The Issue with Education
There is a big disconnect between what adults want children to care about and what children actually care about. The issue is that, more often than not, adults have unrealistic expectations of what children can understand and do. The parent wants the child to be concerned about their future occupation. Hence, the emphasis is placed on memorizing technical information and developing good leadership and life skills. The only reason the parent feels this way is due to their years of experience and understanding of life. People can only care about things they see. A parent can see far into the future. However, a child, due to their lack of experience and understanding, can only see what is happening that day or, for more advanced children, maybe 1 or 2 months ahead. This vision is limited to entertainment (mainly video games), their school work for that day, sports, socializing, and dealing with their family. They have no vision of what will happen that year, much less 20 years into their future. Having taught thousands of high school and college students, we have found this to be true.
The issue is that, when you try to force someone to do something when they can’t see its value, they don’t learn effectively. On the one hand, many learn to dislike whatever it is they are being forced to do. On the other hand, some kids obsesses over meeting their parents’ and teachers’ expectations and become overwhelmed with too much technical information. In these cases, they get confused, stressed, and worried about everything because they have so little experience and understanding of life. When we were teaching at Arizona State University (ASU), the biggest issue we found with honors students is that they can’t sleep at night. They can’t shut their minds off because of all the stress they have in their lives.
To exacerbate the issue, in addition to teaching children things they don’t care about or understand the value of, the education system does it in a way that requires students to sit still and listen for many hours. This requires lots of self-control, the ability to memorize mountains of information, perfect time-management and organization skills, an above average IQ, and a stable home environment that supports the child.
It is no wonder that we see so many students not only struggling at school, but also in life. Society continues to struggle with college graduation rates, unemployment, economic disparity, physical health, and mental wellness. The current education system is not developing students that have the skills to address these issues in own life in order to be successful.
This is no secret, though. People have been calling for a change in the education system for a long time. The problem that education, social services, and businesses have encountered is that they can’t find a solution that meets the financial and resources limitations while helping all students, regardless of their IQ level, social economic status, and health and mental condition.
We propose that the only way to improve education is to change the focus of education. Traditional education is trying to prepare children for college, but that was never supposed to be the purpose of education.
Education should prepare students to be happy, successful and provide value to society. When students enjoy what they are doing and are happy, they excel at college, they excel in their careers, and they excel at living. It is important to remember that life cannot be taught to someone in a classroom. The only way to excel at life is to practice living a stable life. And the current education system doesn’t allow a child to live freely. It puts them in a detached environment for 12-18 years of their life, overburdens them and makes them too busy to have time to breathe. After they graduate, students realized that they have no ability to observe what is going on around them and are unprepared for work life.
Ironically, students’ success in college, work, and the rest of their lives has very little to do with technical skills and core competencies (what education focuses on). Students’ success depends on their ability to solve problems regarding health, socializing, family, and personal development. These are the most important skills in life.
We, at the Leadership Society of Arizona, propose that instead of focusing on technical details that children do not value, we focus on teaching students simple Natural Laws that apply to all aspects of living well.
What are Natural Laws?
Natural laws are unchanging principles of life that apply to school, work, and the home. Natural laws explain how successful people can go into multiple industries and quickly perform better than those who have been in that same industry for much longer. These natural laws explain what makes someone a successful doctor, lawyer, businessman, or athlete. These principles are the exact same natural laws that makes someone a great video game player, the most popular kid in the school, an expert chess player, or a great YouTuber.
We don’t teach technical skills, we teach kids how to learn and discover what they love. We have found that, if a child learns correct principles that help them improve when they are young, they will become a person that continually seeks to improve throughout their entire lives. Teaching natural laws enables students to learn how to improve quicker. Eventually, when a student discovers their passion or career interest, they will naturally want to learn the required technical skills and core competencies. If they know how to change quickly, they will learn this skills at a rapid rate that doesn’t require years of training.
The Most Important Skills in Life
One of the big failings of the education system is that it doesn’t help students learn basic skills needed to be happy in life. Some of these skills are:
- Learning how to change
- Setting goals
- Measuring improvement
- Increasing consistency
- How to talk with adults to utilize their experience and wisdom.
- The importance developing good relationships with their family
- The value of talking with parents and relatives
- What questions to ask
- Managing expectations and how to deal with unexpected issues.
- How to find out who they are and what they are good at.
- Leadership Skills and how a leader:
- Understanding how life works.
A New Focus in Education
This new focus of education also realizes that, due to the changing environment of businesses and colleges, the world no longer needs people that have stagnant competencies and skills. The world needs individuals that can adjust, innovate, and quickly learn whatever skills are required. In fact, a recent study by McKinsey and Company identified that out of 2,000 common human work activities, 45% can be completed by using technology (e.g. robotics). Anything that can be automated will soon be automated.
To be successful in the future, students need a different type of development; something that cannot be automated by robotics. In other words, we need leaders. The education of the future needs to focus on teaching students how to learn and develop skills; enabling them to learn quicker and develop skills faster. The following benefits occur with changing the focus of education:
- The skills and lessons a student would learn in school would apply to every career, industry, subject matter, and area of life. For example: students would be able to take their ability to learn and use it to improve their family and their relationships; to improve their social life and learn social skills; and to, ultimately, improve their job performance.
- Education would teach students how to take care of issues in all areas of their life, not just the technical and career related portion of their life, but their social, family, personal, and health problems, eliminating any impediments to their learning and development.
- Since education would be teaching skills that help students in all aspects of their lives, society would see a greater benefit from educational programs.
- Since the education would focus on teaching students’ natural laws and logic, the curriculum would be simple and easy to understand, and more students would be able to take advantage of the program since it would not require a high IQ or prerequisite knowledge. Classes also would not require memorization, which would relieve the student from spending their most of their energy on learning and allow them time to apply their knowledge.
- Because of the education’s efficient structure, it also would not require a large amount of time and resources to teach, which would enable effective scaling even if there were limited resources and finances available.
LSA Testing of the Future Model
LSA has already experimented with this new education focus and have found the following:
- Students learn 10x quicker.
- Increases the teaching capability of educators.
- Improves social behavior.
- Decreases stress and worry of students.
- Increases a student’s awareness of who they are and what they will be successful at.
- Regardless of IQ level and leadership capability, enables students to add value to society.
This paradigm enables LSA to teach a student, while also focusing on things the student actually wants to learn and do. After learning correct principles and successfully applying them in any area of their lives, the principles will enable a student to eventually choose a degree program, find a job, add value to society, live a stable life, and quickly find solutions to be successful.
We have created a model that simplifies problems. When this model is applied to a student’s life, it will enable them to learn to see life as a leader does, giving them opportunities to improve themselves and learn how to lead others as they are going through life and their education.
The main objective of LSA’s education is to do the following:
- Increase the student’s ability to learn and develop skills.
- Develop a student’s life to be conducive to learning (i.e. decrease student’s stress and worry level, minimize high risk habits and activities in the student’s life, etc.).
- Decrease the number of issues in student lives to overcome any impediment to learning.
- Teach a student to use natural laws and logic to solve issues instead of technical information.
- Help the student to learn who they are, so they can best align themselves in the right career field.
LSA’s Logic and Leadership Program not only teaches students how to learn quicker and develop skills faster, but also to give them numerous opportunities to apply these skills into their lives throughout their 4 years of high school. Instead of focusing on outside factors of a student to try to make them successful, this leadership program focuses on the internal factors of a student to help them become successful and become a leader.