There is a lot of talk about education right now and a lot of blame cast on the schools for not doing their job but I think it’s important to consider what the job of a school is. Most people would quickly agree that the job of the school is to impart knowledge. I read a very interesting article that talked about the difference between knowledge, wisdom, and insight and I had a bit of an a-ha! moment… if the following is true:
Knowledge VS Wisdom VS Insight
Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and data that you have learned about or experienced. It’s being aware of something, and having information. Knowledge is really about facts and ideas that we acquire through study, research, investigation, observation, or experience.
Wisdom is the ability to discern and judge which aspects of that knowledge are true, right, lasting, and applicable to your life. It’s the ability to apply that knowledge to the greater scheme of life. It’s also deeper; knowing the meaning or reason; about knowing why something is, and what it means to your life.
Insight is the deepest level of knowing and the most meaningful to your life. Insight is a deeper and clearer perception of life, of knowledge, of wisdom. It’s grasping the underlying nature of knowledge, and the essence of wisdom. Insight is a truer understanding of your life and the bigger picture of how things intertwine.
Then the job of the school is to present the student with facts and information and help them develop some research and investigation skills. That’s really all they are on the hook for. It’s our job as parents to teach values and impart wisdom. The gamer in me is going to come out here for a second… In Dungeons and Dragons Intelligence (knowledge) and Wisdom are the two primary character statistics related to intellect. In application: a knowledgeable character knows a situation is dangerous and what type of danger is present. A wise character has a solid strategy based on experience to deal with that situation, and an insightful one knows how to either avoid it all together or benefit from the danger.
Anyways… I started thinking about parents I know and students I see where I work and it got me thinking about the fact that most parents rely on the school to teach everything and that simply isn’t reasonable. Knowledge is simply not enough to ensure success in life. you have to have the wisdom to apply that knowledge for it to do any good. That can only come from experience and our job as parents is to provide that. I do a lot with my kids. We play games, work out, talk, read, and travel together. I also try to expose them to the arts through film, theatre, and music… and you can see when talking to my kids they are very bright. They figure stuff out quickly… That’s what it takes to be successful. and they do this because they have actively involved parents.
My dad took me hunting and fishing. I spent time in the mountains, we sailed, played sports, and spent a lot of time talking… not him talking AT me but really talking TO me, and I think that is a big part of what made me successful. My parents owned my success and failure and viewed the school system as a tool… I’m not sure as a society we do that anymore.
I have some BIG plans for my kids. Long backpacking trips, sailing around the world, volunteering, etc… BIG life events where you learn about yourself and where I can help them apply the knowledge they have gained to be not only wise, but wise, and god willing insightful.
Without slamming the public school system… I’m curious to hear what other people think about this and how they are helping to prepare their kids for life. I have not had time to fully develop my thought on this and am interested in the conversation so please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.