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Visionary headmaster encourages children to play poker

headmaster's officeIn a world where most headmasters would suggest that children double or at least greatly increase the hours spent studying, Christian Heinrich has a very different approach. He is the chairman of the prestigious Boarding Schools’ Association in Britain and this year he made a rather intriguing speech at the annual meeting that was held in Brighton.

His vision about how schools should work for the benefit of children is slightly different than the mainstream and it is hard to argue with many of his points. Mr. Heinrich thinks that youngsters are supposed to receive more than technical education and that schools should be turned into an environment that encourages them to evolve on multiple levels. Instead of fearing mistakes and focusing all their energy on avoiding them, the headmaster suggests that some of them can provide useful lessons.

Heinrich told the audience that he urges the children studying in his school to cook their lunch, climb trees and drive a go-kart. All these activities are done under professional supervision, so even when small incidents happen, the consequences are minimal and no harm comes to the children. On the flipside, the youngsters learn some valuable things and grow into bolder yet more responsible individuals.

One thing that came as a surprise for the audience is the fact that Christian Heinrich encourages children to play poker as well. As a headmaster of a prep school for children ranging from 4 to 13 years old, he thinks that the game of poker can push their development into overdrive. Children learn how to understand and manage risk, and are forced to make educated decisions rather than random ones and then hope for the best.

The game of poker favours those who have excellent self-control and persevere enough to overcome the numerous obstacles. Children learn about the importance of human interaction and are engaged in healthy competition; something that the headmaster things that is not done sufficiently in schools. There are also some links between the game of poker and the ability to trade on the financial markets, with some prominent brokers and traders turning into successful poker players.

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