I’ve seen the following presentation a number of times and each time I come away with something a little different. I love the music but I love the thoughts highlighted by the music. I work in a small school system that is populated with students, teachers, administrators and parents. In many ways our school is a place where children go for formation. School is more about formation than about education at times. We’re a big country school house. The district centralized nearly sixty years ago, but in many ways the purpose of the school is to form the young people who attend there into citizens of our village, our state and our nation. Children learn to read, write and calculate with numbers. They learn the pledge of allegiance to the United States. They learn to be quiet. They learn how to behave in large groups. They learn how to follow and sometimes they learn how to lead, but leadership is not something that’s really taught in most schools including ours. In the middle and high school years these students learn how to sit in a seat and learn arbitrary and abstract facts that are rarely presented in context. At the end of the school year they have a chance to recite those arbitrary facts on tests that are written and administered by local teachers. In some cases students take state and national tests but in most cases these tests measure their recall of information that has little to do with actual work they’ll perform once they leave the confines of our school. Most of our schools were designed for industrial age children who found work in nearby factories. Those businesses don’t exist anymore. The skillsets have changed but the process and the product hasn’t. Today’s high school graduate, unless they’ve attended a trade school is woefully unprepared for the world they will soon find themselves in. Today’s “college entrance” students have very few marketable skills. Unless you consider attendance at a college a market. They will be competing for employment in a global marketplace without the skills necessary to be successful. They’ll be lost because for thirteen years they’ve been taught what to think and not how to think.
Watch this video and think about what changes need to happen.