What do we want from/for our children?

I had a valuable conversation today with an academic who pointed out that in the academy, professors and instructors are finding that most students lack initiative and wait to be told what to do, what to study, and how to work. Conversely, in the schools, kids who demonstrate a free spirit and inner-driven orientation are frequently coming into conflict with the expectations of their teachers.

There does seem to be a paradox afoot where kids are taught to follow instructions and then when they enter the world of the “private sector,” encounter employers frustrated with their lack of initiative.

Far be it from me to simplify a highly complex issue, but I can say from my own personal experience that I have seldom been rewarded for my independence of mind in nearly any school or employment situation. I sympathize with students and youth because it seems that no one has any idea what they want from young people. I have my own thoughts about this which are based on my belief that our society lacks an essential faith in the capacity of the individual to not only make her own decisions but also that we do not have faith in our capacity to come together to problem solve with one another. The frustration over the state of education strikes me as being a principal focal point of this essential lack of faith.

Advertisements

One thought on “What do we want from/for our children?

  1. This post has kept me thinking. I imagine two education systems: one system constructed in a society with high trust, and the other in a ‘low trust’ society. I really don’t know how we’d measure trust, so its a limited thought experiment to be sure. But I can’t help but wonder how the two systems might be genetically different from one another.
    I suppose part of the problem is the 20th century in general: history is important, but it also tells us stories of why we might want to be skeptical of humanity’s ability to just work things out peaceably.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s