This is what needs to replace “schools”.
Think about it. What we need is to develop the talent of each person: those skills, interests and abilities that define each individual person. That’s what we should be offering each child, each student. Imagine a world of people who are motivated about their lives, motivated by what they do all day long… so that it will be the very, unfortunate, few who still think that it’s the thing of dreams, or the fortunate few, who can say in the last years of their life “I never worked a day in my life” (because they PLAYED all day long, doing work that they loved). That’s a world I want a part of.
Think about the perspective-shift that “talent development centers” connotes, as opposed to “school”. The latter is laden with a lack of interest, a place and experience that we longed to escape and which generated little actual learning. The former would be environments where you were free to excel at what you excel at and are passionate about; where you develop the very thing that will be your “gift” or contribution to the world.
There are programs out there today that use the language of “talent development centers”, but they end up being “talented and gifted” programs which require “acceptance” into or craft-type programs that are conventional in style- that is, they are not paradigm or perspective shifting.
Breaking down the idea of “school” is the challenge. Change is difficult enough, changing something that is part of a cultural landscape is much more difficult. Yet, nothing less will suffice.