The Educational Wounding Cycle: Wounded People Wound Others

By Nymfa Aranas, Parent Herald February 27, 10:33 am

Our educational system does not only comprise teachers, instructors and professors. Students and parents are also part of it. If you are one of "those talented in other ways," chances are -- you may have experienced educa­tional wounding not just from a teacher who put you down. It may also be from your parents who compared you to your more intel­ligent siblings, or your brother or sister or classmates who mocked you or had considered you less smart than they were.

Otherwise, you may be the offender (a mem­ber of "the cognitive elite") responsible for the wounding act. Or maybe you're on the same boat with me -- we're a bunch of wounded people who, in return, have been consciously or unconsciously wounding oth­ers.

Just how did we get wounded? In what ways have we offended other people?

Since the first step to our freedom is hav­ing an awareness of what has gone wrong, let us now examine the different forms of edu­ca­tional wounding. You may possibly see your­self in at least one or two of them.


Maybe you were also teased during university days, "Go get a broom! You might find your IQ as you sweep the floor." It may sound funny, but of course it's not if you were the object of the joke.

Do we take pleasure in joking about almost everything including other peo­ple's weaknesses? I used to like university jokes. But I now repent, because most of those jokes basi­cally come from intellectual pride and downgrade other people's intellectual capacities.


"BS Chemical Engineering and Computer Sci­ence majors are more brilliant than AB Communication Arts students.

"Your sibling is more intelligent than you are."

Comparative statements such as above may not be announced. Comparisons, never­theless, are already given with certain schools mini­mizing arts and social sci­ences stu­dents, and families usually favoring math and science-smart kids.

Too High Expectations

"I graduated with the highest honors from ele­mentary through college.... Well, being my son, I want you to excel as I did and show them you are as smart as I am."

"You have to think this way...."

"Being smart is becoming like mom."

Anyone here who is an achiever, or who has ex­tremely intelligent teachers, parents or sib­lings? Again, expecta­tions may be spoken or unspoken. And yet, both may be annoying and damaging to those being expected to measure up.


Parents, brothers or sisters, or teachers who run out of patience normally remark:

"Why can't you just get what I'm teaching you?

"It's as simple this ... Oh my, why can't you un­der­stand?"

"It's so easy! Why can't you compute num­bers in your head like I do?"

Dumping our frustrations on our children, sib­lings, or students indicates that we either com­pare them with ourselves, or we expect too much from them. Frustrations, when further ex­pressed, usu­ally escalate to the next form of educational wounding.

Degrading Remarks

You may have been told, "How stupid you are!" Or you may have labelled others, "You're just aver­age; you're not really smart."

Of the five forms of wounding that we have discussed, this last one is the most obvi­ous and direct. It's also the most damaging.

It Goes On and On

As you might expect, all these forms of educa­tional wounding occur not only in school but even at home. They originate from a culture that validates IQ as the primary measure of one's intelligence. Anybody that falls below the genius category turns out to be the target. This wounded person then finds another victim, until the wounding cycle goes unbroken.

I knew how it was being the object of jokes and comparison. Being the aggressive type, however, who would rather stand up for my own views, I did not realize I had also been wounded -- not until when I found myself teasing others, laughing at those intellectually degrading jokes and acting out all the other three forms of educationally wounding people. It's somewhat ironic that while I refused the status quo, I myself be­came an active part of the cycle.      

I may no longer be wounded and if ever I still am -- I refuse to stay wounded forever -- going around intentionally or un­intentionally wounding others. As such, I have written and published a small book in my attempt to get away from the cycle and its lies. Please check out Rediscovering Your Intelligence if you want to read more of my story.

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