In one of my recent posts I explored the concept of “learned hopelessness” where young people are in danger of becoming conditioned by global economic circumstances to accept that their destiny is essentially hopeless.
I’ve had some positive feedback about that article and there has been general agreement that an education system which is purely aligned to churning out examination results is not adequately preparing young people for their future life where the only certainty is uncertainty.
Unfortunately it seems that every week I’m hearing stories of young people who left school with great examination results, went to university and either dropped out or are now struggling to make their way regardless of the quality of their degree. That’s not to say that either of these outcomes is necessarily disastrous but it does throw the young person back onto their ability to overcome adversity.
If I then think back even five years and consider the secondary school curriculum I see something where such an ability didn’t even feature on the horizon. As long as schools delivered the necessary percentage of examination results for their school then it was “job done”. What happened after that was nothing to do with us. For their part parents conspired with such a system and through “helicoptering”, removing all obstacles, providing tutoring, and a maintaining a singular focus upon examination results assumed that the future would take care of itself – as it had done for them.
However, things have changed and that’s where – through amazing foresight – the Scottish education system is actually better prepared than other countries to adapt to our new reality.
For Curriculum for Excellence does recognise that young people need so much more than the certificates they hold in their hands upon leaving school.
That’s why I’d like to work with parents, young people, teachers, school leaders, employers and others over the next year to work out what we collectively understand by resiliency and consider how it could provide a purpose for everything we collectively do to prepare our children and young people to lead independent and successful lives beyond our influence and support.
re·sil·ience [ri-zil-yuhns] noun 1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. 2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.