Whole Child Symposium

Choosing Your Tomorrow Today

Choosing your tomorrow today. What does this phrase mean to you? Probably your first thought is that it conveys an understanding that what we decide today affects what we become tomorrow. Obviously skills, behaviors, and knowledge learned today increase or decrease the potential for us all to do things in the future. But is there more to this phrase? Can it be parsed out? Take each word one at a time.

Choosing

What does this word conjure up?
Choice can bring empowerment.
Choice can develop responsibility and ownership.
Choice is an important concept.

Your

What meaning comes to mind?
It can indicate autonomy.
It promotes voice—your voice.
It can also speak to personalization and individualization.

Tomorrow

Tomorrow can mean the future.
It can refer to how our society and our economy grows, develops, and matures.
Or it can just refer to tomorrow, because the future starts today.

Today

Is that the 21st century?
Or is it this school year?
Or is it now?

The decisions we make today—for our systems, our schools, and our classrooms—will affect what all of our tomorrows will look like tomorrow. This month ASCD launches its inaugural Whole Child Symposium—a conversation about the future of education comprising three events over eight weeks that includes not only some of the leading educators and thinkers, but also you and your voice.

So, what does it mean to you? What do you think is most important? What word has the greatest impact, the greatest potential, and the greatest need? Follow the conversation here on the blog, share your thoughts in the comments and by e-mail, and pose your questions on Twitter using the hashtag #WCSymposium2014.

Whole Child Symposium Town Hall

Learn more at www.ascd.org/wcsymposium.

Comments (3)

Lisa Conran

March 6, 2014

Using the word “choose” indicates that each child has a choice in his/her education. He/she can apply themselves and succeed or just sit at a desk each day. He/she can get up every day and go to school or sleep in and stay home. He/She can can become involved in school life and make a difference or just let things happen. Ultimately it is the child’s choices that determine their life path, no one can do it for them. Choice is ownership and responsibility.

Mike Thayer

March 13, 2014

I’ve had trouble putting into words what bugs me about the phrase “Choosing Your Tomorrow Today”, but I think I put my finger on it.

It’s potentially reductive, in the sense that it can be read as reflecting a narrowing of goals, a narrowing of possibilities. Education should be more about opening up vistas and possibilities for students, and while I believe the spirit of the phrase is intended to convey that somehow, I can also read it as part and parcel of a larger push by “reformers” to narrow, to classify, to constrict, to measure, to put our students into ever-tinier boxes.

Also: who is doing the choosing? And who are they doing the choosing for?

Sean Slade

March 13, 2014

These are fair comments and thoughts. Stay tuned to the WC Symposium and I’ll try and ask our speakers your questions and raise your concern.

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