By Solomon A. Johnson.
If you’re reading this, you probably have gone through school, or still in school. Or at worst, you’ve had just a brief experience having lectures in the four walls of a classroom.
If you fall into any of these categories, you should read on. But if not, still read on, after all no knowledge is wasted.
As adults, most of us have fast realised that life is different and more complex than our experiences in school. We sometimes wonder if we’re the ones not getting things right or it’s our village people at work again. Worry no more.
Let me share with you three lies that schools make us believe, and how it is affecting us without us even knowing.
1. Your position in class will determine your position in life.
You may never have been told in plain words by your teachers what your results in class suggest to them about your future. But there is this feeling of optimism or pessimism (as the case may be) about a student’s future that is directly linked to their performances in class. A-students who do well on a consistent basis are made to feel they’re sure to succeed in life, and vice-versa. And just like cement in its mouldable state, we go/ went through these experiences in our formative years, making them ingrained in our minds even as adults.
Now, we’ve heard countless stories of people who didn’t do so well in school, but ended up becoming highly successful individuals in life, and some of them are even being studied in school. A good example is Thomas Edison who was described as ‘addled’ by his teacher, but went on to invent the light bulb. Also, there are countless A-Students in school who ended up as failures in life.
What more proof do you need that positions in school do not determine positions in life?
Unfortunately, many people still live their lives limiting themselves or feeling entitled in life as a result of their academic performances. You were made to believe a lie. Life is a different ball game.
2. There’s only one answer to a question; nothing more, nothing less.
Just like the times table in mathematics, there’s only one answer to most questions, as we were taught in school. One plus one is equal to two. Nothing more; nothing less.
This kind of thinking has killed the genius in many people, shrinking their creative capacity to its barest minimum.
Most times, in real life, there are multiple answers to a question. It depends on how creative you can be. Until boats/ships were invented, people only traveled on land. And until airplanes were invented, people never traveled by air.
Life’s questions have multiple answers; it depends on how creative you can be.
3. You are only as intelligent as your academic performances.
Etymologically, the word ‘education’ is derived from the Latin word, ‘educatio’, which means, to bring up. But unfortunately, there are teachers who do the exact opposite to their students; put them down.
Many people have been made to feel they’re not intelligent because of their poor academic performances. And since it’s the intelligent ones that are believed to have the right answers to questions, they’re the ones that are more likely to succeed in life. Lies! Sometimes, I tell myself, if finding x in math is equal to finding success in life, our math teachers would be billionaires by now.
In 1983, Howard Gardner, a professor at the Havard Graduate School of Education, published his book; Frames of Mind; The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In this book, Gardner talked about 7 kinds of intelligence, which includes the intelligence that our schools do not focus on. One of them is Body-kinesthetic intelligence. People with this kind of intelligence learn by moving around and doing (not reading books).
Academic intelligence isn’t the only intelligence that there is. In the end, it’s not what you’ve read or heard. It’s about the contributions you make from the way you think.
In conclusion, if we realise this early enough, and begin to focus more on what comes from inside us, rather than what schools make us believe, our lives will get much better.
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