Education27 min read

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A. Education as One of the Philosophical Pillars

Education is a human right.

There is a reason that Education is one of the 8 Philosophical Pillars for Peace and that is because, as a Human Right, it forms the bedrock for equality, creativity, innovation, progress, peace, the ability to pursue a fulfilling life and to be able to make a difference within Humanity, as well as acting as a bastion to keep a person from being manipulated and taken advantage of. It is one of the most powerful things that we spend money and time on throughout our lives. Education spending is one of the few things that should basically NEVER be cut, and only ever increased.

B. The American Education System’s Losing Battle verses Conservatism and Corporations

As I have talked about in my personal blog post (System Suppression Inherent in America’s Two-Party System), the people of the United States have been losing a 50 year long battle (following the protests of Vietnam War) against 3 powerful groups which benefit from the destruction of the education systems:

  • conservative political movements
  • conservative religious movements
  • rich and affluent, and the corporations

… and they have worked hard to gut our education system for 3 primary reasons:

  • ensure conservative religious and political ranks are full
  • ensure their coffers are full
  • ensure class inequality

If you want to understand the rationale for why gutting our education system makes sense to them then please check out the link from above for they go over the reasons in more detail. Much of this page will be trying to undo over 50 years of the destruction of our education system which also has had the US slip from a global leader in education to being in 30th or lower place in global educational quality.

I. Administrative and Meta

A. Economic

When the rich and the affluent, who make their money off exploiting the work of the those less fortunate, gain even more a total advantage by having a better quality (mostly private and expensive) education, this creates one of the most insidious and pernicious progenitors of class separation in human societies.

Where the direct economic and social differences between the rich and the poor are not bad enough, the differences in educational quality greatly amplifies their advantages and their separation not only through the mere quality of their education, but by the opportunities that it opens up for them. Just by the mere label of the educational institution they attended, such as from attending one of the prestigious “Ivy League Schools”, some businesses and social arenas are significantly easier to join or to be hired by if you have attended one of these special expensive schools because of the assumption of you work ethic, moral character, social class, and the quality of your education. Such businesses or social arenas may not actually look closely at those candidates or just accept them on the spot especially if someone in the business has graduated from that institution. Conversely, those who have not gone to such expensive schools would have gained significantly more scrutiny or never would have been even considered because of the label of their “lesser” educational institution.

We have the trend where alumni parents who are rich can donate to their alma mater and may lobby to receive special consideration and acceptance for their children regardless of their potential, ability, or past performance which is yet another level advantage that the non-rich do not have. This is another way to pass on intergenerational affluence.

Also, keep in mind that the attack on our education system in the US started following the Vietnam War protests from the 1960’s and the 1970’s and has continued to this day. Prior to that education used to be reasonable and affordable to a single person. [ The Origins of Student Debt: Reagan Adviser Warned Free College Would Create a Dangerous “Educated Proletariat” (The Intercept, Aug 2022) ] Since then costs have skyrocketed which helps to ensure that only the rich have easy access to it and the poor may go without it entirely. We also have the fact that as part of that attack which is orchestrated by the military industrial complex as a way to ensure that there are plenty of people willing to die for corporate sponsored wars (of which I was also a victim) that those who cannot afford to go to college are targets of military recruiting through the powerful carrot of being able to get into college through the GI Bill. Of course, you have to live long enough to be able to benefit from that. =( (The Military Targets Youth for Recruitment, Especially at Poor Schools, Teen Vogue Jan 2019) The expendable lives of the non-rich, especially people of color, are thrown upon the millstone of capitalism and corporate profit through wars is another horrible cost of educational inequality and corporate control of our government. Here is a recent tweet from US Representative Jim Banks saying that quiet part out loud:

This whole section is targeted towards ending economic disparities within all forms of education through the following 3 parts:

  • equalizing the money that each and every school district gets
  • ending private schooling
  • correcting damage done

Equality cannot be obtained without all 3 steps:

