"You can't make socialists out of individualists.  Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent."

--  John Dewey, Father of Modern Education

The generation that schools like Eckington have mass produced.
(Image from the movie, "I, Robot")

Yesterday I spent some time looking at the people on Facebook who had been to the same school as me.  I was noticing some very disturbing patterns, and I am sure that they will be of value to the readers of this blog if they can apply them to their own situations.  Eckington School was different from most in the area.  The local community believed that you would get a better education if you went there, as it was deemed a "specialist engineering college".

In truth, that meant little more than the fact that the school got over a million pounds extra from the government each year.  The educational plan was little different from other schools, but rules were enforced more vigorously, and many of them were unnecessary.  These were about power, not education.  As a result, two classes of people were formed: the conformists, and the rebels. There was no middle ground.

One of the Alumni, using Facebook, asked people who went to the school to explain what they had done with their lives, and what they had succeeded in accomplishing.  Most of those who responded were in their 30s.  One after another revealed that they ended up working as caretakers, in nightclubs, supermarkets, and many revealed that they filled the cliché of living with their parents.  None of them were hugely successful.  Most interesting of all was the fact that those who had spent the most time in college were also the most unsuccessful.  This was especially the case for those who entered sixth form, which is a method through which people can voluntarily stay at Eckington for an additional two years to obtain their college A-Levels.  You see, those people were the ones who enjoyed Eckington the most.  They were the ultra-conformists that modern schools seek to mass-produce, and they were the ones that couldn't make it in the real world.

None of these people seemed to see the pattern.  In fact, they saw the solution as returning to college and being 'educated' further.  Their problem is not a lack of education, but a lack of creativity, and an inability to independently think for themselves.  They became so reliant upon others issuing them orders that the only one to obtain a stable job is in the military.  There was one other who became a journalist, but she dropped out of school before she finished her exams. There is no coincidence here.

For nearly a century, societies have believed that higher education is necessary for success, but the opposite is true with the modern version of education.  For instance, most of the high-tech companies were created by high school dropouts, who dreamt of doing something that nobody else had done.  You won't find such inventive and pioneering attitudes in those who have been through school, college, and then university.  Students are trained to only strive for self-limiting 'reachable goals'.  For a lot of people out there, it is time to realize that creative, independent, free thought is more important than anything they can learn at any university.

"I never let my schooling interfere with my education."

-- Mark Twain

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