Thursday, April 15, 2010

A little off-topic....the "Frankenstudent"

There's a very well-written opinion column in the Boston Globe called "The Myth of the Frankenstudent" that argues...well, the columnist puts it better than I could:

"We think our children should be academically brilliant; musically and athletically gifted; and dedicated to serving, if not downright saving, humanity. Are there really a lot of people like this? Or are we creating Frankenstudents — artificial monsters, impossible composites of skills and achievements that rarely co-exist in real life?"

Later, she writes this: "The goal of education is to genuinely enrich people, not to make them merely appear enriched. By trying to manufacture Frankenstudents, we are distorting and cheapening a process that should allow people to experiment, question, take risks, stumble, and occasionally fail. We need to give people permission to spend time doing things that are not quantifiable and don’t show up on a résumé — things like daydreaming; reading for pleasure; learning how to cook a frittata; and studying a subject you’re not very good at, just because it interests you. We need to stop pretending that everyone peaks early."

It's a great message for parents to hear, but I wonder--when I read about these "helicopter parents" or "stage mom/dad parents"--do we have this kind of hyper-competitive parent type here? Or are the parents of the Red River Valley a little more relaxed about this stuff?

Just wondering what your thoughts are...