Earlier this week I read a great post from Forbes Magazine titled The Lie Of Perfection. It’s an opinion piece. There’s no mention of mindsets, grit or stick-to-it-ness. Instead, it’s a simple post that exposes some dangers associated with being perfect.
“Perfection is a cruel, unreachable goal.”
“It’s a refusal to accept complexity and reality. There are no perfect mothers, bosses, workers, victims, athletes, thinkers, or leaders. There are no perfect people.”
As I read the post, I wondered about so many people in my life. I also wondered about assessment/evaluation in our schools and how our current system perpetuates some pretty gross “cruelty” and doesn’t make space for “complexity”.
(I’m not only talking about grades; I’m talking about the judgement that’s so embedded in the way that we teach and learn in schools. At some point, someone will judge how close to “perfect” all students (and teachers) have come.)
Maybe we ought to look to cooking as a way of learning?
If you type “perfect chicken noodle soup” into a search engine, here’s what you’ll get:
Each chef will have a different version of perfection.
Many will defend the merits of their recipes.
Some will read all of the recipes and try to sort it out for themselves.
A very small group will play with recipes and see how much better they can make their soup the next time.
I’m trying, imperfectly, to teach the last type of thinking to my students.