For my blog post, I wanted to share a recent article I wrote for Educational Horizons Magazine. Here’s an excerpt from “Creating a Generation of Solutionaries”:
“In June, approximately three million students will graduate from public U.S. high schools, and even though they will have all passed their No Child Left Behind tests year after year, most will not be ready for what awaits them. While they may be verbally, mathematically, and technologically literate and successful at meeting the requirements of our educational system, even our highest-performing graduates will be unprepared for the important roles they must play in today’s world.
This generation of graduates will be confronted with escalating, interrelated, global problems, such as climate change, growing extinction rates, economic instability, a looming energy crisis, human trafficking, slavery, poverty, institutionalized systems of cruelty toward one trillion animals annually, and the oppression and abuse of women and girls across the globe, to name just some. Yet few will have learned in school how to approach and solve such systemic problems, and even though there are plenty of people already working on these and other issues, the systems in place that perpetuate them are entrenched. We need to create better, sustainable, and restorative systems in a host of arenas from food production and energy to transportation and financial markets.
… Whether or not we would have wished this on them, our children must grow up understanding how to solve pressing challenges. Yet, they are still memorizing names and dates of battles. They’re told to “do their best” at school, but what would be best is if we engaged their loving hearts and brilliant minds so that they yearned to play their important roles in the great tasks ahead. Core competencies in core subjects are simply tools. We must make sure that we’re providing our children with the knowledge, skills, and commitment to participate in the creation of a peaceful, sustainable, and humane world for all. And if we embrace such a vision for the purpose of schooling, we will watch our graduates quickly and inexorably solve the pressing, persistent, and systemic problems we face.”
For a humane world,