So yesterday we got a flyer in the mail. It’s for a new middle school in our system, an offshoot of a very successful high school – The Denver School for Science and Technology – www.scienceandtech.org They are starting a middle school next year with their inaugural 6th grade.
We happen to have a kid who might like to go there (although it’s hard to know for sure with him.) The question I’m pondering today is this: how soon in life should one specialize?
I’ve talked to various folks about this. One opinion I’ve heard went something like this…
I always knew what I wanted to do and all these teachers made me do all this crap that I wasn’t interested in, I hated school for a long time until I got to college and got to do what I wanted to do. This from a smart guy who successfully supports the GNP today. (That’s the Gross National Product not Glacier National Park…)
Another opinion – How can you be a centered and socially responsible scientist without a good foundation in the liberal arts? Take our friend Einstein who helped invent the nuclear bomb, in the end many people looked to him for much beyond his work in physics. Many look to his writings to see how he felt philosophically about war, handing science over to politicians, and so on.
Now to be fair, DSST (Denver School for Science and Technology not some sinister type of insecticide) claims to provide a whole education that focuses on all the main subjects so it isn’t like the kids suddenly don’t have to pass English class anymore but still we are talking about focusing an education starting at the 6th grade when most of the students are 11 years old.
I think my main focus at 11 was Speed Racer.