Dear Mums and Dads,
I am writing to you as a teacher of 32 years, a mother of 24 years and a governor of over 10 years in England. More importantly, I am writing to you as an individual whose life mission is to make a difference to the lives of the next generation.
The modern formal education system was established more than a century ago. Since then, there have only been relatively minor changes made to it across the world. Within this system, the general perception is that young people are rational machines, when in fact our emotions, needs and beliefs drive us to many irrational thoughts and decisions. Along with the fast-developing world of today, this regressive approach needs to be revised. It is our belief that developing the ability and learning skills to manage one's own life in the most effective way should be at the forefront of modern education. This would only be possible by first establishing an understanding of one's own complex inner world and the vast and diverse outer world.
Due to technological advancements, many of our current-day jobs are likely to be taken over by artificial intelligence, leaving highly qualified people unemployed. This reality further emphasises the need to collectively create a society with human qualities and skills, those which cannot be replicated by AI.
Being continuously subjected to exam grading, peer and parental influence, young people learn to define themselves with the labels such as 'clever', 'stupid', 'successful', 'unsuccessful', 'hard-working', 'lazy'. They begin to form false self-perceptions on which they base their decisions and beliefs... Worst of all, they develop defence mechanisms in order to survive the system which they were brought up in. These mechanisms sabotage their chances of leading healthy, fulfilling interpersonal relationships. During this difficult and confusing period of adolescence, CAPS's interventions aim to shed light on certain dynamics, increasing awareness in young people and giving them a different perspective on life. It is an opportunity to pause and reflect.
One of the concepts that CAPS is based on is neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change throughout one's lifetime). It has been proven that the brain does not stop developing after childhood; constant learning means it continues to change until the end of one's life. The questions asked in CAPS will invite young people to challenge the false beliefs they have accumulated, 'rewire' their brains and give them the opportunity to design themselves into the individual they want to be.
Through CAPS - which has been developed simultaneously in the UK and in Turkey - young people understand why they need to take responsibility for their own existence and identify different ways to unlock their potential. They are also made aware that interests, talents, values, problem solving and decision making skills are integrated in all aspects of life, not only in the career planning process.
I would like to highlight that we are not promising a path to absolute success, happiness and an outstanding career but, with your dedication, we promise to help crystalise the abstract concepts and intimidating ideas within the career planning and decision making process. We will do our best to try and give you a clearer picture of what the future may hold.
I wish that CAPS will give you a comprehensive and objective understanding of your child's inner world and of their expectations about the future. I wish that your efforts in guiding and helping them are not in vain. Above all, I wish you and your child all the best through your life journey together...
Püren Savaş Gedikoğlu