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Connor commented on Passion is the New Focus

Hi Karen! Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experience with me.

I would love to follow up and hear more about your experience in education. You bring up a very interesting scenario that I have not been exposed to before or considered. I love that! I will do my best to answer your question through the lens of a generalized approach.

(1) The age range I focus on is 10 years (4-5th graders) and older. My experience and research show 10-year-olds are able to determine "I like this" (want to do more) and "I don't like this" (no more for now). So I suggest starting there and working with all kids their age and older. Starting as young as possible is key to give times to trial and error explore before they are asked to make major decisions like major, internship and job.

(2) I am still developing "best practices" for determining a student's passion but this is what I have thus far. You expose kids to many different types of passions (subjects and activities) and professionals (people who do their passion at the highest level - science, art, business, government). If they like it then they do more and if they don't then they stop or do less. I am creating ways to measure this in a deep way and can get into details if you want. But the concept is you let the students follow their intrinsic motivation which is the best compass. As you said, many kids do not know what they are passionate about so they can not be asked once and expected to know. I wouldn't pair a class subject with a passion at first (if ever). First kids need to know what they are passionate about. then once they know they should pair it with other things they may be passionate about. After that happens I would ask them to find ways to apply/combine their passion with the course material they are required to take. The one subject that I believe to be the exception is History and the way I would apply it to make it an exception is to have the student learn about the history of the thing they are passionate about.

What do you think? What do you agree with and disagree with? What would you change or add to?

Best,
Connor

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Connor commented on Passion is the New Focus

Hi Aakar! Isaac Jumba mentioned your idea which sounds aligned. How do you see our project ideas to be similar and different?

To answer your question about the best way to allow students to get time to enjoy things they are being taught and see if topic points to their passion. First, students will need to make sure they are getting good grades so that they can keep their college dreams alive since almost all the parents I know and work with want their kids to go to college (regardless if they can afford it or not). So we must make sure students are able to address their class load so that they can allocate time and energy toward passion. Second, students need to be exposed to many many types of passions (subjects and activities) and professionals (people who do their passion at the highest level - science, art, business, government). this way students will understand what they think they like and don't like. Third, students need to meet with the people who they admire and do what they do. Over time the student will figure out what they actually like and don't like and they will form relationships with professionals in their passions.

I would love for this to take place in school so we don't have to make passion an extracurricular but like I told David Enders, I don't see that happening at first (or for awhile) so this is where we need to start.

What do you think? What do you agree with and disagree with? What would you change or add to?

Best,
Connor

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Connor commented on Passion is the New Focus

Hi Rachel! Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experience with me.

I would love to find time to chat about your experience as a high school counselor to learn more about what you have seen as challenges and opportunity but until then I will give you my opinion.

I have not found a way for teachers to guide students in their understanding of what passion is, how to discover it, how to develop it and how make or find a career in it. I have found a way to utilize a third party (not a parent or teacher but a third group). We can get into these details if you would like.

For experimental learning I see internships (both structured and unstructured) to be the key. I will speak from my experience, most students get their first internship after their sophomore year, then they do another after their junior year and hopefully receive an offer after their senior year. I feel internships should not be reserved for the college student. I feel it would be appropriate to start after the Sophmore year of high school concludes and before Junior year begins. That way students have two internships before starting College which will help them chose a better major which will lead to better grades in college, a 4 year plan and a better understanding of what jobs actually look like in the real world and which jobs they actually want to do.

Would you please tell me more about the Purpose Project? I think a friend of mine told me about but I am not positive.

Best,
Connor