  1. Nationalize the School System
    1. Nationalize the education system
  2. End Private Schools
    • No more private schools which gives advantage to the rich and affluent which further allows the harms of income inequality and class differences.
    • No more charter schools or voucher programs which are a fraud.
  3. Intergenerational District Infrastructure Inequality
    1. Figure out how much infrastructure funds the richest schools have invested in their schools currently and then provide the funds to lift ALL of the other schools up to that level.
  4. Equalizing Economic Distribution to Schools
    1. Universal and free access to education (all levels) including other technical training such as massage therapist and apprenticeships.
    2. Funding for public schools should be aggregated state-wide and then redistributed equally or proportionally to the various schools to keep rich communities from having everything and poorer communities from having nothing.
    3. At least triple the funding for all schools. Schools and teachers should never be wanting of funds.
  5. Correcting Personal Inequality
    1. All student loans need to be terminated.
    2. Minimum teacher’s pay of $85,000 (which should be the minimum wage).
    3. Some of the Nordic countries do pay a stipend when people go to school to help support them while they are educating themselves. This is a good idea, especially for adults who are going back to school, and will allow people who want to learn to be more easily able to do so, which can also greatly assist those who wish to pursue a different career path later on in life. I am faced with this problem currently and cannot afford the new education path that I desire.

B. Process

There is much about the way that we organize our schools that is just harmful and inefficient and by changing these we can greatly increase our children’s enjoyment of their schooling as well as increase their ability to learn, and therefore achieve powerful gains in educational outcomes.

We will focus on 3 areas:

  1. Decreasing Negative Processes and Outcomes
  2. Social Cohesion and Empathy
  3. After School Activities
  1. Decreasing Negative Processes and Outcomes
    • The use of the SAT and GRE should be ended because they are classist, racist, colonialist, and have almost no real predictive success.
    • Schools should go year round. (National Association for Year Round Education) – prevents learning losses during the extended summer vacation and ensures parents and businesses have a more regular schedule to work with.
    • Schools should start later – near 10:30 am – kids sleep longer as they are developing – interfering with that adversely effects their growth, their ability to learn, and their sociability
    • Elementary schools need much more recess – kids need much more play, especially outside play each day and are happier and learn better when then do
    • less or no homework – homework increases stress and anxiety and does not increase learning outcomes
    • No testing until 7th grade and then only every few years – increases stress, anxiety and does not increase learning outcomes, plus teachers are teaching the test and not teaching the students
    • End the following practices which are classist, racist, and mysoginyst: attendance and zero tolerance. The only Zero-tolerance policy we should have is for poverty and inequality.
      If you want to get rid of the issues that zero-tolerance policies are targeting, the only way to do that is through ending poverty and inequality which are the biopsychosocial drivers of the issues.
    • Outlaw corporal punishment for public and private schools.
    • Remove all police officers from schools.
    • Remove military recruiters from schools and ban them from coming to the school especially for career day. Not only that, but we should all be protesting at all military recruiter stations for sacrificing our children for 1% and corporate profit.
    • School Food (Breakfast and Lunch)
      • The food served in schools should be local and organic
      • Meal planning should be through something such as the Paleo AIP (Auto-Immune Protocol) Diet so that school food will not potentially create or exacerbate existing health problems.
      • Breakfast and lunch should be served and it should be free for all. Currently, school food costs are weaponized against the poor. For some children this may be one of the few decent meals they receive. A child cannot learn well if they are hungry – a negative biopsychosocial effect.
      • Excess food could be given away to students in need as prepared meal packs or to a local food pantry.
  2. Social Cohesion and Empathy
    • Mentors – more tutors and mentors for kids who are struggling; older or more gifted kids could help with that as well, but also, if a child knows a subject well enough to teach it then they truly understand that subject. The mere process of trying to teach something can increase ones understanding though having undergone that thought process. This also gets children on a path to working with others and into a mindset of trying to understand how another person thinks. Each child will most likely have something they are good at and will potentially force popular students to need to ask for help on something where a less popular student might be able to help them. This can help increase social cohesion and humility, and well as foster as sense of community in the school, because everyone is helping everyone. Cooperation, team work, and humility are needed skills.
    • Solidarity should be a core concept taught very early along side compassion and empathy. It will be hard for a bully to bully when the whole class is standing with the victims.
    • Use Restorative Justice programs – which can help to increase social cohesion, understanding, and peace as well as foster a greater understanding of empathy and compassion for others
    • End the Pledge of Allegiance – which contributes to isolation, nationalism, American exceptionalism, tribalism, close mindedness, racism, bigotry, fear, bullying, and limits a child’s understanding of their their place within the entirety of Humanity and the world at large. I have a giant post started on this important topic.
  3. After School Activities
    • There should be plenty of after school activities to keep kids entertained, growing, and to keep kids off the streets. This also effective vs alcohol, drugs, and gangs. We can even work with private organizations to sponsor such things.
      • athletics, yoga, tai chi, martial arts, dance, gymnastics, rock climbing, etc
      • liberal arts, reading groups, band, plays
      • board games, computer games, and other hobby groups
      • other activities such as programming, electronics, writing, improvisation
      • even volunteering at places where they have an interest in learning more about
    • These could even be project based as well (see below).
      • 3D printing
      • open source projects
      • electronics
      • mechanics
      • robotics
      • artificial intelligence (AI)

