I found Adecco’s survey of school children living in Singapore fairly insightful actually for three broad reasons:
Well firstly, children are brutally honest people I believe, so what you glean from the responses will most certainly be fairly authentic, rather than adult responses that often tend to second-guess survey intentions or are more conscious about the politically correct answer or image their answers may portray.
Secondly, the responses give us a sense of what kind of society we are, or at least what kind of society we try to make ourselves to be, and the values we seem to uphold. We may write off their responses are immature or childish, but truth be told – this is the world they perceive, or rather the world that is being projected to them. Even suggestions that the Presidency is the ‘coolest job’ is highly telling of how we – or the media – may have been over highlighting the ceremonial easy-life-good-pay role of the Presidential office. Mentions of dreams to be a tai-tai or billionaire seem cute, but what might such early thoughts breed in future?
Thirdly, the emphasis on ‘thinking about others’ – as inferred from the top career ambitions – is actually notable. I believe that kids do honestly and sincerely think about others a lot more in their younger formative years. Yes, such sentiments may fly in the face of developmental literature that charts stages of maturity according to age but such survey results perhaps offer a different view: the human being possibly being more naturally other-centered and actually becomes more selfish as he/she continues to interact more with the adult capitalist milieu.
What are your own thoughts on the survey findings?