School: is it all about achievement?

Should school be a results-factory where children are constantly pushed to “achieve their potential?” Or a safe place to try, fail and try again?

“Tout le monde a le droit de foutre en l’air sa propre vie,” as Amelie Poulain said.

“Stay away from your potential. You’ll only break it.” Dylan Moran.

You see bright kids who power down when they go to school in the morning, aren’t necessarily disruptive but disengage in lessons, and power up again when they leave. A kid playing truant on the Tube, idly working an 8x Rubik’s cube with one hand. Three teenage boys hiding in park bushes, rapping together.

“Two traumas inflicted by school are bullying and boredom.” Alain de Botton.

Horses for courses. Different schools so that those who just don’t fit well with one, can move to another with a different approach.

Is “achievement” the same as “personal development”?

I’m not advocating mediocrity or low aspirations here.

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