At a recent conference a speaker suggested that choosing a school was akin to choosing a cell phone* – as soon as you’ve made the decision another brand seems to offer appealing options and you worry: Did I make the right choice?
So – to cut through the confusion when it comes to school it’s helpful to ask: What matters most?
Let’s take academics for granted. That’s the baseline from where to begin. So – beyond excellent academics: What else matters?
Tough Choices or Tough Times issued by the National Center on Education and the Economy takes a similar approach. Basic proposition: Subject area expertise matters but success in the 21st century will no longer be solely dependent on academic knowledge.
Strong skills in English, mathematics, technology and science, as well as literature, history and the arts will be essential…beyond this (young people will need to be) … comfortable with ideas and abstractions, good at both analysis and synthesis, creative and innovative, self-disciplined and well-organized, able to learn very quickly and work well as a member of a team and have the flexibility to adapt quickly to frequent changes.
*Bit of a stretch? Maybe – but it does address buyer’s anxiety in a world of choice.
I see the parallel in operation when seniors have to make the choice between extraordinary college options.