I was sent this video by one of my ex-students a few weeks ago because it reminded her of a conversation I had had with her Year group about the importance of creativity in their lives and not being scared to think differently from others. What this young man, Logan LePlante, has to say is without doubt Food for Thought for all parents and educators.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Is a question that many Grade 10's are being asked at this exact moment as they prepare to make choices regarding their IB Diploma subjects.
"For Teenager Logan LaPlante, the answer is simple: “I want to continue to be happy.”
He asks the pointed question: “What if we based education on the practice of being happy and healthy? Are schools making this a priority? Much of education is more geared towards making a living than towards making a life.”
So he’s created his own model of a school based on things like community, time in nature, general happiness. He calls his alternative school model “hackschool” because it’s all about being willing to change a system. “Everything is up for being hacked,” said LaPlante. Since he started his new system, he’s hacked through every subject — from physics to math to history — while building things along the way."
Watching this video, putting it together with other inspirational talks and articles about education today, raises the question, what is it we should be teaching our students in preparation for their lives in the 21st century? Our old model of education based around core subjects, school structures, authority, discipline, uniformity and regimentation, that has existed for over 150 years as a means of preparing people for a place in an industrial society is clearly outdated. Very few of the students we are teaching will work on the factory floor, so should we be listening more to what students like Logan are saying and applying it to what we are doing in our classrooms and schools?
Here is the link to Dr Roger Walsh’s website as mentioned by Logan in his talk. I know this will interest quite a few of you. Here are the questions that have driven Dr Roger Marsh’s research and investigation into Wellbeing and Happiness over the past 30 years.
· What does it mean to live wisely and well, and what does it take?
· How can we cultivate qualities such as love and wisdom, kindness and compassion?
· What is meant by terms such as enlightenment and liberation, salvation and satori?
Wouldn’t ISHCMC be an amazing school if all students who graduated from it merged with the answers or at least an understanding of Dr Walsh’s three questions built into the way they plan to live their lives?