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Learning at its Best

What’s high school for?

I don’t always agree with Seth Godin, but I usually find his thoughts valuable beyond the world of marketing and entrepreneurship he usually writes about. I was so glad he decided to venture into the question of “what value could (or should) high school bring?” in today’s blog post, he suggests we should teach the future generations the following:

  • How to focus intently on a problem until it’s solved.
  • The benefit of postponing short-term satisfaction in exchange for long-term success.
  • How to read critically.
  • The power of being able to lead groups of peers without receiving clear delegated authority.
  • An understanding of the extraordinary power of the scientific method, in just about any situation or endeavor.
  • How to persuasively present ideas in multiple forms, especially in writing and before a group.
  • Project management. Self-management and the management of ideas, projects and people.
  • Personal finance. Understanding the truth about money and debt and leverage.
  • An insatiable desire (and the ability) to learn more. Forever.
  • Most of all, the self-reliance that comes from understanding that relentless hard work can be applied to solve problems worth solving.

What a great list! My question to the Coop members and our readers is: How many high schools are good at teaching more than 2 of the things he lists? I would venture to guess a single-digit % 😦

About kima

Organizer: Father. Agent of change. I learn for a living. Curiosity is my passion. Writing is my dream. I believe in the value of social media as a way to meet new people and love double espresso as a way to feel warm with old friends ;-)


3 thoughts on “What’s high school for?

  1. I wrote about this on my own blog as well, but it is worth adding here.

    I agree with Seth’s list, and would add the following:

    *Develop an appreciation for nature.
    *Learn what a healthy and balanced life style looks like.
    *Learn about different perspectives, points of view, and the power of words to convey meaning of those perspectives.

    Posted by dwees | May 6, 2011, 3:29 pm
  2. Kima, Agreed on the single digit. In my work group we often say, “For what reason does the American comprehensive high school exist?” Are any of these reasons defensible?

    Having been in over a dozen of them in the last couple of weeks–institutions literally and figuratively dedicated to making kids stupid–school as a disabling institution–in school you are not allowed (almost) to be engaged in interesting learning–I wonder why we don’t just shut them down and start over. We need redesign committees, and teachers and faculties who are willing to step up to the work of making Godin’s goals real. (I also agree with David’s as well–nice adds.)

    What would it take to get from what we have now as a “normalized” high school environment for learning, and what we know is possible?

    Who or what stands in the way?

    Posted by Kirsten | May 9, 2011, 4:45 pm

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