Keys to Education

Earlier tonight at a reception by the Skoll Foundation on the occasion of the CGI conference, I had an interesting conversation with Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America.  One of her insights is that the key to improving our education system is not in undermining teachers, who are far stronger than the stereotypical condemnations would lead one to believe. The key is to empower students with the vision that they are worthy and deserving of a higher education and a brighter future – to increase their self-worth through visualization about the possibilities before them.

What I found interesting is that, like OneVoice’s 2018 insight about visualization of a two-state solution as key to get there, here in education an ability to visualize a better future is again central to getting there.

Like Thoreau wrote, "If you have built clouds on the sky your work need not be lost.  That is where they should be. Now build the foundations under them." (I paraphrase from memory so don’t quote me)

I have always thought that the keys to improving our education and giving young people an "edge" is to teach kids about IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY, about how to be INTROSPECTIVE AND SELF-CRITICAL, about how to do CRITICAL THINKING and evaluation of issues before them – questioning all assumptions, and to be RESILIENT/PERSISTENT, and GOAL-ORIENTED.  Wendy agreed all of these are very important aspects of growth in education.

But a prerequisite seems to be the ATTITUDE.  And that attitude can emanate from a positive view of ourselves and our future.

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