We don’t need students to memorize when the War of 1812 was. Google is better, faster, and cheaper. So why are we insisting on memorizing something just because it will be on the test? We can’t memorize everything. So we develop bad habits of looking for short cuts—work we have to do instead of the work we get to do.
There is little value in chasing an A. Chasing A’s don’t teach us about grit, or generosity, or failing. It doesn’t teach us how to solve interesting problems. What we are being taught is how to be cogs in a machine, compliant workers, and how to follow instructions.
In the real world: There is no map. We need to find our own way. Failure has to be an option. If we can’t fail, then we will never be remarkable. Yet, we insist on having a map because following instructions insulate us. We feel safe when we are being told what to do next.
Getting A’s are fine. But I rather hear how someone failed dancing on the edge of something daring. Even if that means getting a D.