The above New York Times articles speaks to one of the many drivers behind the Living Proof Project.
This site intends to become an educational resource to challenge the norms of education. Knowledge is merely potential power. It’s the first step. So then what does it take to be able to put that knowledge into action? What are the conditions needed for someone to be able to take their knowledge and have the courage to invent their own career path?
In this article, Thomas Friedman interviews Education specialist/author, Tony Wagner. His main message, we need to focus on teaching skills and instilling intrinsic motivation to learn. Here’s an excerpt:
“Every young person will continue to need basic knowledge, of course,” he said. “But they will need skills and motivation even more. Of these three education goals, motivation is the most critical. Young people who are intrinsically motivated — curious, persistent, and willing to take risks — will learn new knowledge and skills continuously. They will be able to find new opportunities or create their own — a disposition that will be increasingly important as many traditional careers disappear.”
So what should be the focus of education reform today?
“We teach and test things most students have no interest in and will never need, and facts that they can Google and will forget as soon as the test is over,” said Wagner. “Because of this, the longer kids are in school, the less motivated they become. Gallup’s recent survey showed student engagement going from 80 percent in fifth grade to 40 percent in high school. More than a century ago, we ‘reinvented’ the one-room schoolhouse and created factory schools for the industrial economy. Reimagining schools for the 21st-century must be our highest priority. We need to focus more on teaching the skill and will to learn and to make a difference and bring the three most powerful ingredients of intrinsic motivation into the classroom: play, passion and purpose.”
It is my hope to introduce you to stories of people who have invented their paths.