Every nine seconds a student drops out of high school. (Yikes.) And even more shocking is the reason why – most don’t find it relevant. One teen has a plan for changing this. Nikhil Goyal, 17, offers a prescription on transforming education in America in his new book One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School. It provides a combination of Goyal’s personal experiences in school, along with research, and a number of interviews that were conducted with prominent thinkers in education and entrepreneurship.
We got a chance to chat with the author and international speaker (he’s bomb, btw). Check out our interview below!
What inspired you to do this?
I was very frustrated in school and simply wanted to do something about it. I couldn't watch millions of children continue to be suppressed by our schools.
What do you believe is the reason behind kids "hating school" and the dropout rates being so high?
The reason [for this] is simply because school is irrelevant and boring. Boring is typically the first word students use when describing school. Almost every day you will hear students exclaiming during class, "When will we ever use this in real life?" Their question is very justified. We're stuck in an industrial model that does not take in account the passions and opinions of young people.
Along the way to making this book happen, what was a time that you really messed up? What did you learn from it?
I think the right question is "When have you failed during the book project?" I've been rejected by publishers, literary agents, and people I wanted to interview. I learned that you shouldn't spend any more than fifteen minutes being angry at your rejection. After that, jump right back into it.
Has anyone contacted you after reading the book? What is a memorable conversation you had?
Yes, a number of people have contacted me after reading the book. My conversations with them have been very inspiring. They've given me feedback and mentored me through the whole process.
What's your one piece of advice for young people trying to make a difference in education?
Don't wait for permission to do something remarkable. Don't stop until your demands are met. As Seth Godin has said, you need to create a tribe of individuals who are similarly passionate as you are.
Apply to be a Foot Locker Scholar Athlete for a chance at a $20,000 scholarship. GO