I’ve always been a fan of Seth Godin who is one of those people who pushes my thinking on a regular basis and who can articulate the issues in an unusually clear way. And, I love his passion for what he believes. That in and of itself makes him great reading/listening.
In this video linked by Garr Reynolds of Presentation Zen, Godin neatly sums up in about 4 1/2 minutes a message I think every parent should hear (building on the post here a couple of days ago.) Take a listen:
My kids turn 13 and 11 next month. Homeschooling is not an option for us, for a variety of reasons. (I know, I know…we could make it happen if we REALLY wanted to.) One of my kids is in public school, the other goes to an independent school. While I love their teachers, I don’t love either system. I don’t love the “we’re going to do what you need to do to get yourself to college” path they’re both on (whether it’s articulated that way or not). I don’t love what’s lost in that equation.
What really resonates is when he says that we’re not going to test ourselves out of this problematic moment. “We need to essay ourselves out of it, sketch ourselves out of it, or we need to debate our way out of it” instead. Amen. Amen. Amen.
Thinking about all of this makes me more convinced that unless my kids develop serious passions for doing whatever good work they want to do, sending them off to college as Grade 13 is just a horrible idea, and that I will continue to advocate that their schools become less focused on the one-size fits all education and allow them instead to see their school time as an exploration of what the world can hold for them. To nurture their willingness and ability to seek their own topics, question everything, and participate with others from anywhere in meaningful ways that change the world.
We’ll try to do more of that at home as well, obviously. But I really want my kids to have meaningful choices about their “education” when they get to the point where they can make those decisions. What I wrote here four years ago now still holds…