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Jennifer Larson

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Civic duty as rite of passage

It's Eriksonian, our children are adrift after high school. There is no rite of passage. There is obesity, sense of entitlement, and lack of cohesion and direction. I think that high school should extend for one year and all students should be required to complete a challenging course on civics and participate in their choice of service duty. Mini military camp, (not to become a killing machine but to learn why it is their duty as an America to defend not offend). Science, Arts and Humanities, local volunteer program, etc... The kids today need to know and understand the tenets of the Constitution, to understand what it means to become a full fledged American and appreciate the quality of life that only a free people can enjoy. In order to do this, to shape their experience and transition successfully into adulthood, they need to have a rite of passage that challenges them, encourages them to be a part of something worthwhile that is greater than themselves. They need to work with their peer to achieve a challenging goal that instills the values the founders laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America. This might change our political landscape from a money hungry bloated big brother, big daddy state to more of a by the people for the people kind of land.

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  • Jul 4 2013: Thanks for all of your comments! I think that each child is a special individual (and needs to think that). Schools should do more aptitude testing and counseling each student on their results. This could benefit the teachers and the students in formulating direction and future goals. I think students need to have early (and constant) exposure to all subjects including non-academic pursuits such as drama, music, art, technology. When they start high school have individual counseling on what they like, careers related to the interests they have, and then specialized school cur,curriculum for each. I think mandatory service should play into this. I am also for year round schooling with many more opportunities to engage in group activities (like sports, camps for extracurricular or academic, and learning by visiting interesting or educational sites as well as biology/environmental hands on learning classrooms outside!). It's Adam Smith economics! specialization works because each is special with their individual ability and propensity. We should capitalize on our greatest resource: our children. To do this we need to invest in them and give them the structure and well rounded experience of healthy, connected learning that promotes diverse interaction and experiences. This is how I wish my school was, not just a grist-mill churning out dis-interested, unattached and adrift teens, We have an innate ability and desire to learn, we have a psychological need to connect and contribute. Knowing that should prompt educational reforms that make sense in our post-agricultural society. I LOVE America (and the whole Earth) and think it's worth doing more, becoming more, and achieving more.

    Happy 4th to all U.S.A. citizens and those who share the ideals of freedom
    -Jen (who wanted to serve with pride and did U.S.N. '88)

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