Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Progress sells, apparently

I'm parked on the couch, kidding myself that I'm multitasking with work and the Winter Olympics. And a plant-based milk commercial with this tagline just pilfered my attention: "Progress is perfection."

Is it? the teacher in me wonders. (If so, how much? Does any progress qualify?)

Or what if 'perfection' actually proves problematic and, once we attach that label to an endeavor, it sets us up for misguided competitions -- us to each other, our work to everyone else's, all aspiring to a punishingly elusive ideal? Even standards-based or mastery learning, while celebrating progress, don't hold it up as the ultimate goal.

Besides plying me to try non-dairy milks as part of my dietary routine, does the tagline's context matter? What if "progress is perfection" only when the alternative is for Ray, the every-man swimmer featured in the spot, to compare his recreational pool splits to elite Olympian Michael Phelps? When all the players are amateurs, does progress still qualify as perfection?

Even if it doesn't, perhaps it can be a panacea for how we've traditionally prioritized grades in education. As the car commercial that flashed onscreen before I pressed publish touted: "Progress is performance when it counts."


  1. Soy or almond? My compliments on your: multitasking, logical analysis, word-craft & interdisciplanary observation. Carry on & !gnilims peeK

  2. Nothing is perfect at least not to everyone. I prefer a perfect ice water and an 85 degree day at the ocean.