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Helping Young People Thrive: Why Goal-Oriented Education Matters

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Dear Parents,

Let’s explore how being goal-oriented can greatly impact our children’s success and how the current education system might be falling short.

The Power of Goal Orientation

Being goal-oriented means setting specific objectives and efficiently channeling time and effort toward achieving them. Imagine wanting to bake a cake. Instead of tossing random ingredients into a bowl, you start with the picture of the final cake in mind, then methodically work backward to gather the right ingredients and follow the steps. Similarly, in life, our children need to envision their ultimate goals and learn how to prioritize actions to get there. However even with one's best efforts success isn’t guaranteed, so it's critical to equip our children with the right mindset and tools to increase the odds.

The Reality of the Current Education System

Now, let’s think back to our school days and what our kids experience today. What are the goals within the education system? Primarily:

  1. Getting into a Good College: A dominant goal, but often not considered in detail until high school.

  2. Grades: Constant pressure for good grades to please parents and teachers.

  3. Acquiring Knowledge and Skills: Learning with the hope that it might be useful someday.

  4. Brain Training: Generally, developing our mental capabilities.

But here’s the issue – these goals aren’t exciting or tangible enough, especially for young minds. They're indirect and may not resonate with what students care about or want to achieve. This leaves them feeling unmotivated and unconnected with their learning.

Bridging the Gap: A New Approach

What if there’s a way to achieve the traditional educational goals while also pursuing what really matters to students? It’s time we shift from an indirect approach to a direct one that is intertwined with our young people’s personal ambitions and dreams.

Let’s re-envision education where students start with their life missions at the forefront. What change do they want to make in the world? What sparks their passion? From here, they can work backward, connecting the dots from where they are now to where they want to be.

This is not an unattainable dream. Young minds are ripe with dreams, ambitions, and openness. Let’s have them work on projects that align with their personal missions and goals.

But here’s a question that might arise: Are young people really capable of knowing what they want? The answer is a resounding YES! In fact, they might be more open to exploring possibilities than many adults.

The Benefit: A Win-Win Situation

By allowing children to work on things that directly relate to their personal goals, they can still check the boxes of traditional education – getting into a good college, proving performance, learning useful skills, and brain training – while also being engaged and motivated.

This approach gives children an invaluable head start. They leave school with a clearer vision of what they are passionate about and with practical experience. This efficiency and focus on their time and efforts put them on the fast track to achieving their dreams.

In Conclusion

Let’s challenge the current paradigm and open the doors for a more goal-oriented education that aligns with our children’s true aspirations. By doing so, we’re not just helping them build careers; we are empowering them to build fulfilling lives.

Warm regards,

Scott Smoler

TIF Head of School

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