Let’s teach what matters

The education system is not keeping up.

Technology is rapidly changing the way that we consume information and interact with, and in, the world. But the education system, for the most part, is not keeping up.

It makes me ponder what we really should be teaching our youth to prepare them for the world that they are – and will be – dealing with.

Information is not the issue. There is, if anything, far too much of that. There is also too much stress, anxiety, busy work, memorization, and a lack of sleep, critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills, and exercise.

I get to work with a lot of high school and college students. What I see is young people who aren’t getting enough sleep, aren’t eating well, don’t know basic movement patterns (like running, squatting, and jumping), and aren’t very adept at critical thinking (which may be partly the lack of sleep).

Let’s start with what we want our kids to have as they move along their path. Here is my initial list:

  • Kindness & compassion
  • Interpersonal communication skills (face-to-face conversation)
    • With a wide variety of people
    • How to collaborate to achieve a goal
  • A growth mindset (dealing with failure)
  • Critical thinking
  • Resilience
  • Mindfulness
  • A love of using their bodies
  • Knowledge of how important exercise, food choice, and sleep are to them

Not only do I think that our kids aren’t getting these vital things, but much of the current education system is antithetical to them. When my kid has four or five hours of homework most nights, after sports that is, sleep goes out the window. The exhaustion leads to diminished kindness, communication and thinking skills. And usually they start eating crap, which makes all of it worse.

We are awash in information and knowledge. And yet wisdom is critically lacking. Our education system needs to quickly change its approach to give kids what they really need to succeed.

 

 

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