The Same Choices as Our Parents

Last time, we spoke about the changing economy and the challenges it’s poses for the education of each of us and for our children. We spoke about the promise of a future for our boys and girls that each and every one of us will be proud of. And we spoke of the failure of our schools to rise and meet this challenge and how the only thing they are providing is more of the same: a lot more, so much more that it drowns our children in so much work they loose their childhood

And how has this happened? Our children are the brightest Taiwan has ever seen. I look around at the children near my and I see children so bright that I know if we can gave them a chance they will be incredible. Their teachers are great. I have spoken with many teachers and I know they understand the troubles of our times and I know they have answers.

But they are trapped in a dark space. The reality of their world is that it’s full of tests. And an awful lot of them are bad tests. But that’s just the reality of the world they know their students have to struggle with. So what is even the very best of our teachers supposed to do? And let’s not forget the parents who worry endlessly and are willing to give almost everything they have for their children’s future: for the future of Taiwan.

How could this combination of talented teachers and students fail? It’s almost unbelievable. But it’s not that it’s failing. But that the world has changed and the test-driven system that built Taiwan is just not what Taiwan needs to train its children for the next generation of companies.

Companies will have to operate far beyond the shores of Taiwan. In the past, tests were enough to motivate students to work hard and learn what they needed for their lives and for their companies. Now, companies operate in a marketplace without borders and just as the workplace has changed beyond recognition, the kind of people these companies have had to change completely. – completely.

The kind of education these workers need also needs to be completely different. And it is not. It is the schools and the tests and the same old choices that our parents had to make. It is not different enough and it is not different enough in the right way. And surely schools that are training students for the factories and the offices of a Taiwan marketplace a generation as a no matter how good the students, no matter how inspiring the teachers, no matter how sacrificing the parents, is bound to fail.

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