education - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Indra always said that the Native American "Circle of Courage" was the most advanced and intelligent system of education mankind ever developed.
"Yeah, so, kids can't focus for more than 20 minutes, not little ones. So we split the class into four groups, they are in the classroom for 30 minutes for times a day and the teacher delivers the lesson to this tiny group. The small group is vital for learning and feeling loved and appreciated, the larger amount of playtime boosts brain and body development. We have more volunteer play leaders in the playground, the more creative and silly the better. Children are healthier, society is healthier, the whole family starts to do better. And it costs no more than that awful Victorian nonsense we had before. The teachers choose the pace and what to teach, the kids can make requests and follow their own passions far more easily, everyone wins.
And to make it even better, this is an expanded school day so that there are no more daycares and all three meals plus healthy snacks are included. It is the end of the birth-lottery on whether you get properly fed and educated. This gives kids everything they need to thrive, perhaps the best alternative to good quality homeschool with loving and consistent adults who behave as family do. It runs all year and assumes kids will be taken out for a few weeks here or there for family vacations, and is flexible. The longer day gives more pay to teachers, yet because of the small class sizes and repetition of lessons with no 'marking' or 'curriculum' there is less work and less stress. And as for those teens? We started the school day at 11am and they did so much better. We ran it the same way colleges do, they sign up for classes and show up on time all by themselves. What can I say? It works. Everyone is happy, results are up, teens are healthier, we have arts and sports on campus, all's good."
There is so much intelligence in our intuition, that when combined with our creativity and conscious logical reasoning, becomes a genius that amazes all - and we are all capable of it. So let our education be responsive to this innate curiosity and drive, respectful of how each brain needs to develop, because that's when we become a species that thrives.
Victorian society was cruel and thus people's brains were damaged by lack of love and nurture. The empathy centre of the brain fails to develop, as does correct higher thinking as social animals. Thus the education system they made induces similar damage, producing workers who were also damaged. To defend this system of institutionalised bullying would be akin to pointing to a few survivors on an horrific battlefield and declaring war to be benign. Neuroscience, behavioural biology and our natural emotional intelligence has shown we need a loving environment to develop our creative drive and inner passions, and crucially, to retain and develop our innate genius. The "ten-thousand hours of practice" that leads to mastery only happens when we feel free, inspired, safe and loved.
So, if a person says the harsh education system, "It didn't do me any harm!" Then we have to reply, "We're so sorry, but it did do you a lot of harm. Our job as guardians of the next generation is to give them the best environment possible, the most support possible, so that they develop better than we did, fully able to be a successful socially complex species."
Education in the inner-city wasn't so much survival of the fittest as survival of the least interesting. Being different made you a target. It was better by far to be a "beige" kid, someone folks forget about before you've even left the room. The teachers were an odd mixture of tough and timid, either they'd shut off their emotions to avoid a nervous breakdown or they'd had it already. I learnt plenty though, mostly lessons I hope my future kids never have to learn. I know some folks laugh at white picket-fence dreams, jibe at suburbia, but I've got that cozy little home in my sights and I'm not letting go.
Education is my golden ticket in the snow. It's a chance to better myself, to learn and grow. It's a chance for change, or perhaps metamorphosis if I should be so lucky.
Heidi sits on the edge of her plastic chair, this is science class, her chance to shine. The other kids seem to come alive in art class, amongst the pastels and fine charcoal pencils, but for her the sight of the laboratory was the heaven she craved. Art was amazing, art was beautiful, but not when drawn by her hand. By her hand it was like a three year old with a broken arm was given a crayon and told to have fun. Mr Tobias was beaming at the front of the class, and she fought not to reflect it back, grinning at teachers wasn't cool. But as he announced the new assignment her face fell into a natural look of disbelief, lips as straight as the pencil on her desk. Twenty percent of the grade was based on the artwork that went with it. Nine out of ten kids in the class voted to approve the new rubric and Heidi felt like something had just died in her mouth. Twenty percent. She could kiss her A's goodbye.
I forgot everything they told me in school, but I recall the cane. The fear of being in that dank room at a single desk while the master strode from desk to desk still comes to me in quiet moments. The classroom was order, everywhere else was chaos. Looking back, I guess the bullies were simply the fastest learners, practising "power and intimidation" on the rest of us. In truth, that was our education. We learnt that the powerful inflict pain and hold sway over the rest who cower meekly and obediently do work. I don't wonder why our world is the way it is, how can it be any other? Don't we learn best by watching what others do rather than what they say?
