Front Page ITU Voices 6 Weeks to Clarity WEEK 1: Finding Connection to Your Inner Self Reply To: WEEK 1: Finding Connection to Your Inner Self

  • Florian Huber

    October 13, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Darren, good to be in touch here. Yes, I resonate with that strongly, all the more as a father of one, soon two sons.
    The school systems, I believe, were structured in order to stabilize the status quo. Let farmers’ kids become farmers and factory workers’ kids factory workers. Oh, and also produce soldiers. And mothers.
    But the industry leaders of our time crying for a different education often smacks of the same basic idea, that ‘they’ (the powerful) need to determine the curriculum, in order to ‘produce’ people that are ‘usable’, with skills that might be needed ten years from now (however they would know what those were).
    I agree that young people might lack basic “life skills” these days, often having heard stories by employers complaining about young employees or interns who give up at the first whiff of difficulty, while being unable to work in a useful way.
    And I don’t think it’s a contradiction. I think students need to learn more, but industry leaders are not the ones who should get to decide, what. What we have taken out of the curriculum (or the “unwritten rules” of education), to large degree, are values. Compassion. Independent thinking. How character is built through dedication and the overcoming of hard challenges. A growth mindset. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. People with a growth mindset tend to grow. Independent thinkers tend to think, and for themselves. Compassionate people might stop putting up with social injustice, even if somebody else is the victim. Etc. It feels like the values we need to teach in order to build a society we actually want to live in are the very values we are afraid to teach, for fear that the children thus taught would be “too independent to be controlled”. If you teach somebody the Growth Mindset you actually have to want them to grow. If you talk to them about freedom and responsibility, you must be ready to accept if they take both for themselves. As a society we need to approach education like responsible parents approach the education of their own kids: wanting them to thrive and succeed, to find or forge their own path, to find fulfillment and happiness, whatever they choose to do, but also determined to teach them values and rules that make life in society bearable, even good. But also prepare them for a world that won’t be handing out freebies to them, or tread lightly in order not to damage their unique(-orn) egos. Letting them do whatever they want where it doesn’t bother us too much, while denying them freedom and participation in areas where it’s more convenient for us to keep control, telling them that they are special princes and princesses who can get away with and are entitled to anything, while not teaching them how to work and persist in the face of adversity… no, that’s not gonna do the trick.