C. Teachers

Our Teachers are our most valuable national asset and we need to ensure that they are just that and that they have the opportunity to be amazing too.

  1. General
    1. Only the best should qualify to be teachers; required to have at least a masters degree to teach and be near the top of their class
    2. If a teacher is not doing well then they need to go away or need to learn to be better; perhaps a mentorship program could help
    3. Continuing education shall be required while eventually working towards a doctoral degree or other interdisciplinary learning paths.
    4. They should never ever have to purchase their own school and class room supplies.
    5. Teachers should be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Biopsychosocial models as well as systems theory.
    6. We need more teachers and smaller class sizes.
    7. We need to over represent minorities in the teaching and support staff as well as have other minority demographics represented which will increase a child’s exposure to the diversity of humanity.
  2. University Level
    1. There should also be a distinct separation between academics hired for research and those that are there to teach. They cannot do both. Teachers need to teach and researchers need to research.
    2. Teachers Assistants (TA’s) cannot teach a class for a teacher and get paid crap or nothing at all and no benefits for it while doing someone else’s job. TA’s need to assist and not perform someone else’s job or receive a full teaching position because that is what they are doing.

II. Curriculum

A. Meta Curriculum

  1. Fix the Broken Process
    1. Common Core needs to die. It is a corporate fraud. Even Bill Gates and his people (who created this) admitted this.
    2. Shift to the interdisciplinary and inter-age education model of the Nordic countries which have the best education systems in the world.
    3. Education should be individual, non-comparative, and focused so as to maximize an individual’s potential, gifts, and fulfillment whatever those may be, rather than trying to live up to whatever artificial standard we create.
    4. We should also concentrate on collaborative and project based learning to help facilitate soft skills such as leadership, collaboration, conflict resolution, etc.
  2. Digital Classrooms
    1. Virtual Classes – Classes and schools need to be made available remotely so as to widen the availability of education especially for more rural areas, or those who are sick, vacationing, or stuck due to weather, etc.
    2. Digital Classrooms – We need to embrace digital technology for the advancement of education through evaluating online platforms and classes for acceptance into our curriculum in order to expand our children’s learning options, especially when we cannot offer a desired class locally. Empowering our children to learn whatever they would like feeds their desire to learn more making them to ask more questions as well as more avid learners.
    3. LMS – Also, Learning Management Systems (LMS) could be utilized to manage and present a single course in different learning modalities: experiential, audio, visual, textual, etc.. in order to allow each child to digest the content, and to grow and learn in the most effective way for them. This will also need to include options for those who have learning disabilities such as various forms of autism, dyslexia, etc.
    4. UDL and Accessibility – Courses should be designed with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and through the lens of accessibility.
  3. School Textbooks
    1. E-books – School textbooks should be made available and updated through electronic means not only to save trees, but to allow them to be more easily updated with more contemporary facts. Such books should be electronically available to students through free online accounts.
    2. Paper Books – Paper based textbooks should also be available, but also knowing that they will not be the most up to date. Allowing the teacher to print them out for those students who may not have access to electronic devices for for those students which learn better from paper than from a screen.
    3. Open Source Text Book Consortium – The universities and schools of the country should cooperate together to create an open source textbook consortium to provide up-to-date textbooks that can be read online for the most up to date version.
  4. Trade School Model
    1. Our children need to work not only with their minds but they need the opportunity to work with their hands too. Trades need to be available: electronics, wood working, house building, agriculture, mechanics, and so on. These are valuable skills to learn. They expand their understanding of how the world works, exposes them to something they may be interested in, and it is a form of interdisciplinary and hands-on learning.
    2. We can work with local businesses and trades to create programs for such classes.
    3. We may want to focus on apprenticeships as a powerful form of learning a new skill, even and non-trade skills such as computer programming and engineering, because learning on the job is effective because you are learning while doing the actual work – how to actually implement your new knowledge and not just the theory of how to do it or how it is supposed to work.

