How can the education system spark more ideas?

How incredible would it be to have a classroom of young people with bright ideas, just spending an hour a day exploring how they could make ideas reality?

My concern about the current education model is that it strays away from providing young people with the opportunity to dip their toes into the ocean of life. An ocean filled with successes, failures, self-reliance, networking opportunities and allowing you as an individual to think about a situation that affects your real life, not a situation that determines your homework grades.

Don't get me wrong, everyone is different and the lucky ones find their passion in a subject at school and pursue it relentlessly. But for the ones who are unsure, there should be more opportunities available to find your true passion in life.

Read: How do you prepare young people for the world of work?

I finished national curriculum education about seven years ago and instead of choosing further education, like many of my friends, I decided to put my best foot forward and start my 'life education'. This was such a shock that I felt like my five year old self again, at my first day of school terrified and weeping in the corner because I wanted my mummy.

But why was I in such a state? I'd learnt the definition of photosynthesis, I could write an essay on Henry VII and his six wives and I could even tell you how to factorise a quadratic equation with letters in it! The truth of the matter was that I hadn't learnt the foundations of 'life skills' and how to confidently apply them or how to think like an entrepreneur.

 If I'm really honest, I'd never even heard of the word entrepreneur.

Luckily for me and after bravely jumping into the deep end, I was caught by Trudy Thompson who very kindly offered to mentor me and help me on my way a bit. Trudy has years upon years of entrepreneurial experience and life education and took me under her wing, teaching me ways in which I could think creatively about problems and find solutions, learn about influential communication with people and more importantly find out who I really am and what I am passionate about. Trudy and I are now business partners and we run an incredible retreat designed for entrepreneurs to share this knowledge and our experiences.

Read: What if we gave education an entrepreneurial facelift?

At our retreat, we still use school whiteboards when doing our creative thinking sessions to generate new ideas or find solutions to problems. However we dislike being referred to as teachers because we're merely guiding thoughts and crucially, we never discount an  idea as crazy as it might seem.

If the education curriculum could run these sessions for young people it would give them another path to follow and maybe most importantly, a foundation of confidence and self-reliance that they could rely on for the rest of their life whether they choose to take an entrepreneurial path or not.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. 

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