Don’t Send Your Kids Off To College. At Least Not Yet.

In this article posted by Nicholas Kristof to his New York Times blog, On The Ground, Abigail Falk looks at the statistics and trends on the pros and cons of the gap year.

Is the education system failing our students? Is the conveyor belt to college even worth it? Are there solutions?

Falk examines the missed opportunity of branding the ‘gap year’ as a ‘gap’. We need to “rebrand the “gap year” as anything but a “gap.”’

Sound-recording-gap-year

“When used intentionally, the year before college can be a bridge, a launch pad and a new rite of passage. It’s the students who find the courage to step off the treadmill – replacing textbooks with experience and achievement with exploration – who are best prepared for life after high school. And a growing number of colleges are taking notice.”

The truth is, the value of a gap year is becoming ever increasingly prominent in American life. Global perspective, a sense of one’s own strengths and weakness, the ability to lead, persuade, and listen deeply to peers. These are all skills that sit on the sidelines of traditional education, but can be taken up as a focal point during one’s gap year. Indeed, it may be the best opportunity to learn them.

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