The Paradox of Proficiency

Recently, a friend of mine and I furiously discussed an issue that ever since, I’ve been unable to find peace about. In our exchange, she said to me, “Schools have a moral imperative to ensure that students are successful when they graduate.” “They must be proficient at something!” Clearly, my well educated, super smart physician friend was associating proficiency with future success – a position that to me was far-reaching and stubbornly idealistic. In my attempt to give her adamance the benefit of doubt, I tried to draw a connection between her position and Dr. Benjamin Mays’ legendary musings about “…an air of expectancy”. But my friend’s argument wasn’t just about sending students into the world expecting that they do well. She argued that every diploma we award should come with a warranty of proficiency.

Continue reading