“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a frog by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein
When Albert Einstein said these words, he must have been observing our educational system. A system that has not changed since the 19th century. A system that allows students to graduate if they conform like those before them; accomplished in sitting still, and regurgitating facts and formulas.
The fact that one does not excel in academics does not rule out their abilities in other areas. To bring out the best of all students, a good education system is one that allows children freedom in learning. It begins by nurturing things that interest and excite every child because it is beneficial to the society and the individual.
“Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability”. Sir Ken Robinson
This freedom will allow schools to harness every child’s intrinsic motivation to participate in things that add up for him or her. When a student has a motivation to learn, the fundamentals will be mined instead of being imposed on them. After all, if they are true essentials, they cannot be avoided.
Zhao, the author of “World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students” says that freedom in learning is not enough. The underlying setting should be built on flexibility, diversity and agency. Even more important, to learn on the successes of entrepreneurship – discipline and creativity, learners need practice and product. Such environment will allow the students to develop their strengths instead of spending too much time and efforts trying to look like everybody else.
Instead of parenting or educating in a way that looks for ‘good’ behavior vs. ‘bad’ behavior, if we condition ourselves to see behavior and understand its motivation, we can begin to understand the individual. We can begin to see the talent within each student and cultivate those abilities.
Currently most public and private schools do not operate in this way. Richelle Futch, founder of The Student Entrepreneur Project is a clinical social worker with experience counseling troubled youth in the corrections system. She has found that a majority of the students she works with were told at some point in their school career, that they needed to apply themselves more, were a distraction to class, or needed to be referred for ADD/ADHD services. Parents and Teaches write these students off as being a behavioral problem and push them aside. This program is a place where successful students and struggling students work together in a level playing field because it is individualized. The Student Entrepreneur Project is one answer for parents and educators who want to offer their students an opportunity to flourish and find not only their talents, but to pursue learning by focusing on those interests.
Want to participate or volunteer with the Student Entrepreneur Project? Follow the link