ADULT: Son, what do you want to be when you grow up?CHILD: ….ADULT: a doctor? Do you want to be a doctor? An engineer?CHILD: ….ADULT: what do you like to do? Is there something you really like to do?CHILD: ….
Try to put yourself in the child shoes. Think about it: you’re now 6 years old, you have the level of understanding of how the world function of a 6 years old, what is work, a professional career and so forth of a 6 years old and try to answer those questions. As adults we know there is no way we can get an actual answer to those questions but we still make it. We don’t actually expect an answer. It’s really more trying to stimulate the little one, have them think, just trying to get a glimpse of what’s going on in their little heads, perhaps even get a hint of what their innate vocation is, perhaps they surprise us with a very clever answer “I want to be a scientist!” so we can go on and commit their lives to that choice, telling all the family “you know what Andy wants to be when he grows up? A scientist!, yes, a scientist! … He told us so the other night at dinner”, and then friends (‘oh, so cute! Our little scientist is going to make mommy so proud one day”). We tell it to so many people and repeat it so many times that we start turning into a fact, even an expectation – ‘he always wanted to be a scientist!”
And it doesn’t end with childhood.
From very early age we’re forced to make very difficult choices about the study or career path we want to take, from College to Graduate School to Postgraduate Curricula to Master Degrees. Every time the choice gets more difficult and the stakes are getting higher: the level of investment in time and money students and families are asked to make grows at each stage and generate tremendous pressure and stress on all parties – the cost of failure is too high.
But think about it, how is a kid supposed to know what he/she likes or not like BEFORE even starting, before getting the feel for it? Before having a chance to taste what it’s like?
The current educational system forces young people to make an impossible decision and let them pay the price for not completing or changing the chosen path.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Why don’t allow young man and women to try something without such a heavy commitment? Why don’t we create a safe environment where it’s OK to change your mind or change direction? An environment where people can experiment different things and discover the path they are passionate about and want to pursue further?
Changing the current scenario requires disruptive changes and start with the business model of educational organizations. If quality education means upfront commitment to expensive schools then students will be locked into the chosen path before they can get a chance to find out if it was the right choice for them.
At The AI Academy we might not have a generic solution that applies to all stages of education but we believe we can make a difference at the top end of the educational path where things get really expensive. We believe that making access to specialized education affordable provides young professional an opportunity to experiment and discover their path. This is why we chose to shift the barrier of entry from the economic plane to the qualification and motivational plane making our professional Learning Programs financially accessible to everyone but only open to those with a strong passion and commitment to embark in a lifelong learning discover.