Put all that aside for a minute though and dare to dream for more. What if we decided that street smarts were as critical as book smarts in the primary school curriculum? What if we ignored the fact multiple choice tests couldn't be utlized to determine students' street smarts competency and it would be nearly impossible to decide what an acceptable level of competency is? What if we just decided that we wanted our children to learn how to be more successful later in life and that such learning needed to start when their habits were still forming?
So, good. It's decided. We want our children to grow up and be more successful. What does that entail exactly? Here is a tentative list of things they need to learn:
1. Manage your time. Do your work then you can play.
2. Treat studying like a job. Act responsibly.
3. Build a professional network of peers and mentors. What can you offer? Who will risk their reputation to recommend you?
4. Develop more skills. It's a competitive world.
5. Diversify. Try to balance your activities and interests.
6. Look for opportunities to create something new.
7. Don't waste your summer and winter breaks.
8. Follow your own path. Not everyone knows what they want to do at age 16.
9. Know how and where to get help. Ask teachers, friends, students in the grades ahead of you, and the internet when you don't know something. Don't be satisfied with ignorance.
10. Become more global. Meet international students. Read more international news.
So when would these things be taught and in what manner, you ask... Well, I haven't figured out the details yet, but as the father of a daughter currrently in third grade, I see the need for these things. Likewise, I saw these things lacking in many of the university student I taught, and it was very difficult for them to break bad habits that were already deeply embedded by that age.
So let's brainstorm together, shall we? What am I missing? Are we already doing this? If not, is it doable? Should it be done? If so, how?