From grade school to middle school and into high school, students are taught to get ready for college, but not ready for the innovative and rapidly changing world that lies ahead.
Individuals go into college knowing they will all be taking general education requirements – English, mathematics and history – while filling up the rest of the necessary requirements with core classes and electives needed for our majors.
During these moments we’re learning how to memorize facts in order to do well on exams and research papers. However, we’re not learning how to apply our knowledge to real-world scenarios that will help us succeed in the future.
In a recent article published in The New York Times, Harvard education specialist Tony Wagner says that “high-wage, middle-skilled jobs” are no longer available in the job market. Because of this, students need to be taught to be “innovative” and “add value” to everything they do.
“Knowledge is available on every Internet–connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know,” Wagner said.
As the world becomes digitized and the answers to questions are readily available on Google, learning how to regurgitate facts does nothing for us. Learning how to take initiative and think creatively is what education needs to be focused on.
It is essential in today’s society for students to be intrinsically motivated to be able to find their purpose and calling. In order to be able to compete against millions of other college graduates, finding your niche is critical.
When you find your specialty – and what truly makes you different – you become irreplaceable to employers. Finding a job is no longer common, but inventing a job is.
“Young people who are intrinsically motivated – curious, persistent, and willing to take risks – will learn new knowledge and skills continuously,” Wagner said. “They will be able to find new opportunities or create their own.”
In order to find your passion, you must first find your purpose. That begins with motivation, not memorization.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.