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.