The women’s march toward a new American dream holds a delightful discovery that’s simple, while at the same time it’s frightening. Why hadn’t we seen the answer earlier? During the past year many have wondered, what’s held us back from the kind of dream that strengthens our world? Would you agree that the best answer here likely links to education in some way? And it does connect but not as most people think.
Education that delivers knowledge but fails to light fires
History classes may challenge us to follow constitutional guidelines, to accomplish magical rewards, to lower barriers or leap over hurdles in a dreamer’s quest, but does this challenge help most to achieve joy and happiness? What I’ve learned after a lifetime in education is that we urgently need to challenge the very history classes and educational approaches used – to rethink how we know and live a dream.
If we’re up for a more inclusive dream for instance, and if we hope to participate actively in the purpose of that dream, it’s time to turn the dials of language to a dreamer’s words that include support for those who differ. Education can help us expand our dream to align with a shared purpose, to reward our diverse worlds only with a shared call to follow.
A new question to discover a dream that fits
Ask, How smart are you? and currently we refer more to test scores normed for white kids. The dream too often goes to good test-takers who reach their fulfillment through AP classes and access into successful organizations. Or family wealth may offer you a dreamer’s entry over grades you earned.
That does not mean that hard work, or family generosity for the American dream must be forsaken, it only means that we’ll reach a lofty dream only by pursuing it in harmony with an inclusive purpose. How does that work in educational approaches?
Change the question from, How smart are you? to ask a new question, How are you smart? and the latter question reboots our dream together. For example we use brain based approaches that transform students multiple intelligences into tools to move forward in every class.
New fire-filled words launch innovative results
Wherever words that support our dream reach across differences to gain momentum for all, I’ve noticed they‘re communicated with respect and kindness. Parts of the women’s march likely opened a door for dreamers who may finally find freedom’s fire within a rejuvenated American purpose.
As we reach higher to find purpose we also discover wider and accessible directions.
We each advance with a purpose – one that provides meaning and direction for our lives. Yet many have yet to discover the dream that starts a magical journey toward peace, satisfaction and fulfillment of our lives. Rarely discovered by accident, a purposeful dream become our star – a light house in life’s fog. As we help family, friends and our communities to achieve its veracity we enjoy satisfaction that comes daily from this transformational journey that can add extra to ordinary through meaningful pursuits together.
Could a dream hitch your wagons to a brilliant star?
Living life with dream-like meaning commits some to a purpose that includes harmony and peace for all, with a national ethos of ideals for democracy, liberty, opportunity, and equality that includes upward social mobility, regardless of how you are smart. Others have given up and conclude with Arthur Miller, who wrote in Death of a Salesman, in 1949 that the American Dream is a fruitless pursuit.
For me, the American dream is at times the prickly ability to sense or imagine wonder that could be fashioned on the other side of what we each see and feel at the moment. It’s the assurance that there can never be any lasting hope, love or joy for me, until hope, love and joy extends into your reality too. You?
If you are looking for student-ready tools that engage unique strengths – check out my TpT site.
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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset