Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Academics vs Success

"Those who excel at academics at school never succeed later in life - this is true world wide" -this was the interesting statement made by our psychology instructor, which caught the attention of all students(I'm confident it is all and not 'almost all':D). He was talking something about IQ and EQ(emotional intelligence). His point was, people with high IQ have some kind of a trouble with emotions and hence are unable to utilize their intelligence-something with which some of us(specifically, myself :D) were a little uncomfortable. The problem was with what he refered to as IQ. Strangely, this wasnt the first time that he didnt appreciate the well known claim 'school academic performance has got little to do with IQ'. However, I agree with his statement in a sense different from what he intended. Here are some of my thoughts in this issue.

The current Indian educational system, puts students in an 'Academic Enclosure' till they are 17. The system forms an 'enclosure' because, it avoids most of the conditioning forces from the real world from accessing the students in the system. It conditions the students with its internal forces (rather differently than what the forces from the real world would have done!) For instance, the internal forces of the academic enclosure condition the students to believe that 'it is extermely important to score very high marks in exams'(everyone knows how!). Exams are conditioned 'aim' of students. At the rear end of it, the system even conditions kind of 'losers'' attitude in the students. What I mean is, it conditions students 'to live as if they have been cursed to live on the earth' or 'to live the life of an indian 007 agent in ISI (:D)'. In 10th std, very few of us think of this: 'why not take 10th as 'just another year', nothing special; after all, I didnt fail/perform poorly in 9th, which was 'just another year''. Finally, there are internal forces which make students find 'satisfaction' in impressing mortals(and not 'god' :D).

The 'First Rank School Kids' always have one serious problem: They feel their first failures after 17. Till then, inside the enclosure, they would have been exposed only to success.(they might have had what is called 'failure' in the real world, but wouldnt have recognised them as failures). I have observed this happen quite a few times. These properly trained dogs get severely hurt by the monkeys, once they are out in the real world.(dogs= the '1st rank school kids' the post 'On Randomness' to see why they are 'dogs'). One common reaction is to go emotionally down for some time. This is what makes them unsuccessful further. In cases of stronger conditioning, they simply refuse to accept failures. They refuse to accept the 'new' definitions of success and failure in the real world.

Within the academic enclosure, students respond differently to the conditioning forces. Now, one can easily see that the academic performance of a students is a measure of how well he/she has responded to the conditioning. A good response means a strong conditioning. Hence, the performance is directly related to how strong the conditioning has worked out. Hence, an excellent academic performer is strongly conditioned to the academic enclosure. I have already said that there is a strong campatibility problem between the 'real' world and the academic enclosure. Hence strongly conditioned students after 17, find it extremely hard to succeed in the real world.(and I believe reconditioning is not so effective after 17) This does not mean that the weakly conditioned students succeed in the real world!(:D) If they are poor at responding to a conditioning force, they fail at every system. However, those who are poorly conditioned in the academic enclosure because they somehow got in touch early with the real world forces succeed well in the real world.(rare case!) Also those who are intelligent enough to understand the compatibility difference, before they get in to the real world, show the highest success rate. This was the reason for my contradiction with the IQ vs EQ thing.
However, I cant predict fate of the 1st rank kids, if they were not conditioned in the academic enclosure before getting into the real world. The reason being, the academic enclosure is an artificial system, not fitting in well in the real world. This makes the response to the real world and the response to the academic enclosure rather unrelated. Hence the two responses are unpredictable from each other.