The top takeaways about school education from top performers paints an instructive picture if the education establishment will listen:
Bottom Line: It's nothing new to identify top performing students as those who're most disenchanted with the traditional education experience. What is new is this extensive research finding that across 72 different countries the story is most commonly the same.
The Programme for International Student Assessment, in conjunction with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, found the following four most common responses (about the traditional school environment) from top performing 15 year old students:
- School has done little to prepare me for adult life when I leave school
- School has been a waste of time
- School helped give me confidence to make decisions
- School has taught me things that could be useful in a job
So it's clear that for most top performers the traditional educational environment isn't a good fit. When you have a class that moves at a set pace based on the average student - it's natural for the fastest learners to feel as though they aren't being serviced effectively by the traditional classroom environment. Be mindful that this was a world-wide research project. You can see the concern that students aren't being prepared for real-life isn't an American exclusive concern. What I found most instructive is that it is possible to strike a balance for top performers if the educational establishment provides the proper path for these students. While the top two responses were exceedingly negative by top performing students, the next two were the inverse. Simply put some countries, some schools, some advanced programs simply do better than others. It should be the goal of all educators to reverse the order of these responses. It's possible but it also means an end to the status quo. That's probably why home schooling is as popular as ever in modern society.