Image for post
Image for post
The Standard Working Model

Why The Standard Working Model Sucks Big Time & What You Can Do About It.

The Standard Working Model sucks , and I’m gonna try to tell you why I think so and hopefully avoid going into a rant.

The standard working model is a creation of the industrial revolution where farmers and rural people were convinced by powerful businessmen that moving from the land into a workforce community was a ticket to wealth and prosperity.

But it didn’t really work out too well for those people.

Today in so called developed countries, we have a more refined version, and certainly much better conditions, but there’s an inherent problem with it.

It creates robots from people. It encourages conformity and scripted behaviours that restrict growth. Even now in our “advanced societies” our education system is formulated to produce workers for our economy.

Governments sell financial packages to high net worth investors and institutions based on the future productivity and money making capacity of its workforce.

Human beings have become commodities. In modern western civilisations we have become like fleas trapped in a jar, only there’s no lid on the jar and the fleas believe there is.

In other words we’ve got this wealth of infinite potential within us, but we are limited by the system that we are entered into. We believe ourselves to be limited and only capable of certain things.

We have been conditioned.

We have an education system right from pre-school to university that trains our kids to be workers, not entrepreneurs. To be dependant, not independent.

Collectively we have created this system in which we all participate, support and perpetuate by virtue of the fact we do not consciously believe there is any worthy alternative.

In fact most of us don’t even possess the ability to see that an alternative system is even required in the first place!

The standard working model says;

“Now children we’re going to teach you how to succeed in the big bad world. Learn this stuff we’ve got for you and everything will be ok. You’ll get a job when you’re older, make some money, raise a family, teach your children to do the same and everything will be just great…

Yes I am being a little facetious, but can you blame me?

All facetiousness aside, the system is broken and it’s been so for a long time. The ones who have come before us have sold this system as the only way to achieve a stable society, and it has a fundamental flaw at it’s core.

It takes into account the middle ground, the majority who will actually fit in and make it “work” for them. It’s my contention that most of the people who make the system work end up largely disillusioned later in life.

This system is not one person’s idea, nor is it a conspiracy held in place by the few wealthy invisible and silent dictators as some conspiracy theorist headbangers will ask you to believe.

It’s a societal system held in place by the sum of the parts involved. We are all complicit, every one of us is a piece in the puzzle. Most of us blindly go along with it.

The standard working model works for most, for a time before it wears us out emotionally. But there is a more pressing issue and it is the one that concerns our children, the ones who don’t fit the mold.

If we don’t change the way we’ve always done things then we will get the results we’ve always got. Bringing up our children to treat life and work the same as we have steals their chance to develop naturally along their strongest lines.

A Broken System

The system determines the child’s value by a standard set of criteria, and when the child doesn’t stack up, the system says they have a problem. They are moved out of their classroom to get “special” attention for their “deficiency”.

good move you might say… well not really.

All the other kids know that there is something up. Now these kids begin to develop the idea that there is something wrong with them, that they are different in the worst kind of way.

Every other kid knows that only the dopes go to the special class, and the children who have to go there know it too.

I feel it’s a real shame that now as I am 41 years old, that the school system has not really changed that much for the better from the time I was a kid.

It’s still woefully inadequate at tending to the varying needs, skills and talents in our children, and therefore incapable of creating a truly stable and nurturing environment where all kids can flourish.

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid — Unknown

Instead of having a system that nurtures children’s’ strengths, we have a system that piles our kids into the same learning structures, wearing the same clothes, then separates them into special needs classes when they don’t stack up.

Or worse, the kids remove themselves from the school system completely believing they are useless. Thousands of kids fall through the cracks every year and never recover.

Fortunately for me I occupied the middle ground when it came to academic studies. I was handy enough in school so I was able to do alright.

I’d notice the kids who were shipped out on a daily basis to “Mr Malone’s Class” and remember thinking… I’m glad that’s not me.

