Firstly, the students themselves have to decide – “do I wish to be the architect or designer of my own future – or am I going to allow myself to be the victim of decisions made by others; people who may be a lot less interesting, and who – quite possibly, don’t share, or even understand many of my values – the things that really matter to me”.
In other words, it is vital for young people to take ownership of their own pursuit of knowledge, to surround themselves with friends who encourage and share their curiosity, and to challenge how they think. The right friends can support and even inspire the very best in each other’s school work.
This will be further facilitated by a diet of thoughtful observations, from differing viewpoints – students should read what they can, when they can; question what they know, and where their knowledge comes from; and, ask why they believe what they do. Such critical thought will supply the type of understanding needed to participate, socially, culturally – and usefully, with other similarly ‘engaged’ people, in school and the wider world beyond.