A Completely New Model For Education.
By Greg Penglis, on September 21st, 2016
Our current school system I believe wastes about 95% of the time students spend in school. Which means we have 95% unused potential. To use that we have to do something radically different. To do that we have to think radically differently. What if you forgot everything you knew about education, and were free to come up with a completely different system? What if there were no restrictions to your imagination about how we would educate children, prepare them to reach their greatest potential, live their wildest dreams, be the happiest they could, and in that happiness accomplish and contribute the maximum possible for themselves, their families, their communities, and ultimately to the overall success of the whole country? What kind of an educational system would you come up with? These are the questions I shall try to answer.
Usually when you hear about education reform, it involves money, class size, maybe some changes in programs or text books, but the fundamental way we instruct in the classroom, in a school building, or series of buildings, with one teacher at first and then specialized teachers, a principle, various administrators, and a bureaucracy all the way up to the Department of Education, really isn’t challenged to justify itself. There is only some tinkering around the edges while the fundamental system stays in place. There is no challenge to the funding, whether teacher’s unions should exist, or what exactly getting an education means? I want to approach this as if no such system like we have now exists at all, there are no teachers, or school buildings, or administrators, teachers unions, education funding or cost, or state and federal education departments. That way we won’t be constrained by any of those things, and we are free to create something completely new and different, or keep what we decide to keep from what currently exists. Before we can do that and answer these questions, let’s see how we got here.
In ancient times only specific people were educated. Writing started some 3500 B.C. in Egypt, but only those who would become scribes needed to know how to write. That was about 1% of the population. Scribes usually worked in temples, in service of Pharaoh, and as military officers. In Mesopotamia only scribes, and religious officials were schooled. Boys learned their father’s trade and girls learned home skills. However in Babylon around 2000 B.C., language and writing were standardized and both boys and girls were educated, and most towns had libraries. In India starting around 1500 B.C., education was freely available. It consisted of learning the Veda, which were ancient sanskrit texts. However, once the caste system developed, education became ever more restricted to the higher levels of society. In China, it was Confucius who gave the world an education based on philosophy and ethics, which unfortunately didn’t survive the early 20th Century.
Ancient Greece around 400 B.C. had independent city-states, and education was independent as well. Athens for example required two years of military training for boys, and after that schooling was up to parents. People were free to open their own schools and decide what they would teach. Parents were free to send their kids to the schools that taught what they wanted their kids to learn. Kids went as far as their parents could afford and girls received far less schooling than boys. The basics of school were athletics, literacy, music, and art. This is where the elites separation started as most boys would learn trades, while the wealthier boys went on to study rhetoric, mathematics, politics, logic, history, science, natural history, painting, sculpture, and more. Since there was no government involvement, nor taxable funds available, education was entirely funded by parents. The wealthiest of which went on to the best universities and became leaders of society. This is where Socrates the philosopher taught in small groups with debate, inquiry, questions and dialog, and is probably the origin of “genuine” critical thinking. In contrast to Athens and like city-states, was Sparta. Education was strictly military, and designed to create warriors and a warrior army. Boys were taken away at seven years and learned obedience, discipline, courage, and striving for physical perfection. Most of Sparta was illiterate.
About the same time, 400 B.C., the Roman Republic was engaging all children in education for socialization. The literacy rate was still about 1-2%. Education had to be paid privately and both boys and girls were educated, but it could be separately. What Rome did was give us divisions of school levels or tiers, which today are known as elementary, middle, high school and college. The difference was that Rome allowed for students to progress up the levels based on ability, rather than today where advancement up the grades is based on age. Again, higher education was for the rich elites and the rest of the population were schooled in trades.
In Europe during the Middle Ages education wasn’t held by and for the elites, it was maintained and restricted through the church. Schools were in monasteries and universities were run by the church. Students studied law, medicine, art, and theology. University students identified not by school so much as by the master that taught them, as these masters devoted a lifetime to their specialities. Gradually from the time of Charlemagne, catholic schools opened up to the congregations. The university system was known as scholastic, which is a method of learning which seeks to reconcile Christian theology and tradition, with ancient Greek and Roman theology, through reasoning and debate, which is very much like Socrates, and like what is now thought to be critical thinking.
