Katie, Graduate Student & Former Teacher, CA
Katie is a graduate student studying Education Policy at Stanford and a former teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Katie believes in the power of human possibility and the potential for schools to positively transform lives. She was interviewed by her friend and peer, Nicole.
Imagine your child (or one you care about deeply) is now in their 30s – out of school and starting into adult life. What do you hope for them about their life? What would make it a ‘good’ life?
Happy, independent of her circumstances. Happy in a way that did not depend on wealth or prestige. Really fulfilled in whatever she was doing. I hope she would find someone that she
Loves, to have some economic security in order to be fulfilled. Secure is having your basic needs covered, and then having the time and the means to explore things that you're passionate about that are not necessary in a utilitarian sense but to feed your soul.
Do you think everyone agrees with you about what a good life is?
I think so; there may be different definitions of happiness, but I can't imagine people not wanting their children to be fulfilled and independent people. People might have different versions of what a society of happy people is, like a lot of people are more focused on efficiency and end product instead of process. Ideally we would all agree on the way to get to happiness and through compassion, understanding people, making connections; people not knowing what is enough of the basic needs.
What role do you think schooling should play in achieving that ideal good life?
I think it's really about developing values and there are so many ways to do that. In our society, we are beholden to these content driven standards. But, the idea of deriving the ability to think deeply, recognize beauty, that's ideally what schools do. We don't always remember the content, it's the depth of thought that goes with studies is what school is there for.