The Oyster and the Pearl
Give yourself a couple breaths to clear your mind and ask yourself, what does the future look like? Does it look bleak? Promising? Do you feel ready to be a participant in this world? Whether you are a high school student reading this or an adult in the prime of your career, this question is important to you. We live in an ever-changing world, where the landscape feels known one minute and totally foreign the next. Our adult work lives were far more prescriptive in the past of our grandparents. Today, young persons are fed a narrative that the world is their oyster and yet never taught how to find the pearl—the essence of who they are, what their gifts & talents are and how to cultivate them. It is not enough to tell youth they can do whatever they want when they are ‘grown up’ and give them almost no practice at making choices, especially around their education. Why does adult society expect an emerging adult to make perfectly wonderful life choices that will support their best health and wellbeing when they never got a chance to practice making choices and failing forward? Why do we continually make decisions for our children about their future and never consult them, never include their voice? Why have we as a society concluded that the children are the future and yet give them no agency to think for themselves, to problem solve and innovate? We are handicapping the possibilities of this future by not giving youth voice in their education. LumenKids curriculum is rooted in the power of student-agency. In the experiential learning model, the process not the outcome is everything. We begin with a broad-stroke topic and then students identify their interests, resources available and create a plan of how they will go about engaging their learning. One of the best things that could happen is for that learning plan to fail! Imagine in this vision of the future an adult that can handle failure and giving and receiving constructive feedback. Imagine an adult that can both vision and identify the resources to make a vision reality. Now imagine this person can do this not in an individualistic way but in dialogue and collaboration with others. Imagine your rosiest picture of the future and join us in workshopping a generation of capable young persons ready to respond the needs of their promising future!