What does it mean for kids to develop an origin story?


In the Q&A portion of Seth Godin's must-listen podcast Akimbo, S2E7 ("This Stinks"), Godin says,

"Part of what it means to raise resilient kids is that we need to give them opportunities to create origin stories that serve them."

He is referring back to the previous episode, S2E6 ("Origin Stories"), in which he shares a tale from his adolescence: Decades before the days of mobile phones and Internet, he had to figure out how to get home from half-way across the country, while recovering from being terribly sick and without knowing anyone nearby. Fast forward to 2018, and Godin continues to believe that this origin story explains his entrepreneurial career.

Implicit in all of this is that each kid will have her own origin story.

Is school designed to allow kids to create their own origin stories?

Or is school a place for conformity? A place where kids are supposed to learn to get the "right answers"?

And aren't those "right answers" responses to questions someone else has already figured out how to ask?

What kind of "origin story" does a learner come up with in that kind of environment?

How does school help a child become resilient if she doesn't regularly have the chance to identify her own problems, come up with her own solutions, and test them? How does school help a child become resilient if she fears that her failure to produce the "right answers" will be catastrophic to her grades?

And the most important question of all: if a learner's origin story is the rudder by which she steers during her journey into the unknown, how does your school help her to create and nurture that origin story?


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