I was struck by this interview on NPR with the authors of Becoming Brilliant:
NPR: What led you to write this book now?
Golinkoff: We live in a crazy time, and parents are very worried about their children’s futures. They’re getting all kinds of messages about children having to score at the top level on some test. The irony is, kids could score at the top and still not succeed at finding great employment or becoming a great person.
Hirsh-Pasek: If Rip Van Winkle came back, there’s only one institution he would recognize: “Oh! That’s a school. Kids are still sitting in rows, still listening to the font of wisdom at the front of the classroom.” We’re training kids to do what computers do, which is spit back facts. And computers are always going to be better than human beings at that. But what they’re not going to be better at is being social, navigating relationships, being citizens in a community. So we need to change the whole definition of what success in school, and out of school, means.
Of course, this makes me want to write about what to teach your kids so they have a good adult life. One thing, for example, is kids need to learn to tell a story about themselves. And we can complain all we want about resumes, but writing a resume well is the process of learning to tell one’s own story.
A great place to start writing resumes is Online Resume Builder. It’s a fail-proof way to write a good story about yourself because it leads you through questions and it organizes answers in a conventional, well-written resume format. A resume is probably the most important document of adult life. Yet we spend no time teaching children how to convey their life by way of stories worthy of resumes.
Here’s a link to a post that features one of my favorite people to quote: Herminia Ibarra. She is a business school professor who bounces from one top institution to another building her career just like she tells us to build our careers – by telling good stories to be better at connecting with people.
This whole post maybe belongs on my career blog. Because increasingly I am finding that education and career are the same thing – they are the quest for an interesting life that places you in a valued role in society. This changes throughout life, but kids, athletes, parents, retirees, everyone has this goal.
So why do I have two different blogs? This tortures me. And then, Ali posted this comment, asking me why I even have two blogs, because he reads both and they seem very interrelated.
I am so grateful to Ali for making me realize that this was not my own private question, that I am linking to his site, Pig + Tiger, as a thank you. And who knows? Maybe one of you will want to remodel your kitchen in Texas and want t0 talk about homeschooling at the same time, and then you will hire him and the world will be one big blogosphere.
Yesterday I posted on my career blog about how I made my son teach himself how to be a salesperson so he’d have a backup in case cello doesn’t work out. That’s probably an unschooling post. And today’s post is, actually, about why talking about careers is talking about education. So why is this not on the career blog?
I wanted to tell you that the Gradient Puzzle (pictured) is what I feel about homeschooling — like I’m putting pieces together with no idea of what I’m aiming for. But actually, there is so much data to show what education should aim for and how it should unfold, that probably managing one’s career is more difficult because we have much less research to give us a scientific basis of what to aim for.
So the truth is that I don’t know why I still have two blogs. Is advice for careers so different than advice for education? What do you think?
Note: My editor is out of town today. So I had Melissa edit. Melissa says: “This is totally stupid. This post should just be on the big blog.” Melissa is calling it the big blog, because she says if I start calling it the big blog, and not the career blog, I’ll be more likely to merge the two blogs.