"Many teachers think of children as immature adults. It might lead to better and more 'respectful' teaching, if we thought of adults as atrophied children. Many 'well-adjusted' adults are bitter, uncreative, frightened, unimaginative, and rather hostile people. Instead of assuming they were born that way, or that that's what being an adult entails, we might consider them as people damaged by their education and upbringing."
In 1806 the Prussians suffered a shattering military defeat at the hands of Napoleon. After their beaten soldiers fled from certain death, the Prussian military decided to turn their attention to the children, realizing they had to start young if they wanted to instill the kind of obedience that would override the fear of death itself.
The government decided that if it could force people to remain as children for a few extra years, then it could retard social, emotional, and intellectual development and control them more easily. This was the point in history that 'adolescence' was invented - a method of slowing down the transition from childhood to adulthood, so that it would take years rather than, for example, the months it takes in Indigenous rites of passage.
This delayed transition, intended to create a permanent state of child-like compliance in adults, was developed from farming techniques and used to break horses and to domesticate animals. Bear in mind that the original domestication of animals involved the mutation of wild species into an infantilized form with a smaller brain and an inability to adapt or solve problems. To domesticate an animal in this way you must:
Separate the young from their parents in the daylight hours.
Confine them in an enclosed space with limited stimulation or access to natural habitat.
Use rewards and punishments to force them to comply with purposeless tasks.
Effectively, the Prussians created a system using the same techniques to manufacture adolescence and thus domesticate their people.
The system they invented in the early nineteenth century to administer this change was public education: the radical innovation of universal primary schooling, followed by streaming into trade, professional and leadership education. It was all arbitrated by a rigorous examination system (on top of the usual considerations of money and class). The vast majority of Prussian students (over ninety per cent) attended the Volksschule, where they learned a simple version of history, religion, manners and obedience, and were drilled endlessly in basic literacy and numeracy. Discipline was paramount: boredom was weaponized and deployed to lobotomize the population.
The system worked so well that Prussia became one of the most powerful countries in the world, at a time when the idea of 'nations' (rather than regions, kingdoms, tribes, or city-states) was first being promoted as the dominant form of social organization on the planet. The Prussians began to make plans to spread the institution of schooling as a tool for social control throughout the world, as it facilitated the kind of uniformity and compliance that was needed to make the model of 'nationhood' work. The US could testify to the effectiveness of Prussian education as a tool for domination and power, as American educators had been making pilgrimages to Germany for more than half a century. Excitingly, test schools across America proved that the artificially induced phenomenon of adolescence was achievable outside of Prussia, too.
In 1870, Prussia got revenge on France by annihilating the French military in the Franco-Prussian War, and immediately established Germany as a unified nation state. After that, the Prussian education system (and the new institution of extended childhood) became all the rage around the western world. It was modified to some extent, probably because the Prussian model seemed a bit weird, even to the power-hungry ultra-rich of Europe - it was so all encompassing that women were required to register each month with the police when their menstruation started. Prussia was described jokingly as an 'army with a country' or a 'gigantic penal institution'. Towns and cities were built like prison blocks, grey grids of rigid cubes and plain surfaces. The government worked hard to 'cleanse' the society of homeless people, gypsies, Jews, and homosexuals as they expanded and enforced their embryonic doctrine of eugenics. (Their motto for education was Arbeit mact frei, work sets you free, a slogan that the Nazis adopted and later placed above the gates of concentration camps, including Auschwitz, used for Jewish slave labor and extermination. There are many schools in Australia today with a similar motto in Latin: Labor Omnia Vincit, work conquers all. Now, as ever, the creation of a workforce to serve the national economy is the openly stated main goal of public education. And, as ever, the inmates of this system are told that their enthusiastic compliance with forced labor will be in their best interests at some future point.)
Germany's [still] compulsory education system expressed six outcomes in its original syllabus documents:
Obedient soldiers to the army.
Obedient workers for mines, factories, and farms.
Well-subordinated civil servants.
Well-subordinated clerks for industry.
Citizens who thought alike on most issues.
National uniformity in thought, word, and deed.
And it spread like wildfire: to Hungary in 1868, Austria in 1869, Switzerland in 1874, Italy in 1877, Holland in 1879, Britain in 1880, and France in 1882. From there it quickly expanded further to European colonies, including Australia.
The US had been involved much earlier; with even Benjamin Franklin advocating the Prussian system. In 1913 Woodrow Wilson established the Federal Reserve, copying Germany in its centralized banking system too: this way, the state would control both learning and money, just like Germany did.
