From Grades To Values

Dr. Michael LaitmanQuestion: Recently I took part in a conference which among other things discussed the alternative to the current system of graded matriculation exams. The previous methods are outdated, but still, don’t students have to be evaluated somehow?

Answer: Let’s get right down to the essence of the problem. The only thing we want from a person is for him to be able to correct his soul. This is why people are born and why they live, and if they don’t achieve this, they continue in the next life cycle. Therefore, a child’s recommendations or record should be written only from this standpoint.

What’s really important is not what grades a child receives in physics, chemistry, history, biology, and other subjects. Maybe he’s not very quick on the uptake in these subjects, or maybe he has the qualities needed to be a circus performer. Some people are drawn to music but aren’t very good at math.

Yet we put children into a classroom and stuff them all with the same material instead of developing their uniqueness and individuality. We place everyone under one standard, pack them into one stencil, and the press of the education system churns them out without any analysis.

This system was necessary 100-200 years ago to reforge simple farmers into factory workers. But today we are entering a new era. Production and agriculture will require just a few percent of all humanity. We will divide this burden between us, but mainly we will focus on the inner work. The time has finally come to develop man as an individual, to enrich his inner world. The level of attainment in various “external” subjects cannot be a criterion here. We are all different and this approach is simply incorrect.

As for the grading system, it has discredited itself completely. It forces a person to make bitter pittances, “Here’s what you need. Take it, choke on it, and leave me be!” After all, it’s not me developing, but others forcing me to demonstrate my knowledge orally and in writing.

A person’s formation cannot be approached by the common standards. It requires an individual approach. Therefore, the main subject should be the development of the individual: an understanding of life and interpersonal relationships. Who am I? What kind of world am I living in?

A person has to find out about this through conversations and discussions. His eyes have to be opened, showing him the pieces of the general puzzle and explaining their essence. It’s time to stop sitting children down with textbooks that give them knowledge but not understanding. This completely stupefies and disorients them. In the future people won’t be able to tear themselves away from the TV and will continue to live as if under hypnosis. Maybe this would be good for the authorities, but at the end of the day, there is nothing good about this.

Thus, grades have to be revoked. Every instructor and educator will provide his own response about a student. Classes will turn into groups and will take a joint path of study, unification, mutual activities, and most important, upbringing. A person should not be worried about grades, but on the contrary, if you have prepared him, then he checks himself by the right values, understands what he wants in life, what he belongs to, what he is capable of, what he can enjoy and how he can make others enjoy.

Then he will choose a profession that he is drawn to and in which he will be successful. After all, you teach and raise him ahead of time. You take him on trips to different places and show him life in its diversity and unity. During the school years he can already try his hand at different things and find his calling.

In the past people started learning a profession from childhood and learning from the adults’ experience. There has to be personal contact with professional instructors, rather than the formal relationships that exist today.

When people learn to find a profession that suits their personality, the number of people entering universities will decrease, and the universities will change as well. Today many people choose an academic profession by mistake or out of necessity, and then they suffer their whole lives. The education system has to give people more freedom. We are being destroyed by dry grades and study programs that are not adapted to modernity. From childhood they pressure people and limit their development.

Yet a person has to develop towards society and the environment, transitioning from self-evaluation and self-analysis to an analysis of the world. By harmoniously entering the world and society, he will feel that he is an absolutely integral part of it. This is the correct result of upbringing. A person will simply feel, “I am responsible for the world and the world is mine!” He will feel good in the world and the world will also recognize and value his contribution.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 10/26/11, “The Love for the Creator and Love for the Created Beings”

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The Goal of Education Should Be Perfection and Equivalence to Nature

One Comment

  1. Dr. Laitman, you said:
    In the future people won’t be able to tear themselves away from the TV and will continue to live as if under hypnosis.

    People live this way now! I can’t get over how when I walk by homes whether in the morning,noon, or night, TV sets are CONSTANTLY on. If we can get our message here in the U.S. on TV like you have channel 66 in Israel, we definitely would make much faster progress.

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