I recently came across this Forbes article by Jessica Hagy, the genius behind one of my favorite webcomics, Indexed. It's called "Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught in School," and it made a variety of fine points about how success later in life isn't necessarily attained by the behaviors most rewarded in a school setting: compliance, performance on standardized tests, and adherence to majority rule.
1. The people in charge have all the answers.
False: Because sometimes the teacher doesn't check your work and somebody else does. That means someone else has the answer sheet.
2. Learning ends when you leave the classroom.
False: Because sometimes you have recess, then you come back to class. Then you have to learn more.
3. The best and brightest follow the rules.
False: Because sometimes they don't follow the rules. Then they get in trouble.
4. What the books say is always true.
False: Because most books are fiction, and fiction means that it's not true.
5. There is a very clear, single path to success.
False: Because there's more than one path. Sometimes you learn different ways. Sometimes you learn by reading, sometimes you learn by listening and watching, other times you just learn by following the instructions!
6. Behaving yourself is as important as getting good marks.
True: Because if you get good grades, then that means you're really working hard, and if you have good behavior, that also means you're trying to work hard and never give up. No one wants to be the smart person who's really mean.
7. Standardized tests measure your value.
False: Because you can show your value without doing the STAR testing. [Editor's Note: They are in the middle of STAR testing right now.] For example, you can show it by your facial expression. *smirk*
8. Days off are always more fun than sitting in the classroom.
False: Because you could have camps, and camps are boring sometimes! Staying at home could be fun, but usually your parents have to work and you have to keep finding fun things to do by yourself, and that's boring.
9. The purpose of your education is your future career.
False: Because you can do dirty jobs but still get good grades. For example, you can be really smart, but you can go be a plumber, which is kinda boring. You can also help with sewer problems.