Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

In a recent interview, Dr Peter McCullough confirms that ‘we are winning’ – that the censored information is gaining traction: more people are seeing the facts about the COVID-19 agenda. The journey towards the ‘Great Awakening’ (as opposed to the ‘Great Reset’) may be years long, and meanwhile, our positive objectives are increasingly turning to:

“What do us Freedom Fighters want our future to look like?”

Personally, I see exciting new opportunities for educationalists like myself, who for many years now, have been ‘swimming against the tide’ – with a shared understanding of how fundamentally broken our education systems were BC [Before Covid]. None of us want a return to ‘normal’ – even if that were an option (which it definitely isn’t).

There’s a growing awareness now, of how a more holistic, student-centred learning experience is a crucial part of building our new future together. Lifelong-learning IS the “Great Awakening”!

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Ethical educationalists always aspire to learning environments that are free from regulatory capture, where the learning materials are not biased towards corporate profits, where schools, colleges and universities’ policies are not skewed towards funding streams, and where ‘screen time’ is exchanged for meaningful, authentic face-to-face communication. This is not an unrealistic dream. If we really are committed to lifelong learning, why not “go back to the future”?

 

Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

Here in New Zealand, many parents and guardians are taking their kids out of state school (partly in protest at the Governmental overreach, but also for other valid reasons), and adopting their own, community home-schooling groups, including joining with the global “Un-schooling Movement”. Author John Taylor Gatto has written extensively on this topic, and over ten years ago, published Weapons of Mass Instruction which argues how instruments of traditional education limit creativity and imagination and restrict critical-thinking skills. By dumbing-down human imagination and curiosity, schools arguably impose policies that deliberately allow the general public to be ‘managed’. And perhaps only now, we can see very clearly how successful these pedagogical policies have been.

As Professor Mattias Desmet explains in his theory of the present-day ‘mass formation’, loneliness and free-floating anxiety are essential elements of the psychological phenomena which leads (not inevitably) to a totalitarian state. I would add that these two elements are likely to stem from arbitrary disconnections between learning outcomes and lived experiences, especially when this strategy is combined with an explicit discouragement from developing a sense of self-reliance and independence. To provide two examples from my own teaching and learning experiences, in one tertiary college where I was delivering a ‘food and nutrition’ course to aspiring healthcare professionals, I struggled (but eventually succeeded) in including an cheap practical {cooking} lesson in the semester, only to discover that many of the students had never chopped an onion, boiled a potato or tasted fresh fish in their lives. I know from later feedback, how the contextualisation of their nutritional knowledge gained from the previous weeks’ learning outcomes, and the smell, feel and taste of those foods was transformational for those students. My only disappointment was the unsupportive management who prevented this apparently ‘radical’ experience for the next cohort of students.

From the Introduction of Gatto’s book, the solution to “Escaping this trap” of decontextualised learning, requires “open source learning” a strategy which imposes no artificial divisions between learning and life. Through this alternative approach, [students] can avoid being indoctrinated [and] only then achieve self-knowledge, good judgement, and courage.”

A recent podcast of interest about the global ‘Unschooling’ movement (45 mins) includes some useful additional reading.

As part of a local, Freedom Fighter’s community, I have written before about the joy of community veggie gardens, private libraries and other potential classroom spaces which are being donated, developed and created. These personal, safe spaces embrace all the ingredients that are foundational in all student-centred learning: contextualised learning, driven by the students themselves, motivated through our intrinsic curiosity. In this way, we can improve our health and well-being together, mental and physical.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Personally, I see a future as a supporter to these parents/guardians, who are unnecessarily (but understandably) feeling anxious about what they think may be a daunting prospect of conforming to ‘educating’ their kids (and maybe themselves!) – when actually, just facilitating simple, semi-structured practical projects, like planting a seed, building a bee-hive, or cleaning out a chicken-coop, is all that’s required. There are no limits to imaginations…

An understanding of basic educational learning theory, how to embed literacy and numeracy skills into tasks, creating valid assessment strategies and perhaps lessons on how to differentiate/interpret between ‘fake news’ and facts, could all be useful ways forward for these parents and guardians and others involved in supporting home schooling, after all, “it takes a village…”. The recent Ofsted report about the harms the UK Government caused, through archaic policies like mask mandates made explicit what was common sense for most of us. Negative outcomes for society are depressingly highly visible in the ways young people struggle to interact on a day-to-day basis with basic social interaction skills. As if things weren’t bad enough already.

It is inspiring to see many teachers and parents are rising to meet and overcome these challenges, and are committed to ensuring those anti-scientific, unethical policies are never inflicted again.

 

By Academy World

Writer, researcher, teacher and learner. Proud to be a part of our global team of Freedom Fighters.

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