Ironically, despite how the system treats our kids who don’t fit this industrial revolution education model, they actually have a distinct advantage.

By virtue of occupying the perimeter, the system doesn’t offer these kids much, so they are actually in a better position to pursue what they actually love to do.

One of two things can happen a kid as they grow up on the outskirts of current industrial revolution style education system.

  1. They develop an inferiority complex and end up at best occupying a crappy job until they retire, never truly reaching their potential, or at worst they turn to criminality end up in the prison system.
  2. They develop a fuck-you attitude and go hell for leather after their dreams despite the negative experience.

If the kid is strong enough mentally then maybe they can succeed. Some of the most successful people on the planet had a crappy childhood and lots of difficulty in school but made it nonetheless. People like Alan Sugar and Tony Robbins for example.

The Seven Levels of Intelligence

Howard Earl Gardner’s 1943 work Frames of Mind — The theory of multiple intelligences questions the established (and completely bullshit) idea that intelligence is a singular, and that it can be measured using IQ tests.

Howard Gardner initially formulated a list of seven intelligences with only the first two on the list below typically valued in modern education systems.

3, 4 and 5 are usually associated with the genius of the arts and 6 and 7 are what Howard Gardner called ‘personal intelligences’ which have since been grouped as Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and is often linked to high level success in business and careers.

If schools only value and grade students by 2 of the possible 7 intelligences, then they effectively regard children who happen to be most effective at the other levels as stupid.

Asking a child who has a primarily developed auditory (musical) intelligence to complete mathematical and linguistic competence tests and then judge their overall intelligence from the results, says more about the intelligence of the judicators than the child.

Here are Howard Gardner’s initial multiple intelligences:

  1. Linguistic — Spoken and written language skills and capabilities.
  2. Logical-mathematical — Capacity to analyse problems logically and carry out mathematical analysis.
  3. Musical — Skills in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns.
  4. Bodily-kinesthetic — Potential of using one’s whole body or parts of the body to solve problems.
  5. Spatial — Potential to recognise and use the patterns of wide space and more confined areas.
  6. Interpersonal — The capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other people.
  7. Intrapersonal — The capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one’s feelings, fears and motivations.

Why aren’t our education systems built on these long established understandings of how children learn? Maybe someone out there can explain this to me…

The answer is a simple one, but it’s not easy.

Follow your heart.

This must be the first step. And you need to be brave too because it can be a scary time, but if you want to realise what’s calling you then you need to step over the edge.

There’s only one way to eat an elephant, and that’s one fork full at a time. Start today, even if it’s at a small level, begin, make a change, a move towards what you want.

What your particular steps are will be dependant on your speciality, but the very first one you absolutely must take is a psychological one.

Make a commitment to yourself. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

The good part of all this is that you can cultivate the willingness in yourself by taking your time, but be careful not to stagnate and use fear as an excuse not to make progress.

You’ve got to learn the feeling difference between fear, and when it’s simply not the right time. Move when you’re not ready and splat!

Don’t move at all, then splat too. Although, when you don’t move at all, your idea is more likely to grow mould than go splat!

I’m an optimist, the glass is always half full, even in the face of apparent disaster I’m not discouraged for long so I’ll always manage to get a benefit from a poxy circumstance.

That’s why I’ll always maintain you do something no matter how small. Keep moving, because when you move you move forward. There’s no such thing as going backwards.

Every movement is a discovery. You either find out what works or what doesn’t work, either way you win.

Certainly pause if you need to when things get hectic and manic, this is what I mean by waiting until you’re ready. But don’t sit on your hands, so-to-speak.

It’s a fine balance but one you can find with practice.

Originally published on larrygmaguire.com 18th March 2017

Image for post
Image for post

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.

Written by

Writer on Psychology of Creativity, Human Performance, Behaviour & Expertise | Examining Happiness & Work | Slight Perfectionist | larrygmaguire.com/subscribe

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store