Today we exhort students to be generous, but we incentivize them to try to beat out everyone else for top ranking. We exhort them to be kind, but we create losers of all stripes that no one is kind to. 50% of all students must be “below average,” except in Lake Woebegone, where, Garrison Keillor assures us, “All the kids are above average.” We tell the rest of the kids in the world it is a level playing field. If they are “below average,” it is because they did not work hard enough. Where is STEM when you need it? A zero sum game is a dumb game!
The solution is not hard! The truth is out there! All the pieces exist, and someone is doing each one beautifully. Now we just have to put them together, and see a new synergistic system whole: we can build ecosystems for lifelong learning and creating. The promised land harkens from that place.you free. It is a cage that stifles GIINIUS while we are young, innocent, and vulnerable. It is time for us all to bust out of this cage.
If you want STEM or STEAM, start with dreams!
Imagine a system in which each human is passionately deploying their strengths, doing real things for themselves and others, collaborating with, and learning from, others with different strengths and different interests, in different fields, and of different ages and places of origin!
It turns out that this is exactly what entrepreneurs do!
My handy acronym for this is
The next-level-system theory for lifelong learning, creating, and collaborating.
It is learning while doing REAL things
Grounded in each individual’s Strengths, Passions, and Interests, cultivating Relationships, celebrating Individuality, in an ecosystem of Trust.
“Strengths’ theory is based on the premise that every person can do one thing better than any other 10,000 people. Along with this insight comes the understanding that not being everything is smart; not working on everything but rather emphasizing selected strengths is the route of excellence… A lot of knowledge about one subject offers the integrating point for all other knowledge… Our studies of human development show that once a person has an area of competency, structuring of knowledge provides a framework for acquiring new knowledge and understanding.”
Donald O. Clifton’s
[Soar With Your Strengths]