Why alternative education? Why new schools?

Reducing Suffering

I don’t know that we can define good, well-being, but we can all see and define pain and suffering. Reducing suffering sounds like a worthy aim.

Liberty is necessary

We need freedom to make choices in order to make better ones. In general, more is better.

Mindset is the biggest lever

Hunger, sickness and death, etc. are all either preventable or unavoidable. Humans could solve hunger today with the right motivation. We could develop peaceful attitudes toward death.

Power, money, politics, war and hunger are all realities, but they are not intrinsic to our condition. They are a result of mindsets. Even recognizing and accepting the biological drives behind many of these mindsets, each could be tempered with different thinking & culture.

Treating children better

The child is the father of the man.

William Wordsworth (& Brian Wilson!)

Childhood is where most growth occurs

We are most influenced by culture, and our physiology is most programmed by the environment, as children. By nature, adults are slower to adopt new ideas.

Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.

Maria Montessori

Children are the most oppressed minority

When it comes to liberty and freedom from aggression, children are at the bottom of the ladder. It is legal for adults to hit children just about everywhere.

Convincing adults

… with information?

I’ve had very little success convincing adults who disagree with positions like “children have a right not to be hit”. Not blaming or shaming. A person who has accepted that is was right for him to have been hit by his parents, and who has been hitting his children, is sure to struggle in overcoming such biases.

… with incentives?

I don’t have a strong opinion about the passing of laws, other than to note they often backfire.

… by showing them?

This has been a goal of mine for about 5 years. I’ve worked in schools and hospitals, as a nanny, and a coach… I’ve shown some people. But only one at a time.

I could create the “How to Talk Kids” YouTube channel, but if you’re clicking on that video, you’re probably not the person I’m trying to reach. And how would it be caught on video anyway? I’ve made videos with kids who are acting, but anybody can do the right thing when the crisis is artificial. My work in hospitals, etc, are too private and serious to be televised. Lenore Skenazy may be the champion in this arena, with her television show and popular blog.

School is the crossroads

School is where parents leave it to the experts. It’s the place they are already. It’s the place where they get to compare parenting styles, and see how their kid is measuring up. School is where the experts at communicating with children should be.

Traditional schooling is fundamentally flawed

How many wonderful teachers did you have? How many were experts at working with students? How many powerful, insightful lessons did you learn in a classroom? If the goal of traditional education is to educate, why are high school graduates so uneducated and unprepared for their futures? The forces that perpetuate this system have no incentive to change.

New schools are the answer

Alternative education. New schools. Unschooling. Or, what’s getting the most traction with the public lately: ESAs.

Projections

In any revolution, it’s always earlier than you think. And the more into it you are, the later it seems. This is what I’m most into, and I think we’re at least 15 years early. I predict this will be common sense, not radical, in 15 years.

Wild cards

Possibly sooner if

  1. Crypto dissolves the state
  2. A.I. puts us all out of a job

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