Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Preventive Education

Too many current schools operate on a disease model of education, which is about
remedying deficits. Such a perspective makes the school environment unhealthy. Focus on compliance to a set of standards that are mostly disconnected from the students future needs and potential, rather than on the nurturing of personal and universal strengths, diminishes what passes as education to reactionary squelching of the human spirit and potential.
Psychologist Martin Seligman's idea that
"the prevention of mental illness comes from recognizing and nurturing a set of strengths, competencies, and virtues in young people--such as future-mindedness, hope, interpersonal skills, courage, the capacity for flow, faith, and work ethic" (Seligman, 2002), may be applied to education. Education is not only a door to opportunity because it gifts students with relevant skills but also leads students through that door to prevent intellectual depression by nurturing the best qualities of individual students and humanity as a whole.

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