain why.
If all students are brilliant then why do we have students who don't perform as well as their peers?
Before delving into the subject I want to explain how society plays a key role into the matter of the unseen talents of our not so-called top-performing students. We’re plagued by society everyday, for better or for worse. I still remember yesterday that my mother was yelling and complaining about how dumb Sarah Palin is and how she makes women look as pathetic and weak. I, on the other hand, think this done by society. You see my, mother doesn’t hate Sarah Palin just because she wants to, no, she hates her because, she was influenced by her de facto of her political leaders: The Democrats. So the point is, we’re all influenced by some type of societal party that can make or change the way we think.
Now connecting this to education, I’ll give you a scenario. A teacher praises a child who consistently performs excellent on tests and quizzes while sighing and doubtfully sends the kid who doesn’t to learning support because he failed. The teacher already sent the student away without even trying to resolve the issue. Remember the quote above? “-and we don’t even see this.” Yes, that’s right. Due to the societies’ views, we look at a child who can’t do things perfectly as if they’re broken and can’t be fixed or mend.
We are living in a society of intellectual poverty and when a child isn’t performing at grade level, we just automatically shut them down. First off, when we treat students that they can’t be “fixed”, we’re giving them a message that there is an anomaly with them that can’t be cured. This is a major flaw that we must mend in order to prove that we as a society can have every child perform well with flying colours and if we don’t then history will repeat.
Every child has the potential only if we can obtain it.
I’ve always been told that when I was younger, I was terrible at math but due to the support that I received from everyone along the way, my potential for math flourished and now I’m taking higher level math classes in high school. According to scientific research(The Expert Mind in Scientific American), every child should by able to excel at any subject. So taking that back to the growth of potential in a child, when we, the people, believe that a child can be successful, we are then breaking down those walls of intellectual poverty passing it along our children that they are indeed bright and that we, the people, are there to help.
Coming back to the scenario with the teacher and the struggling student, we can conjure up ways to help that student. I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard that if a child isn’t performing at grade level, we simply just focus on that child to bring he/she to the max. This is a good start to helping children but, have you ever wondered why or how this started in the first place? Let’s rewind back before the scenario with the teacher ever happened. Let’s go back to last night’s homework. The struggling student didn’t understand what was going on in class and now has to somehow do the “work.” Now let’s add some factors to this scene. This kid lives in a household where his/her parents aren’t involved with their child’s school work and don’t have time to praise/cheer or give moral support to him/her, they live in a pretty rough neighbourhood where they’re constantly faced with people aren’t successful therefore, can’t have a role model to fuel their ambition for the future, and lastly they don’t have a teacher who doesn’t think “Hey this kid isn’t performing great but, I’m pretty sure with constant support along the way he/she will be like the others.” This is actually the most realistic scene in today’s world and I can’t stand to just let it take over our children.
Unite together and change
Now focusing on this issue at an activist perspective, we have a society that needs rebuilding. The success of the future generation is crucial for our survival and that education is the best way to do that. Yet, our society is plagued by values and views that only certain people will be able to accomplish that dream, while the truth of the matter is every child has the potential to excel, we the older generation just needs to see that eye to eye. With this said, I now give you the option to change the calamity of this situation to paradise.