Remo thinks he's found a way to send a message back to 2015, twenty years in our past. I'm not convinced but if you're reading this he was right and I was wrong. We don't know what will happen to our branch of the time tree if it works, perhaps we'll just fade away. But in this future no-one knows what happiness is unless a corporation tells them. If they have money then products make them happy, if they are poor then working makes them happy. Our education system is like The Hunger Games, only without the weaponry. There are only so many passing grades available and the kids compete for them under the crippling pressure exerted by fearful parents. To the victors go the spoils, a beautiful home and all the food they could ever want. The losers who are artistic work in the textile factories, the scientific ones in the code farms. We all act like it's a fair competition, but like in that old classic novel it isn't. The private school kids are the "careers," well equipped with every advantage, and since they worked hard at their schooling they figure they earned it. To keep rebellion at bay they throw out a few scholarships and the rags-to-riches stories dominate our televisions and magazines. We poor cheer them on, all the while breaking a little more inside. Our teachers protested the cuts every time they could as the old system was washed away. The new one promised a country fit for the technological age, what use was art, writing? The parents were kept sweet with tax cuts that came from their own back pockets and the only winners were the elite who had already won.
Centralized government control is a house of cards and I’ll show you why in as few words as possible. Think about being a highschool teacher with thirty students. They don’t want to be there, they’ve been in the system too long for their liking and ahead all they see is cubicle farm monotony. And that’s if they’re lucky. Otherwise it’s serving fries with a smile or homelessness. You're the teacher, you walk in and they keep talking loud and crass like you’re not even there. You stand at the front to assume authority as the teacher training manual told you to do. You’ve been trained in the basic techniques of subduing a small population. You can see they aren’t in a mood to listen so you order them out of the room to line up. They ignore you so you get firmer. You threaten detentions, put names on the board. Nothing. Then you spot a compliant kid already starting on his work and you send him to fetch the principle. All the standard fear tactics that work so well for a classroom teacher have failed because you aren't the regular teacher, you can’t back up your threats and they know it.
The principal arrives, hush descends. One look from her and out come their books, She knows their parents, she can hurt them if they don’t comply. Suddenly these teens look more like “workers.” You feel vindicated, these "entitled brats" need to work, and you aren’t even sure anymore if you care if they succeed or not. But here’s the question. What would have happened if not only that class, but the entire school stopped working? What then? Can they all be punished, all expelled? Nope. The teachers, the controllers, use fear because they are scared. Magnify that up to the population/government level and you see your world. Fear to corral you into being a good little consumer, buy, buy, buy. Push through that fear and it’s only freedom on the other side. Freedom to create, love, sing, dance, make things. So buy nothing you can’t really live without and you will save earth, no maybes.
Found in Are you awake yet? - first draft, authored by .
This street could be any city anywhere. Now that the corporations are global we have the same style buildings in every country. Our STEM education means there are no artists to make our public spaces unique to us, to our culture. The colour scheme is the same for every store. There are no designers since only math and technology counts. So now this place is grey, black and blue. The workers who went to the free schools line the streets in orange coveralls. They are our road sweepers, garbage collectors and factory fodder. The shrinking middle class that is rapidly going under from paying their own medical bills are the low level workers, data entry clerks in cubicle farms and code monkeys. They cram the buses in their blue uniforms that have been the same in many years, no art means no fashion. Then there are the electric self driven cars that ferry the children of the elite to their private schools. It's the class system by another name. The top stay at the top, the poor die young.
Education in your times was Victorian at best. Despite seeing the natural diversity of minds you somehow thought a "shotgun" approach to be optimum and fair. Were you too distracted with the chaos of your time to see that it was neither? The ones whom it suited were the worthy winners and those it disenfranchised became the "lazy" and "stupid" - set to toil in the jobs no-one else wanted.
In our time there is no reason for everyone to do higher math (we have no money and our robots do the sums more quickly than we can measure) and we have no reason to write (you can simply speak to produce a document in any language), there are new priorities. We teach the kids how to cooperate and negotiate fairly. We focus on creativity when they are young and how to combine it with logic and critical thinking when they are more mature. We teach them the psychology of our species and others so that they have a broad understanding on which to interpret behaviours. They learn how to use the technology we have. Everyone must train to grow crops on the farms, knowing how to produce our food and protect genetic diversity is too important to only tell a few.
The highly gifted in any area are able to concentrate on their special talents. It's hard to fathom that in your time most of these kids were the drop-outs you were too envious of to nurture, even though they held the keys to the salvation of all. Most importantly we learn to hold Mother Earth and her ecosystems with reverence, to respect her and hold all life to be sacred under the Creator...
"This ain't no education. This ain't. This is stress camp for kids. You stress us until we cave, until our spirit is no more. Then you feed us into the machine you idolize, the one that will kill us all. I got eyes; I see. I see those drones you call ideal, accepting stress so they got them nice houses and them nice cars. But you know what they ain't got? They ain't a mind of their own and I pity them, the zombies. This society got them spinning so fast because God knows that if they slowed down for even a day, they'd start to see the bars around them. I have liberty; I was born free - and there ain't no man who can take what is inside. Not never, not no how."