What is School For?

A month ago,  Seth Godin posted a very interesting question:  What is School For? 

Here is his starter list:

  1. Become an informed citizen
  2. Be able to read for pleasure
  3. Be trained in the rudimentary skills necessary for employment
  4. Do well on standardized tests
  5. Homogenize society, at least a bit
  6. Pasteurize out the dangerous ideas
  7. Give kids something to do while parents work
  8. Teach future citizens how to conform
  9. Teach future consumers how to desire
  10.  Build a social fabric
  11. Create leaders who help us compete on a world stage
  12. Generate future scientists who will advance medicine and technology
  13. Learn for the sake of learning
  14. Help people become interesting and productive
  15. Defang the proletariat
  16. Establish a floor below which a typical person is unlikely to fall
  17. Find and celebrate prodigies, geniuses and the gifted
  18. Make sure kids learn to exercise, eat right and avoid common health problems
  19. Teach future citizens to obey authority
  20. Teach future employees to do the same
  21. Increase appreciation for art and culture
  22. Teach creativity and problem solving
  23. Minimize public spelling mistakes
  24. Increase emotional intelligence
  25. Decrease crime by teaching civics and ethics
  26. Increase understanding of a life well lived
  27. Make sure the sports teams have enough players

It is by no means exhaustive but provides starting points for very interesting conversations amongst parents and educators,  particularly when searching for that “perfect” primary or secondary school.   I personally would hate to place my son in a school whose principles were heavily skewed towards #4-8, at the expense of #2 & 22. 

Related post: Are Schools Educating Our Children Out of Their Creativity?


Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Barbara Winter’s Six Pillars of Entrepreneurial Success

Sometimes, a 9-to-5 job just doesn’t cut it any more. It can cut into too many things — quality time with family, to indulge in your passion etc.  Freelance work is starting to look more and more attractive and increasingly lucrative.  Who wouldn’t want to be paid to do what you enjoy?

Barbara Winter, author of the best-selling Making a Living Without a Job shares her “Six Pillars of Entrepreneurial Success”.  This was done in relation to freelance photography but can very well be applied elsewhere.

Pillar # 1: Find Inspiration
Find your “natural habitat’ — the place you feel most at home.  It could be your home, nature, heck, even the mall.  Immerse yourself in your favorite books, music, movies, and other art.

Pillar # 2: Gather Information and Ideas
A determined entrepreneur believes that she can find what she needs at any step along the way, and monitors what she needs to know next.  This is so easy to do in this electronic age – if anything, you run the risk of info overload.  Which leads to…

Pillar # 3: Find Your Heroes and Heroines
You’ll find success faster as an entrepreneur if you’re willing to learn from other successful entrepreneurs. Even if they aren’t doing what you want to do, you can learn from their methods.

Pillar # 4: Reinforce Your Dream
Keep coming back to your big dream. Whatever you have your eye on — keep it in your sights. It’ll make it easier to get through the tough times.

Pillar # 5: Develop a “Prosperity Attitude”
Barbara pointed out that most of us aren’t brought up with a “prosperity attitude.” Money can be an emotionally charged issue. So it’s important to leave behind limiting thoughts on what you deserve to have or to earn. Open yourself up to making money and being prosperous.

Pillar # 6: Find a Supportive Community
Supportive people can make a world of difference. entrepreneurial success. You need those people who you can call to share in your excitement.  These are the ones who get excited about your projects and ideas, who help you think up solutions, and who hold on to your dream when you lose track of it… so it will be there waiting for you when you’re ready to pick it up again.

So here goes my mantra:  Work to Live.  Live to Love.

Sources of Info:

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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