As we look to construct the best learning environments for children, let’s be sure to tap into the wealth of knowledge that has developed in the fields of psychology and neuroscience over the past 20 years. They have much to contribute.
Following up on yesterday’s post, Dr. Steven Hughes offers: “How much does general ability predict lifetime success? Does it predict 5-10% of success? Does it predict 20-30%? Or how about 50-60%? How many of you say 60% or more? Well, the answer is somewhere between 5 and 10%. Not that much. General ability predicts occupational attainment, but not success within one’s occupation, and not satisfaction with one’s life, or one’s general wellbeing.”
This is a HUGE statement, especially in a culture that is tripping over itself trying to raise test scores in the belief that THIS is what will “take care of children’s futures”.
Hughes has looked at the state of education very carefully, he’s noted the massive drop-out rates, the student pressures and suicides, and he comes to ask, “Can we afford to waste this much humanity? Can we afford to squander a third or more of our young people? Who among us thinks that if we keep it up, push traditional education harder and harder, if we put more pressure on teachers and schools to improve academic test scores, to do better, to teach more, who, at this point, thinks that we’ll get 50% improvement? Nobody thinks this. Probably nobody really thinks we have 20% more to gain. I really wonder if anyone, anywhere really thinks we could realistically get 10% more by squeezing traditional education harder.
Myself, I think education is right up against the wall: it has no more to give and we may, in fact, be moving into diminishing returns at this point.”
What more do we need to know or hear? The responsibility falls to each one of us to call for significant (see my “innovate fundamentally” post) change in education – let’s start by changing the education conversation today.