In what way are schools not preparing children for the future? My answer is that the emphasis on core curriculum and high stakes standardized testing creates a focus on ‘hard skills’, which are skills that can easily be defined and measured, like math, reading, language arts, etc. In exchange then, there is a de-emphasis on what schools call ‘soft skills’, characteristics such as communication, listening, flexibility, time management, leadership, creativity, etc.
Most of us went to traditional schools. They became the tradition because society was oh-so-heavily into educating for uniformity. Now that we are adults, we have noticed that uniformity is not much of a selling point when we want to get interesting jobs, or create a work or art, or create a new idea, or create a new product, or create a new way to market a product.
At Glacier Lake School I felt free first, because I was surrounded by students and staff members who considered each other as complete people that every day come to a place in which they have room and time to feel what is most compelling and overriding to them. They constitute a community built on mutual trust, where everybody can concretely exercise rights and duties in order to spend school years in a very positive, mindful and significant way.
We know from (sometimes) painful experience what we think is the most beneficial for the well being of our children. But we shouldn’t dictate the way they learn. Learning is something that every one of all ages has the capability to do in his or her own unique way. If we dictate the way that children learn they come to understand that we also dictate what they learn.