There was a time not too long ago when children started learning a trade at very early ages. This was abandoned for choice based upon maturity; how can a young teen or even a pre-teen know what they want to be when they grow up? This brought us to the current education system that focuses on trying to teach kids a little bit of everything rather than focusing on their interests and talents.
A three-year-old charter school in Albuquerque, NM, is trying to turn that concept back around. The Southwest Aeronautics, Mathematics and Science Academy (SAMS) focuses on the technical side of learning: math, science, and engineering. They help kids learn skills that are specific to their talents, whether they are going to be airplane mechanics or aerospace scientists.
While the school is specialized, it still has curriculum that lies outside of the technical fields to produce well-rounded students. This concept is not new. In fact, it’s very old, but it’s something that has been lost in society in recent decades. Today, most schools have future doctors, dancers, engineers, and artists all intermingled while trying to teach them all the same basic things. There are usually some levels of elective courses that can give kids a taste of what their future may hold, but it’s far less emphasized. Instead, we are producing generally educated children rather than children who are following a calling from an early age.
According to the Albuquerque Journal:
In many ways, SAMS is a traditional school. Students do their physical education on campus. The school fields sports teams, holds after-school clubs and offers classes in all the traditional subjects. Students can even ride a bus to the school, which isn’t all that common for a charter school.
With just under 300 students, the school is in high demand. They utilize a lottery system to select incoming students.
It’s an interesting idea that should be revisited. Can society improve by focuses less on the things that will most likely never be useful to them or on things that will stay with them for the rest of their lives?