Re: DSM: Graduates without essential life skills

From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. (ardeshir@sympatico.ca)
Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 13:02:41 EST


Peter Shier wrote:

> Let me begin by saying I am extremely pro-Sudbury model schools...
>
> My wife, on the other hand, is far less convinced and she has brought up
> an interesting question: do graduates of Sudbury schools have the
> essential skills to thrive as an adult in our society?
>
> IMHO, essential skills are minimally:
>
> - Reading ...
>
> - Writing ...
>
> - Enough math to use money ...
>
> - Sufficient social skills to interact with other adults ...
>
> For me, to "thrive as an adult" means to have the skills to find your
> happiness while maintaining satisfying fulfillment of physical needs.

All this is true, but to earn enough money to "thrive" (if by
"thrive" one means, to afford a fairly decent life by western
standards), this is not enough.

For instance, one can't get admitted to the bar without a law degree,
and to get one it is necessary to "study" a whole lot of garbage (I
know, my wife is a lawyer and she says so.)

To get to be a doctor one needs to be able to memorise vast
quantities of written material while struggling with 36 hours without
a wink of sleep. Without that, one doesn't get the MD one needs to
practise.

To get to be a licensed engineer one needs to pass ludicrous exams
that have little to do with engineering.

To get to be a professor ... oh well, you get the picture.

But note that all these are faults, not with the students, but with
the institutions of so-called "higher" learning which hand out these
licences.

Still, it does close a lot of doors to young folks who do not have
the stomach for these things. This means that the doors that ARE
open for earning a decent amount of money as an adult are fewer
and less accessible: such as starting one's own business; going in for
some risky profession such as acting, painting, writing or music
(especially music composition); or taking the chance that during a
job interview your skills as such will be recognised (which is often
not the case.)

Best,

Ardeshir <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/education.html>.

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