Sunday, March 9, 2008

Individual Differences

I've been busy re-organizing my files and files and files of testing protocol blanks. Really, I didn't realize just how much I'd accumulated and how horribly disorganized they were. Now everything neurocognitive rehabilitation-related is in one file, everything assessment-related is in 3 files and all of the important articles and lectures are in another file. 'Tis all good. Over the course of the reorganization, I ran across this and thought y'all would appreciate it.

The Fable of the Animal School

Once upon a time, the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of "a new world," so they organized a school. They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming, and flying, and to make it easier to administer, all the animals took all the subjects.

Duck was excellent in swimming, better in fact than his instructor, and made passing grades in flying but was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming to practice running. This was kept up until his web feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. Nevertheless, average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that but Duck.

Rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

Squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class, where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He also developed charlie horses from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and a D in running.

Eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel had the highest average and was Valedictorian.

I have not clue one from whence this came. If you know the author, please let me know so that I can give them due credit.


Brunhilda said...

Congrats on getting organized; I'll bet that feels good.

I like that animal fable. Very interesting.

Loving Annie said...

We all have things we are good at, and that story pointed it out beautifully. Thank you, Dr. Brainiac, for reminding me I don't have to be or feel like everybody else in order to shine :)
And Happy organized Monday to you !

Romulus Crowe said...

Sounds like the UK education system but here, average is compulsory.

Since Squirrel can't fly, Eagle wouldn't be allowed to either. Rabbit can't swim so Duck can't go in the water. We can't have anyone feeling bad because someone can do something they can't.

It's the main reason we have a 33% dropout rate in universities, a 45% dropout rate in colleges, and you can't find a plumber, a builder or an electrician anywhere.

Everyone is different and everyone has different skills. I could never plaster a wall and have it come out smooth, but I have a cousin who makes it look easy. I'd never be able to fix a roof tile but I have friends who know how. Build a wall? Two bricks high is my limit. Yet children are taught that those essential trades aren't good enough for them. They all have to be Doctors now. Not everyone can, not everyone wants to, and a country with no sewer operatives is going to stink pretty bad. Some are suited to academic work, some to manual work. It's not prejudice, it's the difference between individuals. Something the PC won't accept.

If our education ministers would only see that, rather than insisting on turning out bored clones, we'd be a lot better off.

Rant done. I'm off to scowl at someone happy.