The Golden Age of Islam had, and lost, sometime in the 1200’s, one of the greatest and most advanced civilizations ever. With great advances in using paper, they had books, libraries, and information was widely distributed. Scholars were heavily subsidized by the government. They had the first university to grant degrees. They drew knowledge from all other cultures, and scholars visited from around the world. The center of learning was the House of Wisdom in Bagdad. Christianity and Judaism added to the culture, and freedom of expression, thought, ideas, and reason, were all encouraged. This is how education can flourish. After the Crusades, the Mongol invasions, and the total devastation of the ancient Muslim world, a new fundamentalist society emerged, illiteracy was population wide, all former knowledge, libraries, and records were destroyed, and everything that had been gained in education, thought, and progress, gave way to the most restrictive religious fundamental societies, which pretty much continue to present day as Sharia law theocracies.
In Aztec society between about 1300-1500 it was the parents who educated the children until age 14, (home schooling) and were supervised by local authorities. At 15 all boys and girls went to school. This was one of the first societies of mandatory education for everyone regardless of income or title. There were two types of schools, one for trades and military training, and one for liberal arts. The teachers used a Spartan model of discipline, and most of education was oral tradition instead of written.
To sum up: we got writing from the Egyptians; Babylon had standardized language and writing, libraries, and coeducation; Mesopotamia had education in the trades; India had free education; China brought philosophy and ethics to education; Athens contributed complete educational freedom, private schools, home schooling, intellectual training and critical thinking; Sparta gave us military education; Rome gave us socialization, tier levels, and advancement through ability; Europe gave education through the church and progressed from only the clergy receiving training, through to the congregations being educated; the Aztecs had compulsory education; Islam learned how to gather the best of the world’s information and translate works into Arabic for all their people to use.
So what can we learn from all this? Pretty much every type of education option we have today comes from ancient history, and has been tried before. We have church schools, private schools, home schools, single sex schools, military schools, trade schools, vocational schools, specialized schools, schools for one activity like martial arts or dance, private colleges and universities, public schools and universities, scholarships, public and private grants, elite academies, and more. But, the vast majority of our citizens go to government schools, with government approved programs that are basically the same nationally, they read the same text books, learn the same stuff, are taught to national standards handed down from Washington and tested on those standards, and most who go to college will go to medium to large size public colleges and universities. Most of them will come out with an office trade, same as the former industrial trades. Todays office facility is the modern factory of old, with the same assembly line culture accomplished in a cubicle. The elite still have a specialized private school education and go to the best private universities, and are usually on a track to be our leaders.
There are exceptions of course, but that is the general rule. And that we can easily trace back to ancient societies in how they educated their population. So what in education has really been accomplished? How much of what could have been tried has actually been tried? Not much! Education as a practice hasn’t really advanced much in say the last 2-3,000 years. If the system never really changes, then each generation starts at about the same place, and so they end up at about the same place, and no progress is made. Oh sure knowledge and information changes, but the basic structure of the education system never does. If we are to progress, then each generation needs a generation’s worth of new education, not just new information. Otherwise, we will stagnate for another 2,000 or so years.
And this is where I come in.
It is interesting to note that the authors of the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, all the pamphlets and writings of the American Revolution, and I’m guessing most everything else written at the time of our founding, was done by people who had not attended government schools. According to the “Alliance for the Separation of School and State,” there was no government schooling for the first 50 to 75 years of our nation. Parents controlled their kid’s schooling. There were no accrediting agencies, regulatory boards, teacher certification requirements, and parents paid only for the schooling they wanted. People started many types of private schools, hired tutors, home schooled, and taught themselves. During this time the literacy rate was 91-97% in the North, and 81% in the South. According to Matthew J. Brouillette, former Director of Education Policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, America founded and successfully maintained a de-centralized network of schools up through the 1850’s. What this shows is that freedom works, and no government involvement is necessary. People were educated in all kinds and varieties of ways, and that diversity of knowledge was to our credit. And this brings us to my first recommendation.
- Education works best when it exists in an environment of freedom, as it was in our founding. Therefore no government involvement in education, nor system of education, nor employment of government teachers, administrators or anyone else, can exist. That which does must be abolished and all laws enabling government in education repealed. It is in the freedom of education that education flourishes, and not in its control. Ideally the good government teachers will continue in the new private schools and private system.
