Young People Are the Geniuses Who Change the World

August 9, 2013

In my recent blog about the importance of listening I wrote, “Students are really brilliant, you know.”  In my recent blog about creativity I wrote about Erik Wahl’s book, “Ask a roomful of five-year-olds how many are artists and every hand will shoot up.  Ask a roomful of thirty-five-year-olds the same question and you get one reluctant hand.”  Well, I just read another blog by Angela Maiers that is really good. That led me to Choose2Matter, a site that is really, really good.

She took my blog concept in a whole new direction, which I love. I am including it in large part here but I encourage you to read all of the examples that follow this:

“At Choose2Matter, our opening line in speaking to young adults is, ‘You Are a Genius, and the World Needs Your Contribution.’  Next, we tell them they can change the world.

Why do we say this?

“Because studies show that, at the age of five, 100% of students believe they can, and will, change the world. When I visit with first-graders, they always confirm this by enthusiastically charging the stage en masse when I invite them to share their genius and tell me their ambitions for changing the world.

“By the age of 9, only half of students believe they are geniuses who can change the world.

By the age of 16, just 2% of students believe they are geniuses who can change the world.

When I visit high schools, I see something very different than I do in elementary schools. The genius is still there, but it’s buried under years of schooling. How? I’ve actually had educators and parents comment on my posts that we shouldn’t tell students they can change the world, because it sets unrealistic expectations. My response: unrealistic for whom?

“Fortunately, I’ve seen again and again how little it takes to bring this genius back to the surface and set students on their path to changing the world.”

She then shares examples of how the remaining 2% of students share their genius with the world.  There is a theme here.  Children are brilliant, creative and they can change the world.  Think about it, and think about how education should enable a student’s ability to change the world!

Posted by marks on Friday August 9, 2013 at 08:28AM

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