We want, enormously, for our students to be prepared for the challenging world they will be entering, and we know that that preparation will be best when it instills in them a lifelong love of learning, an intrinsic motivation to achieve and accomplish, and a genuine joy in what they are doing and for the future they are pursuing.
The anxiety I have in presenting the film Race to Nowhere, which we are doing at St. Gregory on March 3 at 7:00pm (order tickets here), is that the perception will arise that the message of the film is that kids should work less, study less, try less. That is not the message of the film, and it is not ever the message of our school or my leadership: we want kids to work harder, smarter, in ways that matter to them and engage and reward them meaningfully. Here are the critical quotes, from the trailer, about the problems in American education this film is confronting:
Our students are pressured to perform, but they are not necessarily pressured to learn deeply and conceptually.
The things that actually get our kids to think are pushed aside.
What is it going to mean when we have a whole population of doctors and dentists who have been trained from a script.
These kids come to the table with this creativity and this love of learning; let’s just not take it out of them.
What does it take to create a happy, motivated, creative human being?
We are hoping for a great turnout for the film, and we will follow the 80 minute film with a 60 minute panel presentation, welcoming educational experts from within the St. Gregory community and from across Tucson to offer responses to the film and to questions from the audience.