One day I went out with a girl to have some coffee and chocolate in Mexico around 10 years ago. I think her name was Montserrat. We were discussing about Mexican politics and how Mexico needed more education when I said that in fact maybe we needed less education, and more of something else, something in that time I did not know how to call it, maybe now I would just call it more “believe” in our kids. The girl obviously thought I was nuts when I said the word “less education”, and the coffee didn’t go well, but my believe in how badly we need a change in education has become even deeper and this video expresses some of this ideas in such a powerful and inspiring way. The idea is not to encourage people not to go to school, in fact it is quite the opposite. It is about encouraging people to get educated, but recognizing every people have different talents and weaknesses, and that every person can learn in different ways. Regretfully the school systems offer still very narrow education methods, where usually if a student to things differently or wants to learn in a different way he is penalized. Also sadly the creative arts subjects still have very few weight into what is considered to be the skills a good student should have.
What I like about this video, apart that it has been filmed at the main quad of my university, is the way it mixes and uses music, poetry and visual art to express those powerful ideas and making the message go deep into your heart.
I was always considered a very good student, and in sense that boosted my confidence, it allowed me to take risks in life, knowing that if I failed I could still always get a good job and do “ok” in life . But when I think about my grades I realised I certainly did not excelled in all of subjects. I had always good grades in Maths, science and history , and average grades in grammar, orthography and languages. But in the drawing courses I had bad grades and in music courses I was the worst of the class. It doesn’t mean I don’t like arts, in fact I love arts and music, but my few talents in painting did not match the teacher standards and ok ok I recognise it I have no talents in music :p.
So why did I felt I was always a good student ? Well because art and music did not matter in the society where I grew up. I could say I was lucky, if they had mattered I would have been such a bad student, and then I wonder how this would have affected my confidence ? I remember studying hard for music and still always been the worst. Yet I never felt ashamed and teachers never looked down at me. I just knew music was not for me, but that this bad grade didn’t define me.
Sadly for my classmates who didn’t do well in science and grammar this was not the case. They were often considered by teachers and society to be lazy, useless, almost without skills to guarantee success in life , while in general the talents of those students resided in the creative sector so often forgotten. This is wrong, totally wrong. Nobody deserves to feel like that. And that is why I loved that UCL video. A TED video talks about this problem in a very clear way.
So more than giving more education, we need to make each student believe in themselves. We need to help them find their talents, their passions, and make them flourish, and then the government will not need to even invest in pushing hard to get the kids into education, because a student who believes in himself will become a self learner, and avoiding him to become educated will be impossible.