We are what we…think?

Why are most human beings miserable, unhappy, dissatisfied, trying to keep up with trends and the Joneses?

Because all humans have one fatal flaw. We are what we think.

There are thousands of books on the topic, “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, “Drive” by Daniel Pink. The list goes on and on. But what they all reveal is that humans are limited by our minds.

Yes, our brains are what holds us back from achieving our goals. Our minds are the obstacle in our way. How we think and feel is the reason we didn’t reach our full potential.

Imagine that?

Wait, don’t imagine that. Remember, you are what you think.

So how do we overcome our human limitations? How do we overcome the way we think and start to use our minds to create the futures we all want and dream about?

The answer seems to be pretty simple. And it’s based in psychological research that shows that if we reprogram our thought processes, then we can achieve all the goals and dreams we ever wanted.

This technique and strategy has been used in psychological counseling and therapy for the last 100 years with tremendous success. Typically this technique is used for people who want to quit smoking or lose weight, but what if we used these tried and true strategies and techniques with kids?

What if our K-12 school system was redesigned to teach kids how to tap into their mind and create the thoughts they need in order to find inner motivation, choose a career path, and pursue an American Dream?

Because the answer is we CAN TEACH kids these skills. If we want to.

The question then becomes, “why don’t we?”

And the reason is BECAUSE we are stuck in a 19th Century mindset. We are stuck in a world that sees K-12 as an Industrial Age invention and creation. Classrooms run the way they do because that’s the way it’s always been done.

Isn’t that what you have been told? “We can’t change because this is the way we do things.”

The fact is that we don’t have to run K-12 schools like this. The fact is that we can change the way K-12 schools run and operate and teach kids. The fact is that we can prepare kids for the future in a much more comprehensive way.

And it’s been there all along. Yes, the educational research has been there from the beginning, we just chose to ignore it in the 19th Century. Bloom’s Taxonomy was started in the 19th Century, critical thinking theory was started in the 19th Century, and since then more and more educational researchers have proven over and over again how vital, critical and important critical thinking skills are for kids to master.

YET…we do not teach critical thinking skills in school. In fact, we created a Standardized Test to NOT teach critical thinking skills. The standardized test ONLY measures low order skills — Memorizing and Recall.

Why? Why did we create a standardized test to KEEP our schools down? It seems opposite to what we want? Maybe not. Or maybe it’s because the test makers are stuck in the Industrial Age, the 19th Century. They are not any smarter than you are, despite their Ph.D’s and their belief that they are smarter than everyone else.

See the limitation of thought? Every single Ph.D. in education “thinks” they are smarter than everyone else. They think they KNOW what to do, but the reality is that they don’t, as long as they subscribe to a 19th Century mentality. Even Dr. Jill Biden is limited by her old 19th Century view of K-12 schools.

We need to find a new way. We need to create a new K-12 mindset, one that is preparing kids for their future. We need a new K-12 system that helps kids jump ahead 100 years into the future, so they are future proof. They need a 22nd Century mindset, a 22nd Century education.

With a 22nd Century education behind them, they will be ready to tackle and meet the challenges of the next 100 years. Isn’t that what we want? Don’t want we want our K-12 schools to be relevant in the 21st Century and preparing kids for the next century?

Why do we want to send our kids to schools that were relevant in the 19th and 20th Centuries? It makes very little sense. Right?

The 22nd Century mindset is all about critical thinking skills. Teachers and classrooms focus on these three key critical thinking skills, analyzing, evaluating and creating. The great American educational researcher, Dr. Robert Marzano has been advocating for critical thinking skills in the classroom for the last 30 years, but we have ignored him.

Other educational researchers such as Richard Paul, Dr. Richard Dufour, and Bob Ennis have also written, studied and advocated for critical thinking skills in K-12 schools and in every classroom. We have also ignored them.

The reason we have ignored them is BECAUSE we are limited by what we THINK. We think that schools cannot change. We think that schools have to run and operate this way. We think that it’s the way it is.

But that is not true. That is not reality. The truth is that WE limit our K-12 school system by thinking it cannot get any better. But it can.

If we believe and think about creating a 22nd Century school system. If we believe and think about preparing kids for the 22nd Century. If we believe and think that we can create the BEST educational system on the planet — then we can.

America has proven time and time again, we can accomplish any goal. But it starts with what we THINK and BELIEVE.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy pledged that we would put an American on the moon. In 2021, that is our reality. In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg thought what if there was a website that could connect people, and he called it The Facebook. In 2021, that is our reality.

What if in 2021, we said, Our K-12 school system needs to follow a 22nd Century mindset. Won’t that become the reality in 2022, 2023, and beyond?

Cognitive researchers, like Alex Pouget, associate professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester says, “You don’t consciously decide to stop at a red light or steer around an obstacle in the road. Once we started looking at the decisions our brains make without our knowledge, we found that they almost always reach the right decision, given the information they had to work with.”

What that means is that if we choose the right information. If we choose the right THINKING path, we make good decisions.

Therefore we need to think — K-12 Schools must be focused on a 22nd Century Mindset. Every K-12 School must teach kids higher order critical thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating and creating.

In order to achieve this goal, we need a new 22nd Century Curriculum and teachers need to learn and implement critical thinking lesson plans into the classroom. Luckily, the Education Development Institute has been helping teachers in this field for the last eight years. Since 2013, nearly 5000 teachers, administrators, child study team members have learned how to use critical thinking skills and a 22nd Century mindset in their school districts and classrooms.

Now it’s time for the rest of America to learn and implement a future-proof way to help kids be ready for the next 100 years.



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Professor Schwartz

Ed Consultant | Speaker/Author | Former Superintendent — Want to learn "how success happens?" Follow this link: https://leafacademy.org