Albert Einstein once said, everybody’s a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, today on trial we have modern day schooling. Glad you could come. Not only does he make fish climb trees but also makes them climb down and do a ten mile run.
Tell me school, are you proud of the things you’ve done? Turning millions of people into robots, do you find that fun? Do you realize how many kids relate to that fish? Swimming upstream in class, never finding their gifts. Thinking they are stupid. Believing they are useless.
But the time has come, no more excuses. I call school to the stand and accuse him of killing creativity! Individuality! And being intellectually abusive. He’s an ancient institution that has outlived his usage.
So Your Honour, this concludes my opening statement and if I may present the evidence of my case, I will prove it.
Prince Ea: Exhibit A: Here’s a modern day phone, recognize it? Here’s a phone from 150 years ago. Big difference right? Stay with me… Here’s a car from today, and here’s a car from 150 years ago. Big difference right? Well get this… Here’s a classroom of today and here’s a class we used 150 years ago.
Prince Ea: Now ain’t that a shame? In literally more than a century, Nothing Has Changed. Yet you claim to prepare students for the future? But with evidence like that I must ask, Do you prepare students for the future or the past?
I did a background check on you and let the records show that you were made to train people to work in factories. Which explains why you put students in straight rows, nice and neat. Tell em’ sit still. Raise your hand if you wanna speak. Give em’ a short break to eat and for 8 hours a day tell em’ what to think.
Oh, and make them compete to get an A. A letter which determines product quality. Hence grade A of meat. I get it. Back then times were different. We all have a past. I myself am no Gandhi. But today, we don’t need to make robot zombies. The world has progressed, and now we need people who think creatively, innovatively, critically, independently with the ability to connect.
See every scientist will tell you that no two brains are the same. And every parent with two or more children will confirm that claim. So please explain why you treat students like cookie cutter frames or snapback hats. Giving them this ‘one size fits all’ crap.
Judge: Watch your language.
Prince Ea: Sorry Your Honour. But if a doctor prescribed the exact same medicine to all of his patients the results would be tragic. So many people would get sick. Yet when it comes to school, this is exactly what happens. This EDUCATIONAL MALPRACTICE. Where one teacher stands in front of 20 kids, each one having different strengths, different needs, different gifts, different dreams. And you teach the same thing the same way? That’s horrific!
(...) See teachers are heroes that often get blamed. But they’re not the problem. They work in a system without many options or rights. Curriculum are created by policy makers. Most of which have never taught a day in their life. Just obsessed with standardized tests. They think bubbling in a multiple choice question will determine success. That’s outlandish.
In fact THESE TESTS ARE TOO CRUDE TO BE USED and should be abandoned. But don’t take my word for it, take Frederick J Kelly. The man who invented standardized testing, who said and I quote, “These tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned.”
(...) I don’t have much faith in school but I do have faith in people. And if we can customize healthcare, cars, and Facebook pages, then it is our duty to do the same for education. To upgrade it. Change it. Do away with school spirit, cause that’s useless. Unless we’re working to bring the spirit out of each and every student, that should be our task.
(...) So let’s attend to their dreams and there’s no telling that we can achieve. This is a world in which I believe. A world where fish are no longer forced to climb trees.