April 4th 2013

Tony Wagner argues, “…the goal of education today…should not be to make every child “college ready” but “innovation ready.”

By the time I hit second grade each following year was spent “preparing” for the next following year. I never ended a year excited to enter the next, I left feeling terrified that I wasn’t at all prepared for what the next grade was going to do to me. But as the years went by and I slowly made my way past 5th grade to 9th grade to my senior year in high school I looked back wondering what the hell my teachers were talking about. Each year felt disturbingly similar to the last. The same bullshit lessons on American history, another year of algebra, mindless busy work, classes full of disengaged students and unnecessary¬† rules. By the time senior finally ended I did not feel accomplished or excited achieving a high school diploma was not a life goal it was something I was forced into by law, a requirement enforced as a result of the times. I was pissed off. It felt more like 18 years of mental and physical confinement than an education.¬† Now I know that the bitterness I felt through out the earlier years of my education was not merely the mindset of an angsty teenager but a reaction to an actual and serious problem with the education system. We should not be educating our children like we produce our meat.¬† As Tony Wagner said, we reinvented the one-room-school house and created factory schools for the industrial economy. But the world is moving into a new era, one centered on working with the Earth rather than against it and it is about that time our educational system got up to speed.

“Critical thinking, communication, and collaboration are far more important that academic knowledge.”