We have learned throughout history that without public or government support, only the wealthy get the full benefits of education, and at best everyone else gets a trade. Most nations came up with a system for elites to get the highest levels of learning, which means the best and brightest didn’t necessarily advance, only the privileged did. But what about the brightest people who were the poorest? There was no way for them to advance. It is only in relatively recent times that education has been available to everyone. But in being universally available, education usually becomes compulsory by government order. However with compulsion comes conditions, and it is those conditions which I believe have created an education system that does not educate, and the poor who are the best and brightest still do not get ahead. Reforms are always being implemented but they never change the basic system. What we need then is education for everyone, while still retaining all freedom to parents and students to decide for themselves what they want, and for all people to create the kind of schools, programs, tutorials, materials, and teaching methods that come from a state of complete freedom.
Consider that everything educational in the U.S. has been implemented as a system. As such it applies to basically everyone not in an elite private school. However, the more systematized, and the more restrictive and rigid the system, the fewer students will fit in the system, and the greater the damage to students who don’t fit. Our systems over time have been getting progressively more rigid, and ever further from actual learning, and learning how to learn. In place of learning has been conformity, conditioning, indoctrination, and a system designed to serve the government, the government policy on society, business and industry, and to make compliant citizens agreeable to unlimited government power. Students who most closely match those goals advance, while all the others are left behind. Our freedom and liberty therefore is dependent on a new system of education that actually educates. Since all systems are limiting, the best reform of the system is probably no system at all. Since people are individuals, should they not be educated individually? So the goal is to create a system, that isn’t a system, that allows for maximum individuality, determination by the parents and students, and the maximum creativity to cover the widest spread of knowledge and experience, and which allows every student to ultimately create their own program of education.
In the early 1800’s most rural areas of the developed world were served with the “one room schoolhouse.” Although looked at now as archaic and a stopgap measure before modern schools, separate classrooms, segregation by grade level, age, gender, subject, and all the other ways that school is now compartmentalized, this was actually a brilliant system and has much to teach us about how to revolutionize a new way to learn. The problem was that those one room school houses were frequently overcrowded and underfunded, but if we analyze the operating principle and not the historic disadvantages, much can be gained. We assume that grade levels should be separate simply because we are used to them. Grade levels and school tiers have been with us since Ancient Rome. However, separate grade levels isolate students to their own grade level only. Students are further restricted by single subject classrooms. That precludes the knowledge, insight, curiosity, transfer of learning, accidental learning, understanding, revelations, correlations, questions, and depth that would be available from students of different grade levels and subjects in the same classroom. The one room schoolhouse operated by the “Monitorial” method. It was developed by Joseph Lancaster of England, whose motto for his method was Qui docet, discit — “He who teaches, learns.” The “monitors” were older and or better students, who taught younger students, or students new to the subject. They were in effect, teachers, much like grad students who teach in college under the direction of professors. So why not use the monitor method throughout our schools again? Here is my second recommendation.
- Return to mixed age, year, subject, classrooms, and any other learning environment, where students progress by ability and knowledge, and not by age and grade level, and where all students who have the ability in one or many areas, become the teachers themselves so that they may learn more, and help others to learn what they have to teach. Abolish all grade levels, and possibly tier levels, and any arbitrary distinctions or separations by age where appropriate.
To use a common term, this would encourage real “diversity” of learning, by bringing true diversity to an already massively segregated system. It would knock down artificial barriers and open students to the incredible possibilities that would open simply by being exposed to all the other students.
The most relevant experience I can draw on is from my own life. I spent several years as a flight instructor. The quote that: “he who teaches, learns,” could not be more relevant to me. It was in teaching flying that I got beyond the procedures I learned and simply repeated from my student flying. In teaching I was able to break beyond rote learning, where most people stay, to the higher levels of understanding, application, and correlation, as defined as the levels of learning from Edward Thorndike. It was as a teacher that I started experimenting in learning and how to teach, by reteaching myself how to fly, and then reteaching myself how to teach, based on my own experiences with myself and my students. So in effect, I learned how to fly, and how to teach flying, twice. The first time it was by the standard system, the second time was by a system I developed myself. The result of this experiment is documented in my book: “The Complete Guide to Flight Instruction.” https://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Guide-Flight-Instruction/dp/1568250126
I wouldn’t mention this if it weren’t relevant. This is the first time I’ve included my book in an article. If I can create a new system of flight instruction, simply by becoming a teacher of flying, what could other students accomplish for education, simply by becoming teachers of their favorite subjects? This leads to the third recommendation I would make.
