Contribution Ready trumps College and Career Readiness
Politicians, educators, and corporate executives constantly chatter and argue about having our next generation of young people college or career ready. Why not talk and act on how to make our children Contribution Ready?
Billions of dollars from federal, state, and private foundations are granted to academic institutions, community programs, and schools to duplicate and extend their antiquated practices to get the same negative results all in the spirit of national progress. Meanwhile, our nation’s school age youth continue to become disenfranchised in a public school system which uses dumbed-down academics and state assessments as two vehicles to compare them on a national level of Commonness.
Sadly, all this money to measure and ensure sameness results in depression rates for adolescents increasing as they age, while the percentage of high school students who seriously contemplated suicide was reported to be 15.8 percent in 2011.(CDC, 2011)
Our young people today (ages 12-20) are engaged in social media and commerce, they create apps that help society streamline communication, they market new games with global partners, and they create apps that help chemists utilize stored equations and graphing capabilities to work at a higher level, and companies streamline the power of popular apps such as Facebook and Twitter.
Other young people who are inundated with social issues with every glance at a tweet, text, or Facebook (FB) post are creating apps to help deal with social emotional issues such as “Safe & Sound” an app to help teens deal with stress and anxiety. A 12 yr old from India created an app – “School Bus Locator,” that can locate a child’s school bus in the case of a late arrival and can be used by both smartphones and ordinary phones, and still other young people who have seen a gap in social, personal, or cultural environments decided to fill a void and are on their way to becoming millionaires and billionaires.
The key to engaging and not enraging our Generation i is to certainly help them learn their basic skills and guide them in levels of discovery as they grow. However, the setting and purpose has to change – no longer can children be mass grouped by chronological age where they sit in a room and recite the alphabet, weather conditions, and a 3 line poem in unison – many of these children have been pressing key pads and following stories on touch pads and laptops since they were 6 months old. The key to bringing the gifts of our children to life is respecting the zeitgeist of which they were born into, acknowledging that some children have tools that other’s don’t have and finding ways for all children to have access to the technology tools of their century.
Contribution ready dictates that old ways crumble, education be embraced for the literal meaning of its root “to draw out” from the child and creating a positive world classroom where our children share their strengths, unleash their potential, and flourish.
Money thrown at any educational program will not create change until change occurs in the mindsets of the decision makers, who for some reason, continue to hold our children back. There are approximately 74 million children in our country who were not here 20 years ago and who have to suffer with a college and career curriculum that has been mildly adapted since the 1800’s. This generation is living in a time where opportunities and app-ortunities are readily met with ingenuity and compassion to create a better world – it is time to create learning spaces that are Contribution Ready and aligned with the spirit of our children.
Stay tuned the “How” and “What if” of Contribution Ready posts are on their way.
I Invite you to share your views on contribution readiness.