Preparing Our Children for a World We Cannot Envision

first-gradeOur world is experiencing rapid, unprecedented and unforeseen change.  How then, can we begin to imagine the world our young children will face in the years to come? And, more importantly, how can we prepare them for a world we cannot envision?

According to Jack Petrash, acclaimed author and educator: “The best way to do that is to educate our children to develop three essential capacities: a capacity for vibrant and vigorous activity, a capacity for a sensitive and yet resilient emotional life, and a capacity for clear, focused, original, thinking.”

In order to develop these three capacities, Petrash argues, we must educate our children in a multidimensional way in school. But, most schools today focus on developing just the left-side of the brain.

In Petrash’s widely circulated 2013 TEDx talk, he maintains: “No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have created a standards driven educational system that only asks our children to use half of their human intelligence, just the left side of their brains. And sadly, fifty percent is a failing grade by any standard. Our children deserve more, much more.”

Waldorf, the world’s fastest-growing independent educational movement, offers an alternative.

Since the late 19th century, Waldorf educators have been focusing on multidimensional education - educating the “whole child” by integrating creative, academic and practical work. The rich Waldorf curriculum aims to develop equally the students’ intellectual, social and physical skills. Every subject, including the sciences, mathematics, and languages, incorporates images (visual art), sounds (music), narrative (drama) and movement that speaks to the child’s developmental stage.

Not familiar with Waldorf? Visit a Waldorf School in your area and check out Petrash’s TEDx talk: Educating Children For the Journey