Spoiler Alert to #tieco13: This is a sample from the the presentation I will be giving tomorrow with Master LaPlante!
Logan LaPlante is an incredible person who is doing amazing things and will do amazing things in the future.
He is a super communicator, highly adaptable, embraces change, is highly connected and positive. On YouTube, his TED talk has over 200,000 views with 4,000 likes. A top comment on the video says “You guys, seriously we should all do hack schooling if it turns out kids like this” and I am compelled to agree. His current and future success, as he points out, are also due in large part to his mom and dad, David and Jessica. I commend them for doing what feels right for their child and for having the courage to seek a path less followed for Logan. I do believe that being happy and healthy is a worthy goal. Plus, if you are a hacker in the traditional computer sense, you live in a world that has a surprising abundance of humour and laughter. In Logan’s case, I also appreciate the emphasis on creating a life and not just working to create a living. I think all of us want an opportunity to live a full life. The eight strategies for happy and healthy living from Dr. Roger Walsh makes for an interesting list to consider. I noticed that the Colorado Department of Education has adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative back in August 2010 and full implementation is expected by next school year 2013-2014.
Since I am speaking in Colorado, I went looking online at the “Comprehensive Health” curriculum I found the word “happy” once and the word “stress” or “stressor” 35 times. The word happy was as an example for how to deal with stress.
I think the educators and policy makers in the state of Colorado might want to take a page from Logan LaPlante and work on being happy as opposed to finding ways to deal with stress. To me this seems like working on healthy eating as opposed to effective weight loss and dieting. Relaxation and stress management is one category of the 8 Therapeutic Lifestyle changes or TLC. I would expect to see many curriculum standards for exercise as well as diet and nutrition if I were to go through the curriculum. But what about the other 6: time in nature (perhaps in sciences), contribution and service, relationships, recreation, and religious and spiritual. Should these be the responsibility of public schools? Is it reasonable to make happiness a core part of the curriculum?