- The only way to advance in achievement is not by testing, or grades, or papers, although these have their place in stage check analysis, which is a way to measure progress at various stages, but it is in the demonstrated ability to teach a subject, and by teaching only, will a student be able to advance to higher subject levels and new subjects of study, and be qualified and eligible to earn and receive a “Certificate of Achievement.” (More on that later.)
Probably the worst tool of current teaching is the textbook. The same information given to all the same students, producing exactly the same learning, and regurgitation of learning, to the same test questions, measuring the same standards, at the most basic rote level, with no questioning of the material, except what questioning is allowed within the material. What a colossal waste of brain matter. Textbooks have way too much power, because they are used in all school systems, so any position they take, any inaccuracy, any distortion of history, any political perspective, however innocent or intentional, makes them a terrible source of information, and should be grounds for never using textbooks again. Great debate has surrounded which textbooks to use, especially with huge school systems like California and Texas, which, once adopted, generally mean that schools nationwide will use that text. What is not questioned, and should be, is whether text books should be used at all? I say no. In times past textbooks served a purpose as they may have been the only books available for teaching english, grammar, and reading beyond the Bible. But they still had limitations. The first text was the New England Primer, a book which taught by rote memorization. Noah Webster came out later with the Blue Backed Speller, a great aid to standardizing grammar. Starting in 1836 and still available today are the McGuffey Readers, a series of books for elementary school grades, which ranged from phonics and reading, to essays and writings, and were a self contained education system. That was fine for the 1800’s, but this is 2016. In the information age, with the huge range of books, writings, essays, grammar sources, reading techniques, and material for every subject imaginable, why are we still limiting ourselves to 1800’s style textbooks originally designed for underfunded, overcrowded, one room school houses? This leads to my fourth recommendation.
- No text book of any kind should be used. Put the text book companies out of business and break their power. Use original sources and original writings, exclusively.
There are so many great books, they are even called “the great books,” Why should students be restricted to one text book, or one book for any subject or class? With the internet, do we even need books in class? Can schools buy memberships in Amazon to allow so much material from so many sources online to be made available to so many students? Have we even looked into the possibilities beyond text books? St. Johns College teaches from the great books. They don’t use text books at all. There is another point. If all students read the same material, then they can only learn the same material. However, if everyone is free to read many different books of their own choosing, and then bring the best of each book to class discussion, the amount of information increases many fold. But this would require going against the lesson plans, the syllabus, the outcomes, the performance measurements, the standardization, the tests, the grades, and the whole structured system, which is only designed to limit knowledge, not increase it. This brings us to recommendation five.
- Get rid of the lesson plans, the syllabus, the outcomes, the performance measurements, the standardization, the tests, the grades, and the whole system. Since students will be demonstrating what they know solely by what and how they teach, none of this is necessary anymore.
The problem with standards is that the best possible outcome is that everyone learns the same information, performs to the same standard, and comes out exactly the same, and repeats exactly what the class before them did. Nothing new is learned, nothing new is considered, and nothing is advanced in education, because every year, every student, repeats exactly what every other student has done the year before. There is no originality, no creativity, no learning from the teachers who are teaching only to the prescribed standards. How much better would we be served if every education was just a bit different, except for some basics, it was tailored by parents and students to their individual needs and wants, and there were enough options to accommodate all of that? This brings us to my sixth recommendation.
- Since everyone is a unique individual, everyone deserves a unique education, tailored specifically to them.
This is going to sound like a contradiction because it’s counterintuitive, but the worst thing to continually happen to education are reforms. Each reform further restricts teachers, and learning, and students, and puts education ever more under government control and oversight, by people who may have no experience teaching. The problem with government education reforms is that they are designed to serve the government, so they create a system where students are taught how to serve the government as adults, who will become parents, who will have kids, whose kids will go to school to learn how to serve the government.
One thing the early textbooks had, from the Christianity of the New England Primer, to the moral and civic duty of the Blue Backed Speller and the McGuffey Reader, was a strong religious influence. Which made sense since our education system came from England and Germany primarily, and in Europe schools had been run by the churches for centuries. Our tradition has always been that the Church is the moral power holding government accountable, since all law is ultimately built on moral authority. The idea of separation of church and state in the Constitution meant that per the First Amendment, Congress would make no law creating a government church, or establishing a government religion. However nothing in the Constitution prevents the Church from being involved in education, even if publicly funded. Along the way that changed as a Leftist movement started that wanted a complete separation of Church and anything public — especially education. And this is where the reformers came in, for the purpose of bringing education under complete government control, with none of the moral authority, or influence of the Church, to a point of a complete ban on anything related to religion in education. The government reformers recognized no higher power or authority save for their own, which left education completely devoid of any genuine moral authority.
