Interesting commentary in EdWeek questioning the need for high school by Robert Epstein, a former editor in chief of Psychology Today, a contributing editor for Scientific American Mind, a visiting scholar at the University of California, San Diego, and the host of “Psyched!” on Sirius Satellite Radio. His latest book, The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen, was published last week by Quill Driver Books.
"A careful look at these issues yields startling conclusions: The social-emotional turmoil experienced by many young people in the United States is entirely a creation of modern culture. We produce such turmoil by infantilizing our young and isolating them from adults. Modern schooling and restrictions on youth labor are remnants of the Industrial Revolution that are no longer appropriate for today’s world; the exploitative factories are long gone, and we have the ability now to provide mass education on an individual basis.
Teenagers are inherently highly capable young adults; to undo the damage we have done, we need to establish competency-based systems that give these young people opportunities and incentives to join the adult world as rapidly as possible."
[EdWeek is having an "open house" until April 15, 2007, so anyone can read this online through that date.]