True - or perhaps some simply don’t want to pursue a career as a so-called “professional”. For them there should be free or very cheap, rigorous, high quality vocational-technical education - and such technical trade skills need to pay a living wage and provide job security. There is no such thing as an unskilled job, and the snobbish social stigma in so many yuppie “professional”-dominated against tradespeople (like I so often saw in the affluent-snob DC area) needs to stop.
Einstein flunked several classes, and was working in a somewhat low-brow patent office (you might say he was part of the laboring-class), slowly and carefully daydreaming on the job, imagining dancing on light beams out the window, when this way of thinking, along with all his training, led him to the kernels of insight for some of his most profound theories that revolutionized human knowledge. But by your method of pre-judging intelligence based on employment or socioeconomic class, we would have been wise to stamp him dumb.
Intelligence is not fixed, nor measurable by a standardized test (IQ tests, at best, give some indication only of two of the at least seven multiple human intelligences–aside from the fact that they also are culturally biased), nor… externally discernible based on occupation or socioeconomic status.
Yes, I see this, too. Part of abstract thinking includes the capacity to question, and critical thinking about society’s most fundamental and all-pervading accepted “truths.” Teaching children to question everything–including what the teacher says!–is telling them that they truly matter, that their task is to pursue truth, and live by truth, not try to fit in and do what people tell you or else. As Einstein said (thanks to KPFA’s “Against the Grain” for highlighting this quote), “The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
If only testing were the only problem with schools. Notice how there is no questioning the basic assumptions behind compulsory schooling: that children must be forced by law to be there, that they must spend most of their time indoors, and that they need a teacher in order to learn. And of course, there is not the slightest thought as to why compulsory schooling was created, nor the pathological culture that it is perpetuating. Compulsory schooling is inseparable from industrial capitalism, while human children have been learning through free play in nature for two million years. One is sustainable, the other is poison. Every life system on the planet is in decline. Shall we continue doing things the same way? For healthy children check out the Kaitiaki Collective in Auckland, New Zealand.