Think for yourself

Standard

 

I came across an interesting post today about teaching the arts and standardized tests:

 http://dianeravitch.net/2012/06/20/test-scores-or-creativity/

 The part that really resonated with me is this:

” I have noticed that very talented, intelligent, well-educated students coming to my classes from countries with test-driven education systems often struggle with musical analysis, for one very simple reason: What I value most highly in my student’s analytical work is the capacity to have an original insight into a piece and develop it convincingly. In other words, the student’s task is not to master what I think, but to teach me something I didn’t know before.” (emphasis mine)

How much of our life do we spend regurgitating other people’s thoughts instead of coming to our own conclusions? I fear that it is more often than we even realize. It took me a long time to realize that I had adopted other people’s thinking, like my mother’s, as my own. Reading and reflecting on what is really important to me, defining my values, has been crucial in helping me break out of this bad habit that has literally been conditioned in me since I was old enough to talk.

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