How do you prepare students for an unknowable future?
This is a big, question. I love big questions. I pose big questions to students, to faculty members, to parents and guardians all the time. I expect our students to raise up big, difficult questions themselves.
I was in Gettysburg this past week with the 7th graders (one our annual traditions). We study leadership and decision-making in the context of the Battle of Gettysburg and had discussed how different siblings, fathers, and sons had secured leadership roles. A 7th grader asked, "Who struggled more with nepotism, the Confederacy or the Union?" What a powerful and insightful question, I thought. There was no "right" answer here, we had to enter a historical analysis and debate over the impacts of these decisions.
I was really taken by this short video of Yuval Harari (a favorite author of mine) discussing how humans may have made a world that we ourselves can no longer understand. That alone is a lot to comprehend, but it reminded me of what we are trying to do at Meadowbrook. Yes, we want our students to be academically prepared, and they most certainly are. Yes, also, we are trying to raise good and wise people, ones who can enter an uncertain future, address problems creatively, working with people with diverse perspectives, all while working from an ethical point of view. These are lofty goals, and we are not shy about them.
I'd love to hear what you think about Harari's commentary. Big thanks to our lower school science teacher Bill Richard for sharing the article that led me here.