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Sir Ken Robinson - Do schools kill creativity? (YT129:1)
Schooling The World
Carol Black - Schooling the World - The White Man's Last Burden
Our society separates them. Somewhere along the way, we decided that one interfered with the other.
Go to school for 8 years to become a doctor–most of that time, you’re learning about doctoring, not actually doing doctoring.
Go to work as a copywriter. Most of the time, you’re doing writing, not learning about new ways to write.
The thing we usually seek to label as ‘learning’ is actually more about ‘education’. It revolves around compliance, rankings and “Will this be on the test?”
Being good at school is not the same as learning something.
One reason that we don’t incorporate doing into education is that it takes the authority away from those that would seek to lecture and instruct.
There are 56 million people in K-12 (compulsory education) in the US right now. Most of them do nothing all day but school, failing to bring real-life activity, experimentation and interaction into the things that they are being taught.
And there are more than a hundred million people going to their jobs every day in the US, but few of them read books or take lessons regularly about how to do their work better. That’s considered a distraction or, at best, inconvenient or simply wasted time.
The gap is real.
It often takes a decade or more for a profession to accept and learn a new approach. It took gastroenterologists a generation before they fully accepted that most ulcers were caused by bacteria and changed their approach. It has taken our justice system more than thirty years to take a hard look at sentencing and corrections.
It could be because we’re confusing learning with education. That education (someone else is in charge and I might fail) is a power shift from doing, so I’d rather be doing, thank you very much.
What happens if the learning we do is accomplished by always engaging in it in conjunction with our doing?
And what happens if we take a hard look at our doing and spend the time to actually learn something from it?
When police departments invest time in studying their numbers and investigating new approaches, they discover that efficacy and productivity goes up, safety improves and so does job satisfaction.
When science students devise and operate their own lab tests, their understanding of the work dramatically improves.
Education (the compliance-based system that all of us went through) is undergoing a massive shift, as big as the ones that have hit the other industries that have been rebuilt by the connection and leverage the internet brings. And yet, too much of the new work is simply coming up with a slightly more efficient way to deliver lectures plus tests.
The alternative? Learning. Learning that embraces doing.
The doing of speaking up, reviewing and be reviewed. The learning of relevant projects and peer engagement.
Learning and doing together, at the same time, each producing the other.
If you have any doubts about immediately unschooling your children, any doubts at all... read the books below.
You do not have to read all of them. Reading 8 or 10 of these books listed below is sufficient to build the matrix in you to open the door for you to release your children from prison so they can do whatever they need to do to learn to live.
By the time you read 8 or 10 of these books, your doubts, which come from your fear... (Do you experientially know that? I don't know what you know or don't know. Doubts come from your fears. Adult initiated fear is not bad or wrong or stupid. Fear is one of your 4 Feelings or one of your 4 Emotions which are your authentic adulthood resources for handling things and healing things in your life. Do you experientially know that?
Ahhh... not experientially being able to Inner Navigate your feelings and emotions forces you into behaving as a crippled, subverted, adolescent who is easily forced into following the patriarchal plan for your economic slavery... no wonder you have doubts about making a choice that is not offered on the menu.
No wonder you have doubts about taking your kids our of school and never forcing them to go back there.
Your mind may well know that each day your child spends in school is one day less they have to prepare themselves for what is coming... but your heart and soul are not initiated into adulthood and so they quiver in uncertainty and follow the flock of Zombies.
Sorry about your doubts... they would be gone after reading 8 or 10 of these books.
Your doubts would be replaced by your certainty... which is your anger... Do you experientially know that? Your clarity comes from stellating your anger... stellating is one of the beginning adulthood initiatory processes...
Ho... there is a lot to learn...
Fortunately you can learn anything you want to learn. Your mind is yours to play with and make into whatever you want.
It is not too late. You are designed to grow up.
NOTE: The General Memetics team - those courageous edgeworkers creating the nearly 400 StartOver.xyz websites - decided to change our book links away from Amazon.com and over to Bookshop.org, an online platform that radically supports local bookstores. Bookshop.org offers great prices and super service, plus it is locally owned, socially conscious, and author friendly . If you are willing to buy your books through the links we provide below, then a small percentage of what you pay will go into a fund for General Memetics. Our promise to you is that we will use whatever money we receive from Bookshop.org to continue expanding and deepening StartOver.xyz, the free-to-play online-and-offline matrix-building thoughtware-upgrade personal-transformation adventure-game, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to everyone around the world. Harbigarrr!
