I am an American living in France. I have one daughter who completed the incredibly rigorous French education system and is now attending one of America’s most prestigious Ivy League universities. My younger daughter currently attends an international-French school; she endures a 9 hour school plus two hours of homework every day 10 months out of the year.
Apparently, I am not alone. I talk to many parents in the States and across the world with school age children who tell similar tales.
We submit our children to grueling school schedules, ridiculous pressure to get them into ‘good’ schools. Once they are in university, the undue strain just continues. The cost to the children and society are tragic. Cornell University, for example, recently suffered the shocking heartbreak of several undergraduate suicides; these were young, isolated people simply unable to deal with the stress.
So is all this sacrifice and pressure on our children really worth it?
Are we serving our children well?
Is this education we are so obsessed about really preparing our kids for the future?
I am not convinced.
I am not at all persuaded that we are preparing our children for the world in store for them.
They study at institutions that are probably modeled more closely after 19th century ideals than those of the 21st. The careers they prepare for are dusty and obsolete, baring little resemblance to the new professions a fast-moving, global New Net requires.
Success in the future will not depend on old formulas. It will require a large dose of imagination and creativity, an ability to think out of the box, a capability to move swiftly and react deftly to change, a talent to communicate with many different types of people and cultures and a knack for cobbling together different ideas from various disciplines.
I ran across this film that I thought you might be interested in viewing.
My daughters love it. What do you think?