I completely agree with the statement. The way the American system of education is headed is a way of not only curbing individual talents, but downright denying the talents to ever have a chance of developing. Music and Art are just about a thing of the past in many schools.
Science and Social Studies are only taught during testing years in many cases. When 'Writing' is taught, students are required to follow a script or structured format rather than really learn how to develop their creativity and use their imagination. Differentiated instruction is only yet another theoretical approach that has not been successfully implemented because the structure of the school system totally contradicts anything dealing with allowing each student's individual talents to develop and shine.
To a certain extent, I would agree. School tries to socialize students into following the rules. However, I generally disagree with the statement overall. In America, we love the individual. We like to shine the light on people who stand out, and we love our stars. That's why we value individuals who are good at sports, and stellar academically.
The answer to this question must have an international component and an American component. While it is true that in American schools have begun to focus on developing srudents' individual talents (whether done rightly or wrongly), it is equally true that in other countries emphasis on academic mastery, discipline and rules of conduct is the norm and that focus on individual talents is of secondary--or even tertiary--importance. Therefore this question is timely and the answer must be that in certain educational systems develop of individual talents is curb either through too little liberty or, ironically, through too much liberty.
I think that some level of clarification is needed in the understanding of "individual" talents. If this refers to teachers or students would become of critical importance in the refinement of applicable answers. I do believe that the statement might not be entirely accurate. The emergence of differentiated instruction in the classroom setting is one reason why I would part with the statement. The emphasis on differentiated instruction in the last decade of American education has sought to enhance individual talents. The differentiation of student work, process, product, and environment has contributed to students understanding that knowledge is not as much movement from "point A to point B." Rather, it seeks to understand that there are a multitude of points between A and B and in order to gain greater competency in a subject, one has to be willing to explore the multiplicity of points that exist in between these elements. In this, both individual talent of student and teacher is enhanced in a couple of ways. Students are able to utilize their talent in exploring an conception of understanding that is unique to them, and something within which there is a great deal of passion and joy. At the same time, teachers are able to access different capacities of their own talent base to meet the needs of a diverse and intellectually heterogeneous student population, one whose work and whose instruction is differentiated. In this instructional mode, individual talents of student and teacher are on full display.
The present school system curbs the individualism of a child.That is why it is sometimes jokingly said'I was born intelligent but education ruined me.' A teacher must act as a guide and chanellize the individual talents of a child however in a school we find that a teacher acts like a hard taskmaster thereby crushing the talents of the child.