...media turning the adult secrets of sex and violence into popular entertainment and pitching both news and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds threatens the understanding of adulthood.
Magical Child, a classic work, profoundly questions the current thinking on childbirth practices, parenting, and educating our children. Its daring ideas about how Western society is damaging our children, and how we can better nurture them and ourselves, ring truer than ever. From the very instant of birth, says Joseph Chilton Pearce, the human child has only one concern: to learn all that there is to learn about the world. This planet is the child's playground, and nothing should interfere with a child's play. Raised this way, the Magical Child is a happy genius, capable of anything, equipped to fulfill his amazing potential.
Expanding on the ideas of internationally acclaimed child psychologist Jean Piaget, Pearce traces the growth of the mind-brain from birth to adulthood. He connects the alarming rise in autism, hyperkinetic behavior, childhood schizophrenia, and adolescent suicide to the all too common errors we make in raising and educating our children. Then he shows how we can restore the astonishing wealth of creative intelligence that is the birthright of every human being. Pearce challenged all our notions about child rearing, and in the process challenges us to re-examine ourselves. Pearce's message is simple: it is never too late to play, for we are all Magical Children.
...your complete guide to getting off to the right start
Diamond Age, or, A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer by Neal Stephenson
The friendly John Percival Hackworth is a nanotechnician who just finished developing a 'book', A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, which is actually an interactive-supercomputer designed to teach a young girl to take her authority back and think for herself in a stifling society. It performs its functions perfectly. Unfortunately Hackworth loses the book, and it falls into the hands of a street urchin whose Box is expanded by the book to the point that she changes the culture of Shanghai.
If you want a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer for yourself (or Young Gentleman's Illustrated Primer... for that matter...) you might find it alive and waiting for you for free online at StartOver.xyz.
Making An Unschooling Family Is Making Love
unschooling calls all 5-Bodies to life, giving them the space and time to skill up
Hold Space for the 'Center of Being' of Your Family It is possible (even ordinary!) to hold space for an extraordinary daily family experience. The way to hold space for extraordinary daily family experience starts with you (in particular the man) keeping the center of your family.
Each family has a center of being, just like each person has a center of being. Keeping the center of the family is Archetypally the man’s job, but actually the woman and man work together keeping the family center. Keeping the center of your family is similar to keeping your own personal center, and involves three components:
KEEPING THE CENTER OF YOUR FAMILY
Put your attention on the center of your family.
Find where the center of your family is right now. In many modern families the center of being of a family is the television, the Internet or computer games. The center of your family could also be with the children’s schooling, with in-laws, job problems, the bank account, an alcoholic father, a secretly raging mother, etc.
Bring the center of your family in and place the center of your family on the purpose of your family.
To keep the center of your family you must know the purpose of your family. What is the purpose of your family? Is the purpose of your family Ordinary Human Relationship, Extraordinary Human Relationship, or Archetypal Relationship? It is not a common practice to consciously remember and live into the purpose of your family.
A breakthrough in family satisfaction can occur through realizing that the purpose of your family may differ from the purpose of other families. There is no 'normal' family. It is not required that your family’s style of being together imitates any previously known or recognizable family pattern. Bringing this idea to a few family discussions can suddenly free both children and adults to unleash creativity for discovering what your family could be for you. In a short while you could find yourselves thriving in a dynamic, harmonious mini-society experimenting to express individual desires and personalities.
Without intentionally exploring the purpose of your family the purpose is controlled by whoever makes the loudest shouts. Since the way children develop responsibility is through testing parental boundaries it is often the children who shout the loudest. Or the shouting may come from the father or mother who are not aware that clarity is more powerful than making boundaries, and clarity does not require shouting. Clarity only requires statement.
Having the center of your family located someplace other than the purpose of your family typically fills the 'relationship creation zone' that your family represents with Ordinary Human Relationship. Then the chances for Extraordinary Human or Archetypal Relationship happening in the family are lost.
DEVOLVING INTO ORDINARY FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS Here are twenty sure-fire ways to undermine the Archetypal center of your family and thereby create Ordinary Family Relationship:
Keep the television or radio on while you eat meals. This makes the television or the radio the center of your family. Make the television the center of your family life together.
