The following is a guest post from Sam Davidson:
Sir Robinson’s video that motivated Ryan to go off on this educational tangent has one central theme that should be scary for all of us: the modern education system is based on an assembly line model that teaches conformity, efficiency, and replication. Our world is anything but, of course. And this is the problem.
I have a 13-month-old daughter. She’s still years away from any kind of formal schooling, but my wife and I are already concerned about the type of place she’ll attend. Guns and violence are the least of our worries; rather, we’re frightened that her creativity and ambition will be stifled by sitting on pieces of masking tape, walking in a line to the cafeteria, and answering questions at the end of a chapter that the teacher will never read. In short, we’re worried that she’ll become a cog in a machine that’s spinning its wheels, going nowhere.
But do you know how you break out of the mechanistic repetition that has become much of modern society? You start something. Corporate lore is full of people who were fed up, dreamed bigger, and rolled the dice. Today’s companies are started by yesterday’s rule breakers and non-conformists. Going rogue and tinkering in a garage is the very stuff that creates the next great company – the next great way of life for all of us.
If you listen to any American politician talk today, you’ll hear an earful about two things – education and entrepreneurship. Sadly, the connection between the two is rarely made. Perhaps the reason we don’t have more people starting more companies that could jumpstart our economy is because our country spent the last 20 years educating them to do anything but. It’s time entrepreneurship became a required class.
I had to take art, but I don’t paint now. I took band, chemistry, and American history, none of which I’m immersed in today. Not everyone will go start a company, but the principles learned in an entrepreneurship course will serve the student long after he or she passes the final exam. Dreaming big, taking risks, measuring outcomes, building alliances, finding customers – these are all skills anyone needs to be successful. And right now, you don’t learn them until you go to college or until you haphazardly learn on the job.
My entrepreneurial education came when I was 25 and began Cool People Care. I hope my daughter and her peers don’t have to wait that long. Let kids start companies in grade schools. They’ll be pros when they’re out of college, able to rebuild a nation and a world on a new system. This system won’t be based on an assembly line but on dreams and hard work that it takes to create something new.
Sam Davidson is a writer, entrepreneur, and dreamer who believes that the world needs more passionate people. To help people find and live their passion, he has written 50 Things Your Life Doesn’t Need. He is the co-founder of Cool People Care and Proof Branding, and lives in Nashville with his wife and daughter.