B. Scientifically Correct and Brutally Honest Curriculum

  1. Experts in Field – Our text books and curriculum for a given subject should be determined by experts in the field and should be scientifically correct
  2. Brutally Honest – Human history is bloody and brutal, and our children need to understand that. Nothing should be sacred. A curriculum that is not brutally honest is just propaganda. Our children and our future deserve better than that.
  3. Fact Driven – I should NOT have to say this, but we should also NOT be adding that which is not actually there or that did not actually happen. We should NOT base our curriculum on subjective opinion and theological desires. If you want your children to learn religion them take them to church, Sunday School, or you can participate in other Religious Education (RE) programs.
  4. Critical Analysis of Systemic Failures – We should talk frankly about a critical analysis of the many failures of economic systems including systemic structural violence such as poverty, racism, income inequality, war, billionaires, slavery, genocide, imperialism, and colonialism, etc.
  5. Critical Analysis of Your Country – It is an imperative that a critical analysis of the many failures of your nation of origin, why they were failures (war, genocide, internment camps, poverty), why they happened, and what should have been the ethical response and why, and why they chose the wrong answer so that our children do not repeat them. If we do not learn from history then our children shall make the same mistakes as we have already made. Take a look at Howard Zinn’s works such as The People’s History of the United States for a great analysis of a more realistic presentation of human history warts and all.
  6. No White Washing – We should not be white washing history or preventing minorities of all types from being talked about in their proper place within in history. Columbus in no way discovered the Americas. There have been humans living here for thousands and thousands of years, otherwise who would the angry white European mobs have to enslave or genocide?
  7. Intentionally Diverse Representation – We need to be drawing from the entirety of human expression and all who have contributed to human history, for better and worse. Believe it or not women, people of color, sexual minorities, people with disabilities, and non-Christians have made incredible contributions to human progress and history and this needs to be equitable represented in our curriculum.

C. Interconnectedness of All

All harm that humanity inflicts upon the world is a cry for connection.

James O’Neill, The Tao of Entropy and Syntropy within Human Social Systems (Free Xenon, Jul 2023)
  1. Classes should emphasize cooperation instead of competition via interdisciplinary projects. Competition is part of Humanity’s Terminal Disease – The Disease of Separation.
  2. We should make apparent our interconnectedness and interdependence not only with each other globally, but also with the Natural World (ecology and climate change).

D. Connection to Self

1. Comprehensive Sexuality Education

Comprehensive and age appropriate relationship, sexuality, and sex positive education (Nordic model) including:

  • consent, sex for pleasure, birth control
  • gender expression, romantic expression, variety of family models,
  • LGBTQIAP+ issues

Feminine hygiene products and condoms should be available for free in schools.

