Education: Its True Scope – II

This is the second of my four part blog.

All of us are born unique. Our genetic makeup is a onetime event in the history of humankind – one that has never happened before and will never happen again. It is time we embrace this uniqueness of each and every child, particularly at a time when the real world is mercilessly depriving people of jobs, thanks to digital technologies. The so called realists will dismiss this idea as a poetic philosophy with no practical implications in the real world.

We see some TED talks where people dismiss the idea of passion. These people are just trying to escape the problem instead of giving us a solution. Robert Greene, a real realist to the core shoots such arguments full of holes in his book MASTERY, in which he describes a very practical path on how to follow one’s true inclinations to the core.

The very evolution of our species has depended on the creation of a tremendous diversity of skills and ways of thinking. And this idea is more relevant today than any other time in history—the individualized, creative skills of individuals or small groups who think independently, adapt quickly and possess unique perspectives i.e., entrepreneurs, will be at a premium.

In his book MASS FLOURISHING, Nobel Prize winning economist Edmund Phelps drives home this idea even further. For those who are still sceptical, here’s an excerpt from neuro-endocrinologist Robert Sapolsky from his latest book BEHAVE.

“Give me a dozen healthy infants, well formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select— doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and yes, even beggar-man thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.” Says John Watson, one of the founders of behaviorism, writing around 1925. To this, Robert Sapolsky, writing in 2017 , says we are not all born with the same potential, regardless of how we are trained. The problem for us is our education system is as outdated as 1925. Keeping aside any subjectivity, thinking from a purely economic perspective, isn’t it wise to allow each and every individual to play to his strengths and be his productive best?

By Guduri Harsha, Research Intern, LemonBridge

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