Not to long ago I read a book called, ‘Do Hard Things’. It emphasized doing things that might seem impossible and teenagers would never do (which isn’t true). That got me thinking: what could I myself do that would me hard? I kept thinking about it, when I realized that maybe I should be wondering what my passion is, my ‘holy ambition’, as Alex and Bret Harris put it. After thinking for a couple of minutes, I realized what probably is one of my biggest concerns, the education of today’s society.
Our education in the United States has been getting easier. Did you know that two hundred years ago a nine year-old kid would know more [harder] words than today’s fifteen year-old kid? How many fifteen year-old kids know what the word ‘canon’ means? No, not the big gun. ‘Canon’ means ‘a rule’ or ‘law’. What about ‘beau’? It means ‘boyfriend’ or ‘male admirer’.
So the education of kids and teens *may* have been decreasing as of late. As of fact, more people have been scoring perfectly or near perfectly on the SAT’s than ever. Why? Not because we are in fact getting better at the SAT’s, but the SAT’s have been decreasing to meet the stereotypical teen’s level. As Alex and Brett noted in ‘Do Hard Things’, people will rise to meet high expectations, but when there are low expectations, they tend to slack and meet the low expectations.
My theory is that many teens today find high school easy enough that they can get by with doing as little work as they need to. There are so low expectations surrounding them that they find it okay if they slack, getting ‘C’s or ‘D’s, or even failing their classes. Not all do, though; those of us that don’t rise to the low expectations and get ‘awarded’ for doing so. The problem is, that is where it stops. No higher education is provided at the time, unless you have graduated from high school or are so far ahead of the class you can skip a grade.
How can this be changed? How can we encourage people to try to achieve their best instead of falling to the bottom? That is what I shall try to discover, and I invite you to join me.