10 May 2019

"The big question is do we have the courage and perseverance needed to make some fundamental shifts and changes in how we do school?"

A number of weeks ago we began to discuss our tendency as humans to pursue simplicity in the complex world that surrounds us. This has led us to relying on a simplified formula of success that we encourage our children to follow: good grades > good university > good job > good money = good life (happiness).

As we have looked at some of the misconceptions and wrong assumptions found in this formula, hopefully it has challenged us to question and evaluate it. When we begin to look at it more closely, we realize there are two incredibly important components missing that can make all the difference; passion and purpose. Without these, the formula results in our children growing up to be part of the 85% of people who hate their job and are disillusioned with their lives. When passion and purpose are added, however, it changes everything. We need to challenge ourselves as educators and parents to figure out how to make these components a more important part of our children’s educational journey. We need to ask ourselves how we can make it a part of their preparation for life.

I will admit that when you look at current educational systems around the world, you find very little focus on these two important topics. We should be intentionally creating time and space to help our children find their passion and purpose. The big question is do we have the courage and perseverance needed to make some fundamental shifts and changes in how we do school? It won’t be easy because these two aspects of life are not simple and formulaic. They are complex and difficult to figure out. My hope, though, is that we will begin to make the adjustments necessary to ultimately change the formula itself.

Written by Karl Steinkamp

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Head of School since 2006.

Recent Reflection Articles

Lucky to Say Goodbye?

Pooh says in one of “his” books, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Such a profound thought from a small stuffed teddy bear.

A Fine Festival

The study of the arts is integral to our society and culture as it is art that connects deeply with what makes us human.

May Madness

As we finish out the semester, there are some things we can do as parents and students that can make this busy time a little bit more manageable.