Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Christian Long is another lifestylist. In his ongoing thinking about the future of learning and the design of schools, he's also digging into big questions about what constitutes a meaningful life and how learning prepares us to do good work. His writing has been so intense and prolific lately that's it's hard to keep up. From Will That "What I'm Gonna Be After Graduation" Job Even Exist When You Graduate?:
"All well and good to ramp up on math classes and get the kids to 'pass the test.' But, and maybe I'm 'off' a bit on this, if we don't spend a fair amount of time helping the same kids/students with some visioning exercises as to what they might 'do' with their lives once they graduate, it will seem to be a lot of skills without an arrow attached. Or even a rubber band to at least help them adapt and rebound as the future changes much of the game of work."
He's not off at all. I consider this a major failing of the school system right now. Envisioning, finding and creating a meaningful life path is a skill (or set of skills) that does not get taught in schools, and most parents are clueless about it except to scare their kids into college as if that was the automatic guarantee for great jobs and passionate work. So if schools and parents aren't going to do it, who is? From Vocation Vacations for Test-Driving a New Career:
"Okay, if I didn't already have my dream job, I'd be giving serious thought to this opportunity created by a corporate dropout named Brian Kurth who figured out that there may be a way to help a few other good souls wrestling with a career change try on their fantasy career for size."
And one more that digs into some of the skills kids will need:
Forget College. But Can You Interview? --
"Because at the end of the day, the future belongs to those who can tell a great story, demonstrate passionate interest combined with the ability to problem solve and 'figure it out' on the fly, and who have the audacious ability to care enough to 'go after it.' Teachers and parents: what have you done lately to help your 'little one' be in this position?"

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