Everyone knows the difference between our Soviet educational system and the American one. In our country, pupils and students received more knowledge about everything, and consequently were famous for the whole world by general erudition. The average Soviet student equally know and understand the poetry of the early Byron and in tangents with cotangents, in verbal nouns and the theory of relativity. Equally average. Or even it can be said superficially. Nevertheless, in everything.
American pupils and students were famous for the whole world because they could not show neighboring Mexico on the map, let alone any Croatia. Their general level of education was considered to be much lower than ours (in any case, I, as a former Soviet citizen, am still convinced in this), but … American education from an early age immersed the child in one sphere of knowledge and its future activity and made him an excellent specialist in this field. Naturally, because of this, such kind of student lost the opportunity to learn a lot of interesting, but useless, in other areas of knowledge.
Therefore, our two educational systems collided: “about everything little by little” against “one, but deep”.
Apparently, our system has lost. The best specialists in most spheres of activity more often grew up there, but not here. Scientific discoveries were done more by them, not by us. Industry and the economy developed faster at USA than in USSR. And we … and we had an anecdote on this topic: “At school, I knew a trigonometry. I will soon be 40 years old. I am still waiting for when I need my knowledge of the difference between the sine and the cosine. ”
Why am I discussing this?
Recently, in my environment, several families have appeared who, living in Kazakhstan, managed to apply the American development system for their child.
In one family, the child firmly decided to devote his life to chess and become the first Kazakh champion of the world. To this end, he decided to sacrifice the rest of the education, practically stopped paying time to school, studying somehow (if only not expelled), he only studies chess from morning until night.
What would ordinary Soviet parents do?
Right, we would have cut off our son with a belt, and he would have run to school as a sweetheart. With this brain, he would be an excellent student. In all subjects, including drawing and singing.
My friends, after reading stories about Einstein, who had a hard time finishing school, about Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who dropped out of school for the sake of their favorite business, decided to compromise their child. They do not force him to teach lessons, to spend resources on something that distracts him from the main goal in life. The son saved in this way time and energy is fully dedicated to chess.
My friends are told that they cannot agree with everything that the child wants, because they never know what a youngster has in mind. Today is chess, tomorrow is cosmonautics, and the day after tomorrow knitting.
My friends responded that they had checked within a few years his son’s hobby and made sure that it was not temporary. Moreover, my friend gives one more argument. He says that since childhood, he dreamed of becoming an engineer and designing aircraft, but at the insistence of his parents he enrolled in a prestigious law firm and now works as a lawyer. He never liked this profession and still does not like it. He feels like a guy that his parents married without love. Now he goes to work, as to hard labor. At the same time, on weekends he collects airplane models. Therefore, he says that his whole life went wrong, because he was engaged in an unloved business, even though the son will have the opportunity to fully devote himself to his dream.
Other my friends supported their daughter in her fanatical enthusiasm for tennis. Moreover, they decided to move with the whole family to another country, where the best school of tennis, so that their daughter would learn from famous coaches.
The third of my acquaintances at first distrusted the enthusiasm for their son’s cooking. They thought that the whim would pass. But it has not been several years. Then they did not break it, but, on the contrary, became like-minded people. They buy him books on cooking, they take them to master classes for celebrities, and they converted their homemade kitchen as he wanted. In general, parents do not interfere, but help.
Are these not single cases, but a trend?
I do not presume to firmly state that this is good or bad. I am not sure yet. Yes, and the teachers of our secondary schools, probably, will accuse me of seditiousness. But for some reason it seems to me that if Einstein were forced to teach Renaissance prose and to instill riding skills, like all pupils of that time, he would not have had time to think about the relativity of everything vital on earth. In addition, Bill Gates would have been a good lawyer if he had not dropped out. Good such, strong lawyer. But not a genius and not the richest man on the planet.
So what is right: to cultivate strong reliable lawyers or geniuses?