The Innovative Educator

I composed this piece for the Huffington Post. If you’d rather read it there, click here. If you are a kid or have a youngster in school today, you know that preparing kids for university is only a way of life in schools. Forget the fact that many people have discovered it is a “Race to Nowhere” that leaves many children riddled with stress, anxiety, headaches, stomach pains, and set for some even suicide attempts. Nevermind the dirty secret that a bachelor’s degree is beyond the reach of several students – Charles Murray, New York Times (2008) or that “The four-year college degree has come to cost too much and prove inadequate.

The problem with college being the goal of school, is that people are assuming a qualification is necessary for everyone regardless of their interests, skills, and passions and we even trouble helping students figure out what their enthusiasm is rarely. If we did, we may perfectly find college isn’t essential to pursue their dreams. You can be a famous chef with your personal food preparation show without college (Rachel Ray). You may become a successful photographer to the rich and famous without university (My friend Amy). You will be your dog whisperer with your personal TV show and books (Caesar Millan).

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You could work as a film film editor without college (talk with Marco Torres). Some of the most successful business entrepreneurs never bothered getting college degrees. Multi-million/billionaires Steve Jobs, Mary Kay Ash, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Coco Chanel, Richard Branson, Debbie Fields, and David Geffen have no college diplomas to frame.

Shakespeare and Orwell are required reading for entering college, guess what yet? They didn’t get university degrees. J.K. Rowling, the successful article writer from the Harry Potter series didn’t work with college either. Florence Nightingale attended school never. Perhaps most interesting is that revered diplomats like Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill likewise have no university degree.

Here in the U.S. ONCE I reveal this with others, I’m often met with the response that I’m taking extreme and unusual situations. The truth is they are not. You will find endless examples of successful people who let passion, not university cause them to success. Sadly, we’re mentioning a era of stressed out, over planned kids, who spend their times in college and nights in activities and doing research with little to no time for themselves.

We’re informing them they’re doing all of this so they can go to a good university that’s worth all of this investment with time now and personal debt later however they don’t even really know why they’re there. Sure we say this will open doorways and opportunities, but when they haven’t experienced to be able to know what door they want to proceed through, it doesn’t really matter if it’s open.

When I speak with students, I find they’re like Amy often, Carlie, Jessica and Maria blindly doing as they’re told so they can get into college, but they have no idea what it is they’re thinking about really. Some will say that’s what university is perfect for, isn’t it? It’s a accepted place to figure out what you’re interested in.