Really. That is so old. Maybe a long time ago that was good enough. Maybe when schools were just a new idea and the desire to have an educated democracy was the impetus, maybe then it was enough to have literacy as a goal (I know, we struggle with even that too often today). In the days when just making “reading for yourself” the goal, so you didn’t have to rely on an authority, maybe that was enough to ask of a school. Maybe people learned the other stuff elsewhere.
The other stuff is now the most important stuff. Literacy is the given, it’s assumed. If all we give students is the ability to read, write and do ‘rithmetic, then we’ve failed terribly. They’ll fail terribly. It’s happening now. This is not a debate.
The other stuff is what never shows up on a standardized test, doesn’t get covered in a textbook and isn’t in the mind of most teachers. No wonder we’re not teaching it – it’s not on any map or radar. But it is the crux of successful living, how did that happen? How did the best stuff get left behind?
I’m talking about the intangibles. That’s right – the stuff you can see. Well, you can see it if you know how to look, how to recognize it. Self-determination. Intrinsic motivation. Self-discipline. Creativity. If you can deliver these the rest will take care of itself. But traditional schools aren’t in the game. These are not in their playbook.
This is a conversation changer. Let’s talk about this. Let’s get the placards out in front of the district office and demand THIS change – it’s what determines success.