On the precipice of full adult life, the young adult needs answers to the great questions: “Why am I here?” “How should I live?” “What should I do with my life?” “How should I deal with other people?” If the student is not already asking himself these questions, it is his teacher’s job to show him how to ask them and how to find good answers–he needs those answers to live well!
Did you go to college thinking you’d find some of those answers? Or at least people interested in the questions? What did you find?
Achievement and success require the vision of the possible and the ability to weather the actual.
To navigate the stormy waters of life, the difficulties, the disappointments, the setbacks and the failures, young people need cognitive skills, essential knowledge, and plenty of encouragement and emotional fuel. Positive Psychology research shows us that in the human spirit, knowledge and cognitive habits integrate with character traits to form pervasive emotional effects, affecting your functioning in life. Healthy, successful, happy people tend to have cognitive habits that deeply influence their emotional tone in a positive direction.
Role models are particularly important as they provide concrete examples of how to live well. In other words, you especially need great examples of other human beings who have successfully dealt with many difficulties. You need heroes.
A higher education program should always include instruction about human achievement and what makes it possible, both existentially and psychologically. The history — the stories — of great achievers who faced ridicule, ostracism, punishment to find the truth, to build, to create, such as Socrates, Al-Hazen, Galileo, Michelangelo, Vanderbilt, and Tucker are inspiring fuel for your spirit and your future.
Further, teachers should be great examples themselves, by embodying the best human attributes such as:
- Commitment to being conscious about what he or she knows and doesn’t know (the first step on the path of objectivity);
- Passion for learning new material and integrating it with other knowledge;
- Commitment to modeling the highest virtues of the free person, including honesty,
responsibility, and respect for the rights of others;
- Commitment to the restless pursuit of personal improvement and growth;
Through embodying these virtues, teachers inspire students to the highest ends of the free man and woman.
Likewise, an excellent curriculum should endeavor to educate the student in the full range of ideas, history, and knowledge. This means studying the works of the Classics as well as modern science, and significant modern works. In addition to what’s intellectually popular, this means including the usually neglected works of the liberty movement. The curriculum should also include the study of philosophy as the basis of all knowledge and self-understanding, and will also enable an understanding of the findings of scientific psychology and neuroscience.
This kind of education will inspire you and prepare you for life as a free, autonomous individual, capable of making his or her own choices and putting them into action.
You’ll find this and so much more in The Great Connections programs. We nurture the human spirit!