Many huge success stories will not meet national standards

Just a quick thought this evening…

Tonight on 3 news there was an interesting item that got me thinks-ing. A 21-year-old chap in the Coromandel, Alex Kelsey, has built his own car. It’s a rally car built from various bits of other cars and pieces he’s fabricated himself in his workshop. I’ll tell you this: it looks and sounds awesome (which, I believe, was his idea).

During the item, the reporter makes the point the that Alex has dyslexia.

It is quite an achievement for a kid who barely scraped through NCEA level one.

“[I was] absolutely useless at school, hopeless at writing and stuff like that,” he says.

The school stuff was difficult because Kelsey is dyslexic – but his life was changed by the story of Kiwi motorcycle designer John Britten, who is also dyslexic.

He (and John Britten for that matter) succeeded in spite of school, not because of it. This guy has gone through school before national standards began. Imagine if he’d been labelled “well below” or “will not meet the standard” all the way through school? Would he have been motivated enough to build his own car?

I doubt regularly being labelled a failure by an education system charged with preparing you for the world beyond school would successfully prepare somebody for that world.

Here’s a link to the item.

Mr B.


One response

  1. More to the point, when will there be proper training for all teachers and funding for support for dyslexic and other students with special needs? It’s a shameful fact that there is little of either at the moment, despite the huge number of students that need and deserve quality support. My dyslexic student went on to be a mechanic too, showing that there are many ways to show one’s intelligence. Good luck to all that succeed despite the barriers, but wouldn’t it be even better to remove some (or all) of the barriers?


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