The “Good” Student

What does it mean to be a “good” student?  In the commonsense world, it means to go to class, listen, learn, do your homework and pass the tests.  Such a student is expected to show up, ask questions relevant to the lesson, participate, show enthusiasm, not criticize or ask deeper questions.  In other words, the “good” student behaves as is expected of them.  When the “good” student shows up in school they do not challenge social norms and more or less conform to the average.

The type of student who is privileged by the commonsense, is the one who is able to function in the school system as it is set up today.  They may even be genuinely interested in what they are learning and the classroom environment suits them well.  The privileged student in this set up may not exhibit overly questioning or difficult behaviour, and conforms to the majority of expectations of the school, their teachers and their peers.

What may be impossible to realize from the above definition, is that this imposed view of what is a good student goes against what is truly valuable in our society.  The most successful people, or those who make the biggest impact, are usually a little “different”; they question, invent, and think outside of the commonsense.  In school these individuals were probably branded as “troublemakers” by their teachers, and marginalized by their peers.  This definition of the “good” student makes it difficult to believe that all students are good students, and deserve to be on equal standing with their peers.

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