Bring the newspaper to the meal table, or let the children bring toys. This makes the (mostly horrifying) news or the (corporation-marketed) toys the center of your family.
Do not eat meals together. This makes the Box’s stomach (in each person) more important than the family purpose.
When you want something from your mate or the children, just shout for them in the house. This destroys respect and shatters spaces.
Do not hold boundaries for the children. Let them scream their way out of the boundaries that you do set. This drives children crazy because then they have no boundaries on which they can structure their world and their intelligence.
Serve sugar-sweetened foods at all your meals. This makes sugar the center of your family.
Do not tell the children what will happen next. Instead, shock them and order them around out of the blue to keep them subservient and to stay in control. This terrorizes the children and makes them slow to develop trust in human connections and communications. They must then stay isolated and centered on themselves for mere survival.
Let the children interrupt adult conversation and adult spaces with their teasing each other, their questions, their getting hurt, anything to get your attention. This shows children that adults have weak attention and that the space is not held and they are not safe.
Do not have fun as an adult. This proves to the children that adult responsibility is horrible and they should never grow up. By being bored and tire you prove that adults cannot be passionate about life and obviously do not have fun.
Do not have physical or emotional intimacy with your partner in front of the children. This shows children that physical or emotional intimacies are bad, or at least not included in the image of 'the civilized adult', 'the nice man' or 'the good girl.' Children to not do what you say, they become what you are.
When a child gets hurt, tell them that nothing happened. Do not listen to their feelings. This psychologically abuses the children into distrusting their own experience, and suppressing their feelings.
Expect your children to take responsibilities before they are truly capable of being responsible (around sixteen years old). Expect your children to brush their teeth, go to bed, clean up their room, do their homework, etc., without you holding the space for it. This expectation destroys their innocence. When your children fail to meet your expectations this gives you reason to resent and hate your own children. Your fat little Gremlin smiles in satisfaction about destroying something so precious.
Do not read, sing, dance, or play musical instruments to or with your children, or let them see you loving to do these things. This starves their spirit.
Never apologize to your children. Never admit to being wrong. This makes children think they are supposed to be serious, dead, and perfect like you.
Never let your children know that they hurt you. Then they think they are powerless and do not have to learn to manage the power power of their Gremlins until it destroys their adult life.
Do not teach children to be sensitive to various kinds of spaces (e.g. adult meetings, churches, ceremonies, prayer or meditation spaces). This way nothing is sacred to them because they think nothing is sacred to you.
Only give your children your partial attention for a minimum amount of time. This keeps your children starving for attention so they keep coming back to you and trying to manipulate you to give them more of your attention. Then children learn that getting negative attention is better than getting no attention at all, and they wrap you around their finger with the problems they cause using their uncivilized little Gremlins.
Use your financial resources to buy new appliances, cars, clothing and computers. This shows children that possessing objects is more important than being together. Worry about not having enough money to buy all the 'things' society says that you need. Then your children learn materialistic survival patterns that keep the economy rolling!
Praise or blame your children for their behavior instead of appreciating them or being-with them. Then children think that praise and blame is how to manipulate the other people in their lives.
Send your children to public school and expect the teachers to raise them. At school your children learn to become like their friends whose parents also sent them away. This shows children the weakness and confusion of their father and mother about creating a bonded family and a community, and takes away their hope of having authentic parents who provide support with family bonding and family love. This shows your children how to try to give away the responsibility for their own family if they ever have one.
Something different occurs in a family only when the adults hold and navigate the center of the family into Extraordinary Human or Archetypal Relationship. The practice for navigating the center of the family into Extraordinary Human or Archetypal Relationship is to consistently ask and answer this question: “In the name of which purpose are we as a family gathered in this moment?”
Aim to keep the center of the family in the Adult context, the responsible context, and the extraordinary context. Make this your purpose, and make your purpose top priority, no matter what else is happening.
Do not forget your priority. Strive to keep 10 percent of your attention focused on navigating the family space to consistently answer the question of purpose. Nobody can do this for you. Nobody can stop you from doing it.
"I've spent over a quarter century now watching some magnificent human beings growing up in and out, but mostly out, of school, mostly according to a philosophy variably known as unschooling, deschooling, life learning, or self-directed learning. All of which pretty much just mean life. Without school. They have taught me a lot, been witness to and recipients of some of my greatest blunders (as my daughter said to me one day when she was about nine, I try to remind myself that you're just a young inexperienced mother), and sources of a joy more boundless than I had thought possible."