America: The Land Of The Average
America! America! God shed his light on thee! And made ye all average. Well, that’s not entirely true — God had nothing to do with it. Americans themselves decided to keep Americans just on par. Some genius at some point in history decided that it would be best to judge each and every individual by taking the average of the sum.
This works well when looking at things like medicine or liquor servings; two Advil works great for most adults and eight shots of vodka will get just about anyone shitfaced. But why anyone would think that it is okay to judge each person’s individual intellect in reference to some average standard is beyond me. Sure, it makes things easier — but it definitely does not make things better. There are simply some things that cannot be done using shortcuts. A person’s education is one of them.
Each and every individual is born with different gifts and different insufficiencies — for lack of a better word. Different people learn differently. Some are better at auditory learning, others at visual and some at kinesthetic learning. While mathematics will come easier to one student, science, literature or the arts will come easier to another.
Instead of focusing on each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, the curriculum in the United States is centered on the concept of uniformity. For some reason or another we seem to believe — or rather those making these sorts of decisions believe — that the best, most efficient way to teach and cultivate our youth is to set a uniform standard of education that caters to the average student.
Does the average student even exist? Is there a student in the world who has average reading abilities, average mathematical cognitive reasoning capabilities, average creativity and an average imagination? That sounds about as likely as finding a person who is perfect — in fact, it’s finding the perfect average student; it simply does not exist.
Yet the school system in its entirety from preschool on up, all the way through college, caters to that average, non-existent student. It must be hard enough to find two people with identical IQs, how the heck can it be alright to generalize and create a school body that treats each student as equally average as the next? Sure, we have school programs that allow for some of the brighter students to learn a bit ahead of the curve. As well as programs to help those in desperate need of an extra helping hand. But this again only caters to those who either excel greatly or to those who are entirely unable to keep up with the set curriculum.
And then we have the nerve to ask these students, already dubbed by society to be average, to strive for greatness and not to follow the masses. We are creating the masses, making sure that each individual blends into the next and then have the audacity to preach individuality and the importance of striving for something above average.
Maybe it’s just me…but it seems a bit f*cked up. We create the average and then deem it to be unacceptable. How is a society to strive and grow if we treat individuals as cattle and herd them towards the same goal, asking them to stay in line and think inside the box? This sort of backwards thinking is exactly what is preventing humanity from reaching its greatest potential.
What must be done in order for us to achieve the greatness that we all know the human race is capable of is the scrapping of our entire educational system. I am not even talking about the ridiculous price tag that some of these schools come with — especially colleges and universities. That is a whole other problem to tackle and not one I am now willing to discuss at this moment.
Education should be catered to the individual. Each and every student should get a curriculum that caters to their exact needs in order to most efficiently get them to learn and excel. If no person is the same, then there is no reason behind thinking that each person can be taught in the same manner and at the same pace. If we hope to excel and continue the evolution of human beings, then we must play an active role in it.
Our one advantage over the rest of the animals is our intellect. We must play on this strength and continue to push it past our limits. We must create a school system that is more personalized, helping not only those who show signs of cognitive strength early on in life, but all people. Each and every person is capable of much more than they are currently aware of.
The future cannot rest on the back of a select few elite intellects. If we are to ever make it to the next step of human evolution, then we must treat the human species as a whole. The only way to do that is to treat each and every person individually, giving them the guidance they need in the areas they need the most help.
We can keep our school system the way it is now, but that is a sure way of guaranteeing not only a slow progress towards the future, but also guarantees the division of social classes. Imagine the social chaos if the poorest kid in the world were just as smart as the richest… give the kid a tablet and some training in coding and let’s see what happens.