School raises us to be factory workers. A hundred years ago the main challenge of politics was to find enough factory workers. School was the place to shape up and raise those much needed workers. They had to teach us enough but not to much, and they also had to teach us how to obey.
It is not an accident if school is like a job, not an accident that there are supervisors and tests and quality control. You do well on them—you get a new job (the next grade), continue being successful and you get a real job. Do poorly and you are kicked out of the system.
This way of producing “factory workers” was efficient when we had to fill factories, but our factories are now in other countries and the school had not changes their way of teaching (yet).
Let’s make something clear: factory workers is just a metaphor. If you work in a big office where you only follow orders and you don’t show any enthusiasm, you never take initiative and you don’t give things you are good at, you are also a factory worker!
The world today is different and listening to orders is not going to get you far. What school needs now is to create and what you need to be now is an artist. You need to learn how to take initiative instead of obeying to orders. You need to learn how to give the best you can instead of doing the minimum without asking questions.
School asks you to:
- Take good notes
- Show up everyday
- Do like everybody else
- Follow the rules
- Be a generalist, not a specialist
The problem lies with the system that punishes artists and rewards bureaucrats instead.
We all know it, finishing school doesn’t guaranty anything. Finding a job is challenging and your education is not first on the priority list. What employers are really looking for are artists.
You can be an artist at your job. Artist are not just painters, artists are all the people that are dedicated to their job and bring in it their own personal skills. Artists are the opposite of factory workers. Factory workers are all the people that are acting like school ask them to act: following rules without asking any questions.
But the good news is that the factory worker system is, slowly but surely, dying and is letting room for the new artistic world. It is up to you to choose who you want to be. A factory worker in a dying world, or an artist in a rising one?
Purchase the book The Linchpin by Seth Godin to get more insight into the topic here.