If you've never heard of Future-Guided Education, that's ok; I've made it up. Nonetheless, if you believe youth education today is failing and would like to join me in rethinking how we prepare our children for a successful tomorrow, do read on.
As responsible adults, our obligation to children is to raise and support them until they develop into capable, self-advocating adults. New generations grow and improve upon the old, and so the world goes around. Perhaps it's less of an obligation and more of an inevitability. Either way, our goal as parents, mentors, coaches, and teachers is to empower youth to shape their own destiny. In doing so, we aim to become obsolete.
However, we see the opposite trend to be true today. Caregivers and authority figures, including parents, principals, policymakers, law enforcers, and employers, are becoming only more prominent in the lives of youth and young adults. Sometimes, nothing short of death makes them obsolete. Even then, the fear and anxiety they instill often linger. Traditional education, unfortunately, does very little to prepare youth for successful adulthood. Most schools focus on delivering content and judging results rather than on building skills and evaluating processes. Consequently, we keep future generations enslaved to external guidance and judgment, without the capacity for figuring things out on their own. We taint children with an apprehension of challenges, and teach them to acquiesce in life paths determined by fearful adults in positions of power.
Future-Guided Education recognizes that evolution is inevitable, and that fear and anxiety are the products of uncertainty about the future -- about our ability to handle what it may (or may not) bring. Future-Guided Education prepares students for success by building on their strengths so they can realize and share their unique beauty with the world, and teaches them to overcome challenges using goal setting, planning, organization, time management, and communication skills. Together, these construct the capacity for guiding their personal evolution while adapting to changing circumstances.
At its foundation, Future-Guided Education is an exercise in confidence building. Building confidence doesn't mean telling our kids that they are wonderfully smart and talented -- nor does it mean punishing them for failure. Future-Guided Education teaches students to love themselves and the process, because they are worthy. Confidence increases as they achieve short-term milestones that accumulate into long-term accomplishments. Students are taught to identify gaps in their knowledge and figure out solutions to problems using any or all resources available to them (yes, even Google). This mode of learning relies on quantum leaps in the development of the mind; every leap of faith and gain in confidence reconfigures connections in the brain, disposes of old, limiting beliefs, and spawns new, exponential learning potential.
Future-Guided Education emphasizes process over results, form over content, and love over fear. Because we are all worthy.