Humans are excellent problem solvers and very adaptable. When systems are implemented, they quickly find the path of least resistance to achieve the goals that are set for them (or they set for themselves).
One of the major problems is that any type of failure is used against the self-esteem of the person that fails. Failure is a necessary influence for the most productive distribution of human capital. For instance, I have no illusions that I will ever become a professional golfer. Because of this realization, I do not spend my time fruitlessly pursuing a career on the PGA Tour.
In academics, people will be better at some subjects and worse at others. With the attitude that failure is completely unacceptable and should be combated by lowering standards or changing grades - the No Child Left Behind Mentality - the effectiveness of education in America will continue to suffer. Instead, the interests and strengths of the students should be fostered and used as a foundation to improve on their weaknesses. For example, math can be taught in almost any context with some imagination and creativity.
Nowadays, teachers seem to have low expectations of students, and the students tend to live up to them.
I like to tell students - "If you shoot for an A, you may get a B or a C, but if you shoot for a C, you may get a D or an F."
Want DP delivered to your inbox daily? Subscribe here: