Einstein didn’t excel as a student. Far from it. Teachers thought he was lazy, and he failed the non-science subjects he was taught. He was fortunate to have a spark for science ignited by an uncle who recognised and responded to young Albert’s curiosity.
I’ve seen variations on that story time and time again during my career. People who’ve succeeded at their careers, become rich and well known for what they do, who just didn’t get what they needed from school.
Teachers do the best they can. They’re working in a system that constrains what they can do to inspire and motivate children. Shackled by government, and received ideas about learning.
Something else that’s true: those same people whose experience of school was generally bad, all of them talk about individual teachers who showed faith in them. Adults who saw something they had at a young age, which went on to become the foundation of their later success.
It’s time to rethink schooling. Imagine if as well as the foundational learning you experience from teachers, you also had input from entrepreneurs, people successful in sports and the arts. People whose experience qualifies them to talk with authority about life choices, about adversity and tenacity, who know at first hand what it’s like to nurture a dream and to build a life around it.
How would your life be different now if your education had included those elements? And what difference can it make to today’s children to have input at school from people with first hand understanding of finance, risk, self belief and the knowledge that the success the world sees is nearly always preceded by failures, and that those failures are a form of education?
The conventional classroom model of education is rooted in the 19Th century. We don’t drive horse-drawn carts any more, why should we expect our children to get where they want in life with a vehicle that isn’t designed for the complexities of the modern world?
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