Monday, October 22, 2007

When they have you pegged, don't believe it

I am fairly confident attention deficit disorder is not a disorder at all. Multitasking is considered an asset in grownups, so why should children be forced to concentrate on something long after something else has attracted their notice?

Over at the Endervidualism site Bob Wallace has offered "Round pegs in square holes," an essay that suggests (among other things) that the state school system in vogue for decades does not lend itself to the care and nourishment of the most imaginative children among us - the ones who grow up to be Thomas Edison or Adam Smith or Frank Lloyd Wright. How often do you hear brilliant, talented people talk about how they were almost left behind in their school days because their imaginations had left the class far behind and they were bored?
In school, imaginative kids are accused - and I repeat, “accused,” as if they’re guilty of something, and not even with a trial - of daydreaming and not paying attention. That is exactly right. They’re off building worlds in their heads. Pretty nifty ones, too, I can tell you.

The regimented school system does a good job of training regiments - good soldiers who don't question authority - but it has its hands full with normal, inquisitive kids. These are the kids who end up drugged and discouraged from using their natural talents.

Wallace asks, "I often wonder how many people have been lost because of the school system?" It's a poignant and worthy question. Maybe not as many as we might fear: The power of the imagination is unlimited, and those who have a good one often manage to find a way out of the darkness. Good readin'.

UPDATE: Funny we should mention that - Vin Suprynowicz has written a couple of related analyses of the school system last week and this week.

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