As a kid, I grew up in an area on Long Island where the bodega across the street was off-limits, too dangerous for travel.
My 6-year old rebellious mind didn’t crave midnight motorcycle rides while swigging a bottle of jagermeister. Standing across the street with my twin brother, I could smell freshly baked rainbow square cookies and all I wanted to do was sit in an alleyway and munch on them until dusk. Not much has changed….that would still be a good day.
The junior high school had a metal detector and there were weekly stories of 13-year olds being shoved head first into a toilet while their clothes were stripped away. Becoming a naked, urine-drenched boy trolling the halls is not the fast path to a college education.
For this reason, my mother (who raised us alone) created a fake address so that we could enter a different public school system where everyone was young, white, and well-behaved. Her aim was simple- find a place that could nurture our talents…
Try to find a principal or teacher that does not truly value creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking. At George Mason University, where I teach, the motto is “where innovation is tradition!” But I don’t care about inspirational posters, banners, and trite slogans, I’m interested in what happens behind closed doors.
f we want kids to experience a sense of wonder and discover new information on their own (curiosity), if we want them to generate novel, adaptive ideas (creativity), and if we want them to derive their own perspectives and conclusions after a discussion (critical thinking), then the current educational system is a failure. Here are three related thoughts to change this trend. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, just a sparkplug.