We think it’s time we spoke honestly about education and the role of the student in it. For the past two decades, many so called “experts” have absolved students of any responsibility in the education process. From telling students they don’t have to do homework, to lowering the passing grades and watering down curricula and tests, and most egregiously, to contending that students are incapable of staying focused longer than ten minutes at a time, the student has been removed from education’s equation. We believe this egregious assumption has been mostly about those students “experts” have low expectations of …mostly urban street kids.
Many of today’s students have a very hard time having to overcome the difficulty that usually accompanies learning new things. Many just say, “I can’t do this” and quit. The truth of the matter is that everything is hard when you start. Riding a bicycle is hard when you start, so is shooting a basketball, tying your shoes or learning the times table.
Quitting because it is difficult or because it doesn’t come easily is NOT how learning happens. In fact, learning, much like being successful in any other endeavor you can think of, doesn’t start off easily. The beginning of everything is a challenge, a battle, something unfamiliar. When things are unfamiliar, they are hard. That’s just how things are, that’s how they have always been. The fact is that the more you become with anything, the better you will get at that unfamiliar task and the “easier” it becomes.