Fundamentally, there are two types of students: the good ones and the bad ones. Some of the good ones go on to become teachers the others move on to different things. Some of those who become teachers will become good teachers, most will become bad. Some of those who move on to other things will become good at what they do, others will become bad.
Common to all good students is that they fit the educational method; in other words: how they teach fits their learning style.
There are also two types of bad students: those who could be good at something else, but not at the given topic, and those whose learning style is not comparable to how the given institution teaches.
You may be asking at this stage: how about the average students or the average teachers? For simplicity’s sake let’s not even consider the average. The average is a gray mass that connects the bad and the good and the difference between the three factors is quantitative only. The bad may become average and the average may become good, depending on how we set the criteria for performance. There is, however, a qualitative factor that is rather disruptive to institutions that dominate the landscape today: brilliance.
If brilliance is an anomaly in a given organization or a given field, it sheds light on two things: the topic taught is unnatural and/or the teaching method is wrong. Both of these are typically the result of quantitative values: appeal to the masses.
True brilliance, namely, is naturally elitist and, naturally, there are elitist fields and organizations. Let’s look at poetry as an example: the greatest poets didn’t go to poetry school to learn from a good poetry teacher. Born poets live their craft from the moment they realize this is what they’re born to do and then they emerge ready, inimitable in their brilliance. The development process is focused on learning, not on teaching – and learning is solitary.
The same applies to scientists, doctors, philosophers, writers, architects, artists, craftsmen, wine growers, cheese makers, warriors, etc. Brilliance’ natural path of development is not the “hear and repeat” or adjustment to inferiority. Brilliance unfolds according to nature, so to speak: everything in nature is in the sign of perfection.
Since about the Renaissance, almost no organization can accommodate brilliance.
The majority plays an important role in the relation between the average and the normal: the average shows how far the majority is from the norm. The lower you set the norm, the closer they will be, and the more normal the average will seem. This is what we see today when brilliance and the thrive for perfection is frowned upon.
There is another alternative: when the norm is kept high, latent qualities unfold and the average becomes brilliant. In such cases the majority (in any field and in any organization) is not numerous. If nothing less than brilliance is the norm, everything changes: the organization, the method, the people, and last but not least: the outcome.
Today, the brilliant ones in any field are misfits. And their role is to maintain the norm without compromise.