An article in The Press newspaper this morning caught my eye. It’s election year here in New Zealand and both main parties are pushing teen education as an election year issue. The labour party has suggested compulsory education until age 18 should be mandatory in this country.
Education is fantastic, but relevance and context is all. I know a number of highly intelligent people who left the formal education system because it didn’t “connect” with them or prove relevance for their future path.
The article this morning profiled a programme in a local high school that does pre-trade training for school leavers. The “students” come back to school one day a week to learn practical and theoretical skills that have context for their future vocation. As an interviewee in the article said;
…they still do basic maths and English classes. The difference is that they can see a reason for learning to calculate volumes or fill in paperwork.
Therein lies the secret – be it a discussion about education for the youth of today, designing software or dreaming up the innovations of the future – it’s all about finding context and creating resonance…