Let’s talk about math and science and kids. Why should your kid do advanced mathematics? Why is it important for your child to understand probability at age 10 and calculus at age 13? Ivy League schools, advanced degrees, good jobs, high salaries, etc?
The problem is that we teach our kids our way of thinking and if we are not self-aware of our limited thinking, we end up doing a great disservice to the children. There are advanced math centers everywhere around my house. One day I walked into one and asked them why should my son do advanced mathematics? The director of that school said - to stay competitive and go to good schools.
Here is the thing about math and science. The reason I want my child to understand math and science is because they are best way describe our Universe. That’s it. No Ivy leagues. I want my child to love the Universe and ponder about its workings. Then, the tools come and they will stick with him because he has found the need for them.
Education is changing. We live in a world of makers. We live in a world of creators and connectors and inventors. Information is open and knowledge is everywhere. Nobody can stop a passionate learner. Nobody can hide tools from a passionate tinkerer. The world is not what it was ten years back. Then, why are our teaching methods still the same?
We don’t teach kids to dream these days. Schools are designed to make them conformists and good citizens of the society, which has some value. However, that is not enough. The most powerful thing children have that most adults do not is their unbounded dreams. And, a deep belief that their dreams are possible. Slowly with every interaction, we dowse those dreams and replace it with limited thinking that we call pragmatism.
Every child needs to dream. I wish there is a dreaming hour in every school where the only thing the child does is to day dream. And, then they share their day dreams with others around them. And, then they break into groups and talk about similar dreams and what it means. We need it. Badly.
Maybe schools won’t do it. Because it is eerily unstructured for them. Be we can do it at our homes. Right?