“I want to do a series of non-routine tasks, that require social intelligence, complex critical thinking, and creative problem-solving.”
well, well, well…how about we continue the conversation about ‘career and college ready?’ My mental pebble in my Sunday slippers is this concept of training students for ‘jobs that don’t exist yet.’ The jobs exist now. Right now. The problem is companies don’t want to pay for employees to ‘do a series of non-routine tasks.’ They don’t want to pay anyone at all. Wages have been stagnant for decades, and though the job market has grown and unemployment is low, skilled trade workers are hard to find.
My older son is sitting on a double major in Russian and German, with a minor in Math, and is thinking about becoming a teacher. My younger son is attending a community college and working weekends as a custodian for a local school district. I have no idea what the future holds for them because I have no idea what my and my husband’s future holds. It’s been…stressful. The social safety nets are ripped, and the Herculean task of moving toward healthcare uncoupling from jobs seems impossible, no matter what progressive politicians promise. Lobbies and corporate interests are monied monsters. In other words, I don’t know what my sons are going ‘to do’ with their degrees.
So how do I “sell” education’s value to a group of 13 and 14 year olds who are well aware climate change is real and dangerous conspiracy theories become factual lies? When we have a curriculum that teaches the test questions, and not a lot of ‘creative problem solving?’ I am thinking the answer is right in front of my nose: ask them. Just–ask them. Here is what we ‘have” to learn, now let’s seek out why, and how it helps us–and add what we ‘want’ to learn. John Oliver’s quote is going to be my mission statement for teaching and creativity.
I’ll share my 99 Problems document, and keep asking ‘What if?’ as if our lives and futures depend on it. (Because it does.)