The divide between childhood and adulthood is the acquisition of [a degree of] autonomy. The goal then of parenting and education is to ultimately empower children with the autonomy that they will need as an adult. Many parents in our modern culture though try so hard to keep their children from growing up ["too soon"]. In such homes these progeny are treated as mere children right up until the day that they move out of their parents' home, at which point they are suddenly thrust into an adult world in which they are somehow expected to instantly function as adults, despite inadequate encouragement and training in their parents' home. A healthier approach to creating adults would be to actually encourage the child to become an adult, and to gradually grant the child rights commeasurate with responsibilities until the child has all the rights and responsibilities of an adult. In older cultures they concretely symbolized this transformation with rite-of-passage ceremonies to emphatically acknowledge a child's transition into adulthood, but our modern culture lacks adequate rites-of-passage. (Did you feel like a fully empowered adult at your high school graduation?) When imagining how a teacher could provide a meaningful rite-of-passage to a student (though not the final rite), I came up with the following document...Mantle of Curricular Authority
By completion of this Mantle, _______________________________ is hereby imbued with both the right and the responsibility for authoring his/her own independent curriculum at the Academy. The educators of the Academy hereby pledge to support to the best of their ability and available resources the independent curriculum authored by the Recipient. With his/her self-governed Curricular Authority, the Recipient has the right to re-author his/her curriculum at will. However, should the educators of the Academy deem that monetary resources previously committed to the Recipient's prior self-authored curriculum have not been properly utilized by the Recipient, the educators hold the prerogative to withhold further monetary resources until they deem that the Recipient has properly utilized those previously committed resources. This Mantle further grants the Recipient the rank of Senior Scholar at the Academy.
Granting of Curricular Authority:
We, the educators at the Academy, believe that empowering our students is a crucial goal of education. We deem that the Recipient has demonstrated the traits which would make one worthy of the above mentioned Curricular Authority, and we pledge to support to the best of our ability and available resources the self-authored curriculum of the Recipient.
Granting Educator: _______________________________
Signature of Granting Educator
Acceptance of Curricular Authority:
I, _______________________________, declare that I have read this Mantle and I understand and agree to the right and the responsibility that it imbues upon me.
Signature of Recipient