Oneness Ministry

We are One

The New Education

on August 2, 2022

Our Educational System Needs a Major Overhaul

This is a thought exercise. A function of my Masters in Adult Education, an ordained Spiritual Peacemaker Minister, and observation tempered with my experience. The following is also a prayer. What is prayer you say? It is a thought held in confidence with intention and then projection. It is a knowing, all is as it needs to be. It is not the ego speaking to any divine being, and it is not any form of speaking at all. It is silent knowing.

The new world of Education needs more metaphysics and less right and wrong. We need our physical, in person schools for hands on topics like P.E., Music, Arts, Theater, and Vocations. The 3 R’s (Reading, wRiting, and aRithmatic) can be taught online and should be. Technology is our friend, so let’s use it to empower us. Our kids have a natural curiosity and this needs to be encouraged, rather than dictated. When I was in school, we were offered theories and asked to make up our own minds using the scientific method. There are certain topics where this is easy and appropriate like the sciences and others like the 3 R’s where it is more difficult. Flexibility and adaptability along with resilience are things which can be taught by valuing them in the first place. Let us prioritize these attributes. As an example, math is not just practical; it is a language of sorts. It is a way of thinking which we all need to learn. It is vital to creative thinking and actually increases intelligence with practice and application.

The pandemic showed us just how bad our educational system is. We need not go back to it! The thing about schools which parents love the most is free day care. This is sad. If it were up to me, I would make schools have flex hours and children would only go for 3-6 hours a day for only hands on subjects and be year around. The digital subjects would be done at home or for some who need it, in a monitored space in the school computer lab or a community center. We need to expect more from our children by giving them more responsibility earlier and holding them accountable. When they fail – forgive, forget, and try again… without the shaming. The person who learns the most, fails the most.

Obviously, K-6 grade curriculum would be different than what I offer above, which is provided to kids as they age in an increasing amount. I advocate for pedagogy with K-6th and androgogy for 7th-12th and beyond. Curriculum would be tailored to the student which is much easier when it is digital. If a child begins a hands-on class and does not seem to be doing well, they can and should be moved to a more appropriate class knowing they can come back to the class later or not at all; but give the child a say in the decision. The concept of treating all 6 year olds (or any age child) the same is just absurd. The stigma around taking a grade over in the old system was harmful. The danger comes from competition and encouraging comparison with your classmates. We are individuals and should be treated as such. Working together and pushing each other to succeed is the way to go. We are social animals and need this contact. The hands-on classes will provide this as well as to a lesser degree the online classes. Group study should be required in the upper grades and optional in the lower grades.

Moving on to implementation, K-6 students need structure coupled with play. They need attention coupled with affection, but not special love. The attention and affection are directed equally to each student. Some kids will need a firm hand while others will only need direction. If treated like intelligent people with supportive expectation, students will rise to the occasion. The emphasis in this stage of education is on the 3R’s. The other focus is on socialization. Think of school at these ages as half day summer camp. In the colder months classes are inside and when the weather permits class can be held outdoors, depending on the class. Guided group activities which include everyone, teaches our children to work with others. The guidance is to assure the child develops a sense of acceptance and self-esteem. A good teacher knows how to do these things. I know this because I have experienced it firsthand. I am grateful for all the excellent tutorage I have received over the years.

The 7th-12th grades are where more choice is introduced. Each student needs help with motivation and developing their innate gifts. When the child graduates from 6th grade, this is celebrated on an individual basis as appropriate. We must give the student a sense of accomplishment on a regular basis, while not allowing denigration of the slower students or the advanced students. Play at this stage comes in the form of exercise, sports, and physical activity. This is where the hands-on classrooms become so important. The child will be learning what they are good at, so it is important to encourage success and console failure. Always keep them moving forward. Special attention and babying are counterproductive, and thus not allowed.

The subjects offered digitally will include but are not limited to – the language arts, history, social sciences, classic sciences, mathematics, technology, and health & hygiene. Just to make it clear, by digital I mean both live streaming on a limited basis and recorded course work. These are general areas of education with the more choices the better. Certain classes would be required for graduation from a certain level/grade of study. At the end of a grade and in order to advance the student must pass both written and oral testing. Cheating is monitored and punished with requiring the class be repeated. It is hard to cheat on oral testing. If the class is hands on, then a skill must be demonstrated. The next level of study would begin with a test of the students’ knowledge so moving forward is directed effectively and the teacher gets to know their students. This also re-enforces their learning. The test need not be long or complicated.

The hands-on classes would include as stated above, P.E., Music, Arts, and the Vocations. Several of each would be required at each grade level, lessening the amount required and focusing more on choices at each higher grade level. This will guide the student in finding their gifts and giving them increasing levels of choice as they grow. Each hands-on class will take place in an appropriate location with the appropriate tools. The expense of the tools/instruments of learning are covered for each student one time. If it/they are lost or damaged the student must repair or replace them. If the child is indigent, then they can work after school or on a project of their choice to earn the replacement. They are paid like any person their age and skill level.

In my day extracurricular activities were encouraged but not required. I do believe these are important and not to be denied the less advantaged. I am speaking of summer camp type activities like camping, boating, hiking, nature walks learning to observe and identify life, and survival skills. It also includes board games, group games, and immersive games. Since school is year around in the new Education platform, these activities take place during free time, before, after, or on days off from class.

Technology plays a part in all this, but it is not the focus, it is a tool for learning. Some will choose to make it more a focus as they grow, although when younger the hands-on activities would be emphasized. These classes will be online mostly, with hardware classes being hands on. All students would be required to demonstrate a proficiency with basic technology use and theory.

We have no need of building more schools, rather we should be supporting free internet for all, or at least providing it free to those at or below poverty level. This goes for the tech to use it as well. Community centers should have computer labs with a monitor/volunteer to help those who use them. Of course, they will be making sure they are used appropriately too. One trend which is troubling is the ease in which we make ourselves anonymous online. All technology used to access the internet should be traceable as well as who the user is by use of a built-in camera. Sort of like what Tesla does to protect the owner’s vehicle. Let’s all be accountable for our actions! Privacy is highly overrated. What do you have to hide? Freedom does not include the right to violate the free will of any other.

Getting back to Metaphysics in Schools, we teach physics, so why not metaphysics? Please understand, this is not religion, though both science and religion are included in Metaphysics. The prefix “Meta” just means beyond, so let’s go beyond the science and leave religion out of it. Just because most religions operate in the realm of metaphysics does not mean they master it. On a certain level science is just another religion. Metaphysics takes us to source and shows us how the world works at the core level. It is woven through every subject. English and the languages are heavily laden with metaphysics in the form of metaphor, mythology, and motivation. What scares most educators and parents is the use of the word “God” because it has so many meanings to so many different people. This makes no difference, think of it as source, Divine Source. When reading this word replace it in your mind with one that has meaning for you and move on. Don’t let it be a barrier. We all end up interpreting the world through our own lens anyway, so why not expand your focus and your field of view?

To review, Education has become expensive and ineffective. Using technology is the way forward. Schooling can be integrated more into society leaving the “day care” to those with less training and actual instruction to those who are qualified. By using technology, instruction can be applied by a few individuals to many. Metaphysics will deepen and broaden our children’s understanding of all subjects by giving them the key to living. Though I did not mention it above, our classes also need to be more practical and helpful in everyday living. While being less political and religious. Ultimately, it is the parent’s responsibility to educate their children, both by proxy (a teacher or mentor) and by their own instruction.

Sequoia Elisabeth

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