Education as One of the Philosophical Pillars
There is a reason that Education of one the 7 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 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.
The American Education System’s Losing Battle verses Conservatism and Corporations
As I have talked about in two of my personal blog posts (System Suppression Inherent in America’s Two-Party System and Religion, An Overview), 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, as well as 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 my 2 links 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.
Administrative and Meta
- Universal and free access education (all levels) including other technical training such as massage therapist and apprenticeships. Perhaps even pay people to go to school. Some of the Nordic countries do pay a stipend when people go to school.
- All student loans need to be terminated.
- Minimum teacher’s pay of $75,000 (which should be the minimum wage).
- Funding for 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.
- At least triple the funding for all schools. Schools and teachers should never be wanting of funds.
- 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.
- Schools should go year round. (National Association for Year Round Education)
- Schools should start later – near 10:30am.
- End the Pledge of Allegiance – which contributes to isolation, nationalism, exceptionalism, close mindedness, bigotry, fear, bullying, and limits a child’s understanding of their their place within the entirety of existence and the Earth.
- Elementary schools need much more recess.
- less or no homework
- No testing until 7th grade and then only every few years.
- more tutors and mentors for kids struggling; older or more gifted kids could help with that as well
- Breakfast and lunch should be served and it should be free for all. The food should be local, organic, and concentrate on meal planning such as the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol) so that school food will not potentially create or exacerbate existing health problems. Excess food could be given away to student’s in need or to a local food pantry.
- There should be plenty of after school activities to keep kids entertained, growing, and to keep kids off the street. 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
- even volunteering at places where they have an interest in learning more about
- Use Restorative Justice programs
- 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
- Continuing education is required while eventually working towards a doctoral degree or other interdisciplinary learning
- We need more teachers and smaller class sizes
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Teachers should be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Biopsychosocial models.
- Common Core needs to die. It is a corporate fraud.
- Shift to the interdisciplinary and inter-age education model of the Nordic countries which have the best education systems in the world.
- Education should be individual, non-comparative, and focused so as to maximize an individual’s potential, gifts, and fulfillment whatever those may be and to live up to whatever artificial standard we create
- 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. We need to embrace digital technology for the advancement of education.
- We also need to use other online educational services and tools to widen the availability of educational tools and topics for our students, especially when we cannot offer a desired class locally. Empowering our children to learn whatever they would like is empowering and feeds their desire to learn more.
Interconnectedness of All
- Classes should emphasize cooperation instead of competition – interdisciplinary project based work. Competition is part of Humanity’s Terminal Disease – The Disease of Separation.
- We should make apparent our interconnectedness and interdependence not only with each other globally (Butterfly Effect and 6 Degrees of Connectivity), but also with the natural world (ecology and climate change).
Connection to Self
- comprehensive sexuality and sex positive education (Nordic model) including:
- consent, sex for pleasure, birth control
- gender expression, variety of family models, and LGBTQIAP+ issues
- mindfulness, meditation, empathy, philosophy, ethics
- critical thinking, scientific method
- arts shall be required:
- music class (choir, band, orchestra, music theory, etc..)
- other creative arts (painting, writing, poetry, etc…)
- eating, diet, health, fitness
Connections to The Rest of Humanity
- non-violent communication, conflict resolution, relationship skills
- rhetoric, leadership skills, project and team management
- comparative religion, comparative anthropology, linguistics
- civics, social studies, 7 Philosophical Pillars for Peace within Humanity, Declaration of the Universal Rights of Humanity,
- Emphasize global history and achievements. We also need to ensure that “minorities” such as women (in our horrifically patriarchal society) and ALL people of color, which have been attacked and genocided and tyrannized all throughout history, are specifically included here – their accomplishments and historical importance just as we would do for any male Christian male.
- Games and exercises which promote and deepen human connections especially out from an individual’s specific cultural, religious, sexual, and socioeconomic demographic.
- 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).
- 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.
- Foreign Languages:
- 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.
- At least 4 additional languages (see below) should be taught all throughout schooling from daycare all the way through college and beyond:
- Esperanto as a 1st choice and a powerful linguistic educational tool
- local Indigenous languages should be taught as a 2nd choice
- American Sign Language should be a 3rd choice
- Spanish (or other locally dominant language) should be a 4th choice
- others 5th+ choices (Chinese, Hindi, Japanese)
Connection to Nature
- Origins of the universe – We are made of star stuff.
- Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth
- Climate Change, Pollution
- Ecology and remediation
- Our schools should also be farms with plants and animals for our children to connect and interact with.
- Organic permaculture and hydroponic/aquaponic/aeroponic farms onsite and for the children to work with so the children will learn about food, ecologies, interdependence, nature, and the health of our food.
How It All Went So horribly Wrong!!
- 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
- 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.
Technology and Logic
- Programming logic, basic programming skills, internet and technology skills
- Online Safety – my workplace has an amazing program by KnowB4
- Athletics Competitions – 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. 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. 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.
- Beauty Contests – Stop all beauty contests of all sorts and of all ages, especially kids. We need to celebrate intelligence, ingenuity, creativity, kindness, leadership, fairness, cooperation, and compassion. Let us celebrate things that really matter and that really make a person and the whole world beautiful.
Public Education Programs
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)
- 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.
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.