By Donna Vail
It took me about a decade of school teaching to realize that schooling and education are concepts at war with each other. ~ John Taylor Gatto
With the current and ever changing climate of the business world, as parents, we need to ask ourselves if we are giving our children an education that will support them in the future they face.
The current system of mass education is antiquated and was created during the industrial revolution specifically designed to train employees and workers for factories. Ask yourself these questions: Is this type of training what I want for my child? Can this sort of “schooling” or mass education sustain the new global economy? Where are the leaders and statesmen emerging?
One of Harvard schools issued advice on planning a career in the new global economy. Here are the ten qualities offered as essential to adapting to the fast changing world of work:
- The ability to define problems without a guide.
- The ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions.
- The ability to work in teams without guidance.
- The ability to work absolutely alone.
- The ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.
- The ability to discuss issues and techniques in public with an eye to reaching decisions about policy.
- The ability to conceptualize and reorganize information into new patterns.
- The ability to pull what you need quickly from masses of irrelevant data.
- The ability to think inductively, deductively, and dialectically (dialectic, debate to resolve a conflict between two contradictory or seemingly contradictory ideas, with truth on both sides; grappling with essential tensions.)
- The ability to attack problems heuristically (heuristically, trial and error solutions, discovery learning, rather than using set rules.)
As you can see this list is very well rounded and if used will produce a person who can adapt quickly to change and do what it takes to be successful and really make a difference in the world. Unfortunately schools do not teach any of these things nor is it found in any processes, procedures or policies.
The mass education system of today, more commonly referred to as public education does not facilitate a student working alone without guidance nor does it encourage children to challenge prevailing assumptions. It does not promote free thinking and produces children who fall in line and follow the rules.
If the preceding statements are true and with merit, it begs me to ask the questions: How can a business owner or entrepreneur be preparing children for life while enrolling them in public or private school?
Why would one be living a freedom lifestyle while putting their children through a system designed to produce “workers”? Are we teaching our children a double standard? Are we confusing them and adding to the problems they will face in years to come?”
Do you struggle daily to meet the demands of work and family? Do you remember what it was like starting your business, your first steps toward becoming an entrepreneur or maybe you recall your challenges as you have climbed the corporate ladder to a leadership position.
What were the blocks that held you back? What blocks do you face to this day? Read on you will see discover just how much you had to reprogram, overcome and break through to get where you are now all of which were supplanted in your conscious mind as result of mass education.
I use the word entrepreneur or leader to represent anyone who takes risk to own and operate a business and represent those who may have corporate positions that require them to have an entrepreneurial mindset to advance the company.
1. At school your child is taught to focus on problems. Fix the problem, answer the problem, focus on the problem.
As an entrepreneur you focus on the solutions. You think outside of the box and work out issues (that you don’t even call problems) by trial and error and discovery learning. You’re not dependent on limiting rules, the economy, the weather or even a “good education.”
2. At school your child must follow orders, not question others especially teachers even when they know something is seriously wrong and goes against the child’s values.
As an entrepreneur you ask different questions and possess critical thinking skills. Business owners and leaders must always think outside of the box, take risks and usually do what’s different than all the rest. You are able to conceptualize and reorganize when necessary.
3. At school you cannot collaborate with your neighbors otherwise it’s considered cheating. Because you’re taught you must do all the work yourself and by yourself; you subconsciously think it’s cheating when you ask for help, even if it’s not even for a test.
As an entrepreneur you must collaborate with others and mastermind ideas that will fuel success. Entrepreneurs help each other to be successful and will even do some of the work with you to help you become successful. Entrepreneurs thrive in a mastermind climate because it produces the greatest success.
4. At school you must complete your work and have no idea if your answers are correct until or whether or not you’ll receive a good grade until the teacher deems it so.
Even if you do a good job and make progress the teacher can still give your work a bad grade. It’s their prerogative to do so. You’re also subject to the teacher’s methodology, so what you have learned elsewhere can be considered wrong in another class according to the teacher.
As an entrepreneur you when you do your absolute best and with the help of fellow business persons you have great success. Everything you approach is done by trial and error and discovery learning. You’re always perfect and constantly improving.
