Has anyone else noticed that often the “best” students are simply the ones who are the best at being confused until they understand the lesson? Learning is all about resolving confusion and we each have varying tolerance levels with respect to not understanding something. The most sensitive among us may struggle more because emotions hinder clarity—hence they appear “slow” or less intelligent.
Imagine what our schools would be like if we were to support all learners emotionally during lessons (and testing) and show through our actions that we believe in the genius inherent in every one of us—and will work collaboratively until everyone has mastered the material.
Education is not a race to absorb the most information before graduation; it is a time for revealing how to fully express the highest forms of humanity. Grading students, and leaving people behind as the rest of us “move on”, leaves our collective humanity behind. This may be why many of the “smartest” among us are building war machines and creating technologies that destroy the environment and each other.
What might our technologies look like if the “slower”, more sensitive people (including many artists, athletes and the disenfranchised) were embraced for their sensitivities and included in the cradle-to- cradle design of technologies? I suspect that environmental resilience, social justice and personal fulfillment would be higher on the agenda, and long term planning would consider future generations.
If you or someone you know struggles in school, give them a hug and let them know that you believe in them. Your kindness may make all the difference to them and to our world.