Apparently, that is the question we ask of our kids and students, a whole lot. What career do you want to choose when you grow up? Sometimes you hear enthusiastic responses such as a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer and even a spy agent but often times, the response is, "I don't know".
Rightfully though, I stand with the kids. Barely out of elementary schools, kids have been fielding this question, even before they know, what a "career" means. What kids of all ages care about, is to tangibly associate the concepts and ideas they learn at school. Information is driven home, when students have an opportunity to apply their knowledge. Solving encompassing problems that allow for students to apply their skills learnt in Math, Science, Social studies, Art, Music and even Physical Education, provides for an a-ha moment.
This project approach to education is well known and is used by several education systems to teach students. If so, then the question we need to ask students about their aspirations should be, what problem do you want to solve, when you grow up?
Now, the answer to that should lead to some interesting discussions. Educators and parents can key off of this discussion to guide students towards the curricula that will ultimately lead them to solve these problems.
#DreamBig recently hosted a series of talks with researchers from Harvard Medical School and followed this very mode in talking to students about the problems that these brilliant researchers were trying to solve. Students were invigorated by the talks. Though the problems that the researchers were trying to solve seemed big and daunting, the students were excited by the possibilities and the impact the solutions would eventually have. Knowing how their work could solve problems and affect others, their communities, their cities and the world at large, the students were more enthusiastic to take on challenging subject matter.
Thanks to Harvard Medical researchers, Budhaditya Banerjee and Mandovi Chatterjee, and all those who attended the talks. There were some awesome questions from the inquisitive learners.