In an attempt to cure the obesity epidemic diet 'guru' Pierre Dukan "suggests that students in their last two years of high school be awarded extra marks if they manage to maintain an acceptable Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure of body fat based on height and weight".
Now initially this put me into a bit of a spin. There was the obvious argument:
Do we really want to create a society so standard that we all think the same and now look the same?
The way we are going about education is deeply flawed, when some new problem comes along we mindlessly add it to the prescription of learning. We saw this mistake being made with ICT where separate stand-alone computer suites and learning programmes popped up all over the place as opposed to intergrating ICTs into the learning.
Adding things to the prescription is not the answer - a personalized, flexible, integrative, approach would address all of the issues. Personalised learning addresses issues that administrators and 'experts' could never imagine because personalised education enables the essence of education:
Teaching people to feel a richness in themselves, a belief in themselves and to learn about themselves
Now while we're on the subject of obesity - could standardised testing be a contributing factor? When cramming for standardised tests the process is so much more enjoyable if you're ramming a few twinkies down your throat and washing them down with some sugary fizzy. So why not authentically educate our children so that they did not have to (literally) sit and cram for standardized tests and instead learn about and believe in themselves?
However, this article provides good evidence that we can not (and should not) measure people using standardised tests! BMI is a great example. If we were to 'grade' children on their BMI it would be as ridiculous as grading children academically using a multi-choice test (oh wait, we do that!). Just like our academic tests BMI does not work for all ethnicities, it forces people into gendered roles, it is not recommended for children, and of course does not work for pregnant women (last time I looked it was okay for pregnant people to be educated - I hope that is still the case). The All-Blacks' BMI has (shock horror) risen over the years. Will high BMI rugby players be allowed to Graduate?
It is also important to note that diet 'guru' Pierre Dukan is simply a business man selling his high protein diet to celebrities and to anyone else that will listen. Perhaps John Key could fly him over to New Zealand and assist him in opening up a Charter School?