Tag Archives: Academic

Accepting Academic Mediocracy

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on November 22, 2013 4:31 pm

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”
~ Henry Ford


Why has society lowered the ceiling of academic success?  Why have our standards been lowered to ensure the graduation rate of our children?  Are we not dumbing down our society if we lower our academic standards?  Are we not developing a society of mediocracy?  It is mediocracy that encourages a moderate and poor quality of performance. Are we not creating a society that just gets by with good enough.  Good enough is unacceptable.

In many aspects of our society, we no longer encourage children to dream, to thrive, and to achieve; rather we have become a society of mediocracy and complacency.  Furthermore, we rarely seek to inspire, to encourage, to positively influence, or to spark an internal flame.  We have become a society that has given up; accepting the notion that “mediocracy” is acceptable.  I have yet to meet a high achiever who has allowed mediocracy to be an acceptable standard for his/her life.



“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
~ Napoleon Hill

In the past, having served as a political strategist in Canada, and as a political aide to a representative in the United States; allowed me to peek my eyes through the window of politics.  It was through this window that I began to recognize how very interconnected the political machine was on the academic world.  It has been through my work in politics, that I have had an unique opportunity to see behind the scenes of political evolution of academia.  I would never have dreamt that the political climate of our day, would make acceptable any standard short of being our best.  Many years ago, the United States Army ran an ad that emphasized an ideological approach to “be all that you can be.”  Are we encouraging children of this generation to be all that they can be?  Or, are we encouraging children of this upcoming generation to simply be comfortable with a passing grade?

Rarely, do we consider the significance of our political system on the academic environment; but remember it is the political machine that funds the academic environment.  If our funding is derived from the political machine, then is not the political beast responsible for our academic endeavors?  Sadly, we give more thought to the latest stadium being erected than we do our children’s academic futures.  Likewise, as a society, we seek to avoid pointing fingers in the direction of our politicians, because this would make those in charge of our taxes and funding responsible for the decay of the minds of our children.   Now understand, I am not saying that the political beast is solely responsible for the demise of the academic environment, but I am saying that it is one cog in the wheel of decay.  Nevertheless, if you are going to bring light to a dark environment, you must choose to shine the light on the environment you are in.  Yet, we cannot forget that parents, teachers and the community at large are equally responsible for ensuring the success of our students.  Raising a child is not a solo act; rather it does take a village to raise a child.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Developing A Relationship With Your Child’s Teachers And School

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on June 27, 2011 2:17 pm

Parental involvement is the key ingredient to developing and maintaining good rapport within your child’s academic endeavors.  As parents, being involved can be a balancing act, because voicing too many opinions can be seen as overbearing. Yet, avoiding voicing your desires or opinions can be a detriment to the needs of your child.  We must remember that teachers are people too.  They have feelings, emotions, and personal needs, thus it is important to show your child’s teachers respect and dignity. 

In many circumstances teachers are being overworked, underpaid, and overburdened by their classroom sizes.   Schools are being forced to cut costs and reduce their financial obligations. The financial burdens play a role in the lives of the parents, teachers, school administrations, and the individual student.

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

I Don’t Care and I Don’t Want To: An Intervention for Apathetic Youth (Part 1), by Chris Dasch

Posted by: Guest on March 18, 2011 10:36 am

This is an article reposted from our Newsletter “Cognica” – Fall 2010 Edition


I want to share with you one brilliant, yet perplexing interaction I recently had with a student.  While working on trying to foster a relationship with one of my particularly unmotivated and disengaged students, we had shared many conversations together, and had come to the point where we could openly and honestly look at his behaviour and comment on the apathetic nature of much of it.  I had tried in many ways to engage and motivate this student, both from an academic standpoint, and an emotional one.  Towards the end of one of our conversations, he very eloquently stated the following paraphrased idea:

” I know that you are trying to help me Mr. D., but have you ever thought that maybe you are the one that needs the help. I look around and I see a lot of people stressed and upset.  They’re always working or fighting or tired, and I don’t really want to be like that… at all.  Even you seem pretty burnt out sometimes.  The way I do things, there is no stress.  I don’t worry and I enjoy myself a lot more than a lot of the people around me, especially my family.  Maybe you guys got it all wrong.  Maybe you need to be more like me. ”

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA