I'll admit it. I have really crazy ideas sometimes. When it comes to creating authentic learning experiences for kids, I'll try just about anything. Whether it's running a dry cleaning business, creating a catering company, or improving the way FEMA delivers flood relief, nothing is off limits.
However, I'm frequently confronted with resistance to these large, meaningful projects. And the resistance doesn't come from kids. Instead, it comes from adults.
The line goes something like this --
"We have to prepare them for college. If they don't learn how to write essays, how will they survive?"
But, new research from the Gallup Purdue Index Report shows that all those essays aren't exactly working. After studying more than 30,000 college graduates across the U.S., the report found that there were factors related to deep learning that were also predictors of workplace engagement and career success. However, most colleges aren't doing a great job of providing those experiences.
Consider the chart below:
Only 6% of all the college graduates had long projects, internships, and extracurriculars?
Given that those three factors are directly related to workplace engagement and career success, I'd say that "preparing kids for college" may not cut it.
So, let's stop preparing kids for college. Let's prepare kids for life. And, that just might require some crazy ideas.