The Future of Learning
One of the primary reasons we launched Shafer…Power! was to ensure our children were learning through fun, creativity and adventure. (I don’t know about you, but Tiger Mom freaks me out.) In fact, I’d like to share a few thoughts on the topic of learning and education and would be interested to hear your feedback.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert on education, however, my mother says I have a strong sense of intuition and she is never wrong. (insert smile here)
Let me start by saying I do not believe our educational system is broken. It’s merely under duress. In my opinion, learning should begin at the home…and therein lies the problem. We’re a busier, more distracted nation which forces us to rely more and more on others to educate our children. And when our kids are being taught, it’s all about the test score. For more insight, check out Race to Nowhere.
Another Disclaimer: I have no involvement with this film, although I really did enjoy it. Also, I had no idea high school kids consumed so much Starbucks.
I’m also very curios about this higher education bubble and whether or not it is real. If it is true – and students are receiving less value from their higher priced degree – then something’s got to give. For example, If the average student loan debt at graduation is around $25,000, what does that mean for future students whose tuition costs are increasing at 6-8% (sometimes 10%) per year? And what sort of jobs are available to them? I can tell you this, I’ve never seen such a large response from college graduates when we posted a babysitting job a year or so ago. Just how long would it take to pay off $25K of student loan debt, not to mention credit cards, on a babysitter’s salary?
So I took these concerns to my family and friends…and pretty much anyone else who would listen…to get their thoughts on the future of learning.
After lots of dialogue with said family, friends and strangers (the group included a teacher, homeschooling parents, an unemployed engineer, a grad student and several successful entrepreneurs) it is apparent the winds of change are blowing. I don’t have a crystal ball, nor can I predict the future, but the status quo is about to get turned on its head. Oh, education in its current format will never go away…but for those who want their children to be engaged in learning and not just preparing for the test…I think we’re on the brink of something entirely new. And I sure as hell hope it’s fueled by fun, creativity and adventure!
Are we on the right track with the way our kids learn today? Are they enjoying the learning process or has it become a job for them?
Previously: The Bottom Line: May, 2012