Today young people are trying to balance the question of “What do I want to do when I grow up?” with the question of “Who and how do I want to be in the world?” Physician and writer Abraham Verghese and education researcher Denise Pope argue that’s because the way we educate for success doesn’t support the creation of full, well-rounded humans. And they see the next generation challenging our cultural view of success by insisting that a deeply satisfying life is one filled with presence, vulnerability, and care for others.
Abraham Verghese is a professor of medicine, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, and Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor at Stanford University. His books of fiction and non-fiction include “My Own Country,” “The Tennis Partner,” and the novel “Cutting for Stone.” He received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2016.
Denise Pope is a senior lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Education and the co-founder of the non-profit organization Challenge Success. She’s the author of “Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students;” and a co-author of “Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids.”
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode “Abraham Verghese and Denise Pope — How Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?” Find more at onbeing.org.
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