How many failures can you pass with?

Educators, parents and administrative bodies should sincerely ask themselves whether we are helping children and young people when we lower our standards. 

Javier Segura-June 24, 2021-Reading time: 3 minutes

Smartick is a digital platform that facilitates the personalized study of mathematics, adapting the type and difficulty of the exercises to each child. Indeed, the system adapts to the level of the child to reinforce those parts that are difficult for him/her, but in a balanced way so that he/she does not get stuck. A simple and entertaining tool for learning mathematics. And although it is an online tool, it is not rigid but adapts to what the child needs to work on.

It even takes into account the child's state of mind and asks him how he is feeling to adapt to his emotional moment. If the child says that he feels terrible that morning, the program makes it easier for him not to get frustrated. Of course, some children learn the trick right away and systematically answer the computer that they feel terrible so that the exercises are easier.

Just the opposite of what happened to Ignacio Echeverría, the so-called 'skateboard hero' who lost his life in an attack on a skateboard. jihadist in London when he was saving a young girl fighting with his skateboard as his only weapon. Ana, his mother, told me that when he was a child the teachers wanted to put him in an easier grade because, as he was very shy, it seemed that his studies would be difficult for him. But his parents said that if they put him in that grade Ignacio would make less effort and it would be worse for him in the long run.

These reflections come to me around the issue of failing grades and the possibility offered by the LOMLOE to pass the course even if a student has failed many subjects. A very peculiar way to put an end to school failure. And the fact is that in Spain we currently have a 30% of repeaters, but from now on they will be able to pass the course if the teachers consider it better for their personal development. The effort, work and resignation involved or perseverance in the study are relegated to the background.

It is clear that the high repetition and failure rate is something that must be addressed, but we must do it properly because if we do not do it correctly we can aggravate the problem that we all have, the system and the students themselves.

Perhaps we should assume that people have a tendency to do what is easy, what is comfortable. And this means that education has a lot to do with the creation of good habits and the fight against our own instincts that lead us not to make an effort.

And we should sincerely ask ourselves if we help children and young people when we lower our demands, when we systematically adapt ourselves to their state of mind, when nothing has consequences, no matter what they do.

Demanding, setting limits, assuming the consequences of one's actions is not at odds with appreciation and personalization in education. Quite the contrary. It is part of this knowledge of the child and the young person that leads us to progressively raise the level, so that he can give the best of himself, so that he can discover all his potentialities.

The key is to demand and help them overcome difficulties by giving them the tools to do so.

Javier Segura

The scheme is not simply to set a very high level and let those who can pass, but neither is it to lower the demands to the level set by the students without making an effort. The key is to demand and help them overcome difficulties by giving them the tools to do so. Assuming that failure and even failure are part of learning.

If we give up making demands on students, if we always make it easy for them, they will learn to cheat a machine even if that means cheating themselves. And they will never form strong personalities capable of commitment, effort and even heroism.

It is easier to walk on a plain than to climb a mountain. But the effort involved in the ascent has the reward of expanded horizons from the top. And the conquest of oneself.

La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.