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Building Bridges

As I think about the complex and swiftly changing world our students are coming of age in, I see that one of the biggest challenges they will face is the level of polarization in our society. Political and cultural mindsets seem so entrenched that it is hard to imagine how different sides will ever be able to understand each other or work together effectively for the common good.

It seems like a daunting task for our children to bridge the divides that have emerged in our country, but they will have no choice but to try, for the problems we face nationally and globally-whether they be related to climate change, health, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, income disparity, or dark money influencing our politics-are problems that will impact their lives in very stark ways.

Facing these challenges will require new and adaptive skills, such as collaboration, communication, creative problem-solving, design thinking, conflict resolution, racial literacy, critical thinking, ethics, self-care, resiliency, and empathy-to name just a few. I think a lot about these adaptive skills in terms of our curriculum, and how they can be fostered in age-appropriate ways from the toddler level all the way through high school.

Oneness-Family School recently received a grant to develop a Global Studies and Emerging Leaders Program for our high school, which will be aimed at fostering these adaptive skills in our high school students. We have assembled an inspiring team of thought leaders to help us design this program. In the future, the curriculum program elements we develop via the grant will be adapted for our younger grades as well. 

The world our children will inherit is unique in terms of the rate of change that is occurring.  They will need new intrinsic abilities and extrinsic skills to navigate that world, to preserve their own well-being and quality of life, and to be stewards of the fragile planet we will leave them.  Our responsibility as parents and educators is to do everything we can, in partnership with each other, so that our children are empowered to face the future with courage and confidence.

Monday, February 3, 2020