Here are some links:

2. Training the Mind

  1. mindfulness, meditation, empathy and compassion, philosophy, ethics
  2. critical thinking, scientific method, systems theory
  3. studying modalities and techniques
  4. arts shall be required:
    1. music class (choir, band, orchestra, music theory, etc..)
    2. other creative arts (painting, writing, poetry, etc…)

3. Taking Care of the Body

  1. diet, eating, and cooking
  2. reading food labels
  3. health and fitness
  4. yoga, tai chi, chi gung

4. Life Skills

  1. Managing Money including debt and investment
  2. Driving, changing tire, changing oil
  3. Laundry

E. Connections to The Rest of Humanity

1. General

  1. non-violent communication, conflict resolution, radical honesty + radical receptiveness, relationship skills and dealing with rejection and breakups
  2. rhetoric, leadership skills, project and team management
  3. comparative religion, comparative anthropology, linguistics
  4. civics – including activism, voting rights history, and why voting is important; social studies, 8 Philosophical Pillars for Peace within Humanity, Declaration of the Universal Rights of Humanity,
  5. Emphasize global history and achievements and not just national history and achievements. We also need to ensure that excluded “minorities” such as women (in our horrifically patriarchal society) and ALL people of color, as well as sexual and religious minorities are equally included because all have been attacked, exploited, abused, and even tyrannized and genocided all throughout history. Their accomplishments and historical importance should be included and are just as important as any white Christian male.
  6. Create connections to other school across the globe so children have access to various languages, cultures, religions, etc. This could be enacted video and audio communication, exchanging and hosting students and teachers, and trips to each other’s countries. This could also extend to cross-cultural collaborative project based learning too.
  7. Increase racial, sexual, gender identity, ethnic, religious, etc diversity in our schools. The more different people our children have access to then the better off they will be.
  8. Games and exercises which promote and deepen human connections especially out from an individual’s specific cultural, religious, sexual, and socioeconomic demographic.
  9. Role Playing Games (RPGs) are also great interdisciplinary method of teaching and using their imagination (logic, rules interactions, math, cooperation, mythology, sociology, history, and so much more).
  10. reading and writing Solarpunk based media and games
  11. If there are indigenous populations found locally then indigenous topics such as history, culture, language, etc should be taught to all students, which should also including the horrors that white man has inflicted upon them.
  12. Taking Care of Others:
    1. Babysitting Training to take care of children
    2. CNA training for teens to learn to take care of others
    3. CPR
  13. Foreign Languages:
    1. An Intro to to Foreign Language Course which should be made available in middle school and high school that includes an intro to linguistics and uses Esperanto as a teaching tool.
    2. At least 4 additional languages (see below) should be taught all throughout schooling from daycare all the way through college and beyond:
      1. Esperanto as a 1st choice and a powerful linguistic educational tool
      2. local Indigenous languages should be taught as a 2nd choice
      3. American Sign Language should be a 3rd choice
      4. Spanish (or other locally dominant language) should be a 4th choice
      5. others 5th+ choices (Chinese, Hindi, Japanese)
    3. Foreign languages classes could also form as a bridge to cultural exploration, cultural anthropology, comparative anthropology, comparative linguistics, making connections to how their cultures and languages influenced ours and how ours influenced theirs for better or worse, etc. Arrangements could also be made to contact other schools from those countries to share and to learn from them directly which makes the world a much smaller place. (This is sort of an example of interdisciplinary learning.)

2. Forging Strong Connections Through Exercises, Events and Education

Let us do all that we can to awaken our collective Humanity! All of these could even be used as a part of a Restorative Justice Program.

These should be done to show connections to not only people within our local communities, but also between people from all over the world. Once we see that we have many things in common, it binds us together and brings us closer, and strengthens those connections between ourselves and within the broader world. All of these could be done online or in VR too, especially the Human Library. These methods could even be prescribed by doctors, psychologists, or even as remediative measures for various crimes or behavioral issues which would help to increase those connections and understanding, and therefore reduce recidivism rates.

a. All We Share

This video from TV 2 Denmark titled All That We Share focuses on general things which connect us in ways that we may not expect:

All That We Share (TV 2 Denmark)
b. We Have So Much in Common…

This video from TV2 Denmark titled ‘We have so much in common’ focuses on specific connections between individuals:

We have so much in Common (TV2 Denmark)

This video from Denmark titled We have so much in common (EN version) focuses on the diverse cultural evolution of national foods, words, etc:

