Have you ever wondered how people find their passion in life? I mean really, how hard can it be? People who have found their passion know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t found yours yet, let me tell you a few things.
For one, I believe your passion is already built in to you from birth. Its not something you need to “find”. More likely, it finds you. What do I mean?
People who have found their passion often describe it by saying that they, “just stumbled into it”, or they got lucky. What really happens is that they live life to the point where something “resonates” with them. In other words, it’s like they are the round peg that finally found the round hole to fit into.
With that being said, I think the most effective education system would expose kids to enough things so that they can find the thing that resonates with them early on. How could we do this?
Teach the intro classes to everything. Go beyond 12 years of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Yes, schools do teach history, art, music, physical education, and various other courses, but they can do so much more. Here is a short list of a few things I would have in mind.
- Graphic Design
- Computer Science/IT
- Animal Raising
- Customer Service
- Health Care
By the time a person graduates high school they have not created much of anything. If they are lucky, they have created some artwork, a few writing samples, or a computer program. I fear that the number of people who belong to that group is actually pretty close to or less than 1%.
Now just imagine how cool it would be if you had a teacher who exposed you to the wide world of business and told you about some of the sub-fields in it. And the thing that resonated with you the most was advertising. And that teacher helped you learn how to create an advertising campaign for a school fundraiser or perhaps a local business. How cool would that be?!
That student would graduate knowing they are capable of doing something they are passionate about. One more child spared a totally directionless entry into adulthood. It really is a shame we don’t do more to help our children discover their passions. And then help them pursue it.
I think communities can do a lot more to work with their schools to help their students figure out what work they might like to do. And schools can certainly reach out to their communities a bit more. Yes, many schools are already doing some of these things in small ways, but it needs to get much bigger.
Middle schools should have kids reading and writing at the same level as the average freshman entering college does today (which is still fairly poor). That way, high schools can concentrate less on reading and writing and more on exposing kids to the various fields of work that exist. Reading and writing should be practiced, not taught in high school!
The same goes with math and history and many of the sciences. The general stuff should be done by middle school so the applied stuff can be learned in high school. Granted, some engineers and other science types need the advanced courses in science and math. It should be offered to them. High school is supposed to be a time to get excited about using math and science to create really cool things. However, many high schools have the opposite effect of turning kids away from hard science and math related careers because they make some of those classes into requirements that aren’t applied to an end purpose.
With that said, I think the best way to help kids find their passion is to instill a love of learning in them. When they are excited to learn many new subjects school suddenly becomes interesting. We can and must broaden our scope of subjects that are taught. Once that happens kids will be excited to explore all the options, and hopefully more kids will find their passion earlier in life rather than later or not at all…
This week is dedicated to talking about education. The goal is to get people thinking about education and to create a discussion about how we can improve it. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section and also subcribe using the link below so you won’t miss a thing.