Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poor fit

I have a blog entry at Americans for the Arts this morning. It talks about failure and looks at failure from a more positive, frankly, rather cheery perspective. You can check it out at AFTA if you are so inclined.

Bernard Fryshman, professor of physics at NY Institute of Technology wrote about failure in the September 16 issue of Education Week. Professor Fryshman reminds us of the very ugly connotation of failure in public school settings. What he suggests is that we reframe our undertanding of children from "failing" to being a "poor fit" for our current education system. He writes -

Poor fit, rather than failure, characterizes much of modern society. Just a few generations ago, people developed positive self-image, a career and worth in the eyes of society by becoming musicians, calligraphers, printers and mechanics. Every one of these opportunities has shrunk, and with rare exceptions such positions now demand more intellectual than manual skills.

Professor Fryshman's article immediately brings to mind the dancers and actors I have known, many of whom struggled with the unforgiving boundaries of public education. As reframed by Professor Fryshman, it was not that they were failures at school. It was that school was a poor fit for them.

When we include the arts for every child in school, we dismiss the negative mantle of "failure", understand the poor fit and open doors to learning. Professor Fryshman reminds us that "we must think about children as individuals, rather than members of an undifferentiated whole." Words by which to build a school and provide an education.

1 comment:

  1. There are some free websites with very helpful information for students applying to college. These sites have advice on the planning and application process, forums for students, and advice on funding your education. I've recommended some sites to teachers and students so often that I wrote up a description of the top ten most helpful sites I've found.

    You can read about what they have to offer here:
    soutien scolaire

    I recommend you try EducationPlanner, which has a section on applying to colleges. Also look at College Confidential, which has an outstanding forum on College Admissions, with questions answered by students, parents and admissions experts. They also have a forum for International Students, which might be useful to you.

    I wish you well in your studies here.

    ReplyDelete