Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What I'm Reading

Ready or Not, Here Life Comes by Mel Levine, M.D. America's top learning expert shows how today's society makes it hard for kids to grow into productive adults and what we can do about it.

My favorite part so far, page 10:
"Rearing and educating children involves establishing some long-range priorities. I believe there is a present a vas gulf between what is taught in school and what is essential to learn for a gratifying adult work life. We overemphasize a host of facts and skills that will be of little or no use in the workplace. Often such educational practice has been ingrained in schools for generations without being sufficiently reexamined for its present-day relevance. Multiple-choice tests do not prepare a child for anything important in the adult sphere. Making a child feel terrible because his scrawl is barely decipherable is callous and needless; many adequately successful adults (the author included) are hardly paragons of legibility. How accurately a child can spell, how thoroughly he conquers trigononmetry, how precise he is at the game of memorizing and regurgitating historical facts, and how athletic he may be are irrelevant to almost any career you can name. On the other hand, the ability to think critically, to brainstorm, to monitor and refine your own performance, to communicate convincingly, and to plan and preview work are among the important skills that could make or break startup adults across countless occupations."

I am still reading the book, so I can't tell you what the solution is according to this author, but it is a very interesting look at what we are not doing today to prepare our young people to become successful adults.

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