We Have So Much in Common (EN Version) (Ran Young)

c. Human Library

A human library is where we can check out a specific person and learn about one specific facet of their life, although it typically concentrates on marginalized demographics to raise awareness:
“Check Out” Human Books at the Human Library (Only Good)
d. Eye Gazing

Eye gazing is a powerful practice that creates an intimate connection to another human while bringing ourselves closer not only to ourselves, but also to the rest of Humanity. Check out the following video Eye Contact With Strangers (The Liberators International, Jun 2015)

3. Games That Focus on Strengthening Connections

4. Entertainment Which Focuses on Connections and Interdependence

  • 13 Reasons (Netflix)
  • Butterfly Effect (movie)

F. Connection to Nature

  1. Origins of the universe – We are made of star stuff.
  2. Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
  3. Evolution
  4. Climate Change, Pollution
  5. Ecology and environmental remediation
  6. Our children need to learn about sustainability, ecologies, climate, weather, insects, and their mutual interdependence including teaching about pollution and climate change, where our food comes from, and the health of our food. through:
    1. schools should also be organic permaculture farms (traditional agricultural areas) with plants for our children to connect and interact with, as well as be in charge of taking care of.
    2. schools should also have hydroponic/aquaponic/aeroponic farms onsite and for the children to work with
    3. having access to animals such as farm animals, pets, or even insect farms and so on that they experience and care for another living thing
  7. Classes could be taught outdoors or trips could be taken to local parks, forests, preserves, or other significant natural areas to participate in cleanup or grounds work such as planting, pruning, or clearing diseased plants, invasive species, or fire hazards, as well as investigating local plant life, animals, and ecologies.

G. Technology and Logic

  1. Programming logic, basic programming skills, internet and technology skills
  2. If speed reading, speed mental math, and mnemonic tricks actually work then we should be teaching our children this.
  3. Online Safety – my workplace has an amazing program by KnowB4
  4. Teaching and supporting open source programs and projects and that global spirit of cooperation.
    There could even be school clubs dedicated to supporting open source projects.
  5. There should even be entire degree paths and classes specializations for open source programming and design.

H. Other concerns

  1. Athletics Competitions
    1. The religion of high school and university athletics competitions need to end. Sure some small scale competitions are OK, but in the scheme of things, sports are not a way for a person to realize more about the world, to understand their place in it, nor to change the world or to make a difference.
    2. Our children should be looking up to people such as: Galileo, Copernicus, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, etc… rather than to whoever can devastate someone else.
    3. Plus, the brain damage that is possible through such heavy contact sports as football, potentially promoting an environment of toxic competitiveness and toxic masculinity
    4. Cooperative problems and projects should be emphasized instead of competition. Hell, we could even go so far as to convert the football or baseball field into an organic farm with a hydroponic farm.
  2. Circles of Care vs Family Trees
    1. We should shift from Family Trees projects which:
      1. are potentially triggering via intrafamily trauma such as dead relatives, adoption, not knowing who your blood relatives are, abuse, family in jail, and slavery.
      2. have us looking into the past which is not as useful to your world today because we are not responsible for the sins of our forbearers.
    2. Instead of family trees we should use Circles of Care because doing so:
      1. will allow our students to be more inclusive of the positive people in their life who are not necessarily blood related.
      2. will also reinforce that we can choose who we want to include in our lives while also reinforcing that you can cut out the toxicity.

III. Public Education Programs

A. Social Media Education

Many new series of educational programs and articles need to be created such as Cosmos that covers the various scientific disciplines (geology, anthropology, programming logic, scientific method, astronomy, etc) and would be played in all forms of social information dissemination such as:

  • TV (during prime time too)
  • Radio
  • Newspaper columns
  • Social Media

… to increase people’s knowledge and understanding of the world, and to pique their curiosity. These programs should be created and targeted for different age groups from educational cartoons and edutainment to intense documentary programs.

B. Open Public Education Programs

There also needs to be publicly available FREE education programs such as a the various participatory Massive Open Online Class (MOOC) platforms such as Udacity or more passive methods such as The Great Courses so people can freely learn and grow.