“I haven’t met many self-directed teenagers,” said a frustrated high school teacher during a recent presentation.
As we contemplate the vast problem of teenage disengagement and the apparent low level of self-direction, we have to ask, “Is it our kids or our schools?”
For a century, the primary design meme of American schools has been compliant consumption. Students read, practice and regurgitate in small chunks in siloed classes in regimented environments. Low levels of self-direction shouldn’t be surprising—it is inherent in the traditional secondary school design.
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