The children of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden and Willow, are known for their artistic contributions and philosophical ways of thinking. Willow, 19, is a singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, actor, and dancer. Jaden, 22, is also a singer, songwriter, rapper, and actor. His first film was starring opposite his father in The Pursuit of Happyness.
Through the years, the brother and sister duo have shared their thoughts about school, how it’s damaging, and how they think it should be.
Jaden and Willow think school makes teenagers ‘angsty’
In an interview Jaden and Willow did with T Magazine in 2014, they shared their thoughts at the time concerning traditional school.
“Here’s the deal: School is not authentic because it ends,” said Jaden. “It’s not true, it’s not real. Our learning will never end. The school that we go to every single morning, we will continue to go to.”
“Kids who go to normal school are so teenagery, so angsty,” he added.
At the time, Jaden felt young people didn’t really “learn anything in school.”
“Think about how many car accidents happen every day. Driver’s ed? What’s up? I still haven’t been to driver’s ed because if everybody I know has been in an accident, I can’t see how driver’s ed is really helping them out,” he said.
Willow said she went to school “for one year” and it was both a positive and negative experience.
“It was the best experience but the worst experience,” she said. “The best experience because I was, like, ‘Oh, now I know why kids are so depressed.’ But it was the worst experience because I was depressed.”
Jaden and Willow want to go to college
Later, when Jaden and Willow spoke to Interview Magazine, they were asked if they had any plans to go to college.
“100 percent,” responded Jaden.
Willow said there’s “a very strong possibility” she’ll go to college. She’s interested in learning more about science.
“I’m a huge advocate of all sciences. And my favorite—actually, not my favorite because I love all sciences—but my primary science that I study all the time is physics,” she said. “It’s the mother of all sciences because it’s just how things move and how things react to the world around them. I feel like I would definitely go to college for physics.”
Jaden and Willow would like to see the way young people think about school change
What the siblings would really like, is to not only see the current school system change, but the way kids feel about school change, too. They don’t want it to be a place that makes young people feel “depressed.”
“Where me and Willow come from, a lot of it is trying to make society more efficient, so that kids don’t cry, like, ‘Why do I have to go to school?’ Instead, kids are like, ‘Yeah! I’m so glad to go to school! I’m a better person than I was yesterday, and I can help people,'” said Jaden.
“Exactly!” added Willow.
“That’s where we’re trying to get to,” he continued. “Where every kid goes to school, and like 50 percent of children don’t drop out. Where they feel like their teachers are actually on their side.”