5. In school you must follow the schedule for the masses and build your life around that. You’re not allowed to work ahead or move at your own pace but rather stay with herd, moving with everyone in the class. Daily, hourly, moment by moment it is a mad dash to hurry up and wait.
As an entrepreneur you create your own schedule, work when it’s best for your productivity, mastermind with others and you get things done to make your business profitable. You move at your own pace and if you want to move faster you work with a mentor who helps you catapult forward.
Daily, hourly, moment by moment it is conscious living, moving on tasks precisely for desired outcome. Because you’re successful you can play in a really big way where you want when you want. Oops, I’m sorry, because your child is in school you will have to schedule your play time and travel around their school schedule.
As you live and work you’re teaching yourself what you need to know in order to advance. If you’re successful and making marked achievements and a real difference in the world, in the lives of others then you understand the need for self-education. There is no age limit to this self-education. Children naturally educate themselves unless they are forced to do otherwise.
When parents are living one set of values and the children are learning another (which they’re living for the most part of the day, every day in school) it is creating conflict, stress and disharmony between the parents and children.
Sadly, children attending public or private schools carry this conditioned thinking well into adulthood. For many they will never break free of the patterns so deeply engrained from their days in school. I cannot over emphasize the importance of aligning the values of everyday living practices between parents and children.
If you’re successful in business, an entrepreneur or corporate leader, then doesn’t it make sense to remove those same hurdles you struggled with from your children’s path? Employing those success principles now while they are young, will produce the greatest harmony and support for all family members now and through their entire life.
Now, before you start thinking, “Well, Donna, I can’t be schooling my children while I’m working. My children won’t sit still long enough at home to educate themselves.” That’s not what I am suggesting at all.
I’m not signing you up for a full time teaching job preventing you from running a successful business or career. However, I do recommend you have in place an education system that models leadership and excellence, allowing you to continue your work while your children return to their natural form of learning, self-education.
Harmony can be restored much faster than you think. Imagine living the life you desire. It’s closer than you think.
Your Inspired Action Assignment:
- Begin thinking about your values. Choose the top five you can use as a gauge and measure when faced with a decision.
- What are your family values? Don’t choose them alone, gather together and talk about it. Write it down.
- How do you really, really want to live? What would your ideal day look like? Start dreaming and write it down, journal your ideas and anything that comes up.
By following these beginning steps outlined above you’ll be on the path to creating education excellence, harmony and true freedom inside and out. The time is now and the kids are ready to share this life with you. Don’t let their wonder years pass you by. Spend it with them! An extraordinary life awaits you.
Think like a person of action and act like a person of thought. ~ Howard Behar, former President, Starbucks International
© Copyright 2010 Donna Vail International. All rights reserved.
Inspired Education Mentor, Donna Vail, publishes the all inspiring ‘Living an Inspired Education‘ e-newsletter. Every issue reveals tips, tools, and secrets to simply and confidently home school with inspiration! Start living a lifestyle of true freedom and inspire the best in your child. Get your free weekly education and success mindset tips now. For more articles, visit Donna Vail, Living an Inspired Education Blog.
Financial Education Tools For Kids:
- The 9-Week HomeSchool Entrepreneur Course – The first course of it’s kind to teach your teen not only how to start a business, but how to recognize opportunities in the marketplace AND develop an entrepreneurial mind. Teach your teen the basics of entrepreneurship so they can start a business, and earn high school credit.
- Homeschooling ABCs – Are you brand new to homeschooling? Or perhaps just frustrated and need direction and encouragement? Join a beginning homeschooling class for parents that continues for the duration of 6 months in an effort to encourage and equip you as your kids start the educational adventure of a lifetime.
- Higher Order & Creative Thinking Skills (3 to 7 Year Olds) – Do you want your child to become a creator of new ideas, analyzer of information and generator of knowledge? Children who engage in higher levels of thinking are more likely to want to learn, enjoy learning and gain satisfaction from their own independent thinking.
John Taylor Gatto: Schooling is not Education – Part 1
John Taylor Gatto: Schooling is not Education – Part 2
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