The source for the next paragraph is this video, which I’ve listed again below with my other sources.
This other video has tons of quotes and information as well.
Horace Mann is called the “Father of American Public Education.” As if we needed one. So this is where everything went wrong. He searched the world for his ideal model for education, and found it in Prussia, which is now Germany. Canada adopted the Prussian system also. All our PhD’s were trained in Prussia in the late 1800’s, and all the Ph.D’s running our colleges also got their degrees from Prussia. Quote of Horace Mann: “The State is the father of children.” He brought compulsory education to Massachusetts based on the Prussian model. This spread across the U.S.. The Prussian model: free and compulsory education; an 8 year system, with separate grade levels, which taught basics of reading, writing, and math, but also discipline, duty, respect for authority, and to follow orders; mandatory kindergarten to transition from home to school; elite children went to university, and the rest became working class; purely secular education; social obedience through indoctrination; loyalty to the government; training young men for military and bureaucracy; suppress and remove any independent thinking; government defines exactly what is to be learned and how much time is spent learning it; national testing standards for each grade, and a prescribed national curriculum so everyone learns exactly the same thing; raise the level of teacher to a respected profession, with individual thinking abolished in favor of group thinking; and all education is designed for the good of the government. I could go into all the reforms up to present day, but since nothing has really changed the Prussian model we still operate under, it doesn’t make any difference. It also explains how any real reform, like vouchers, school choice, private school public funding, home schooling, abolishment of public teacher unions, and removal of any education bureaucracy above the school principle, are fought so tenaciously. But the options outside the system that parents and students want do have some limited success, like charter schools, but no where near for everyone that wants them. The key then is to include all the options other than Prussian government education, into the system of no system at all. This brings about my 7th recommendation.
- Every educational option should be equally available to all parents and students. There should be no restriction, coercion, or legal requirement to attend any government mandated education system or school. This is why they have to be done away with. Any and all school options that parents and students want, should be equally funded, including, but not limited to: private schools, home schools, charter schools, church schools, volunteer schools, charity based schools, specialized schools, home schools, schools that teach one thing like acting, and any other type of school desired by parents and students, and created by anyone who can. Government or public teacher unions are a restriction against parental and student choice. They are a powerful lobbying force and should be abolished, because they don’t just represent teachers in contract negotiations, they run the education system. There should be no government involvement in education save for the collection and dispersion of unrestricted vouchers. This would mean no government education employees, and therefore no reason for government education employee unions. Private teachers, as all private employees, should be free to organize within their school.
Indoctrinating the students is only half the current government program. The other half is indoctrinating the teachers. The philosopher behind the Prussian education system, and later known as the “Spiritual Father of Naziism,” is Johann Fitch. He said: “Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled, they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished.” Training and indoctrinating the students to fulfill government needs is simply a matter of training the teachers then to do the will of the government. And that is what teacher colleges are for. Standardize the teachers, and you standardize the teachings. In the U.S. such teacher training schools were called “Normal Schools.” From Yahoo Answers comes this response as to the name: “The term used a secondary definition of the word ‘normal’ which referred to ‘model’ or ‘pattern.’ The word ‘normal’ can be defined as: conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type. A school whose methods of instruction are to serve as a model for imitation.” In other words, the model would be set by government and all teachers would learn the model and use that model in teaching. Now they call such schools — teacher colleges.
The final piece in the puzzle are the actual schoolhouses themselves, and that brings us to “Factory Model Schools.” Think of mass production systems and factory buildings as being the model for the education of children, the purpose of which is to create docile subjects instead of citizens, and obedient factory workers. These came from — Prussia, and were introduced here by — Horace Mann. The Factory system included: top-down management, separation from the community, centralized planning, and outcomes designed to meet societal needs as determined by government. Elwood Cubberley who wrote the book “Public School Administration” said: “Schools as, in a sense, factories in which the raw products (children) are to be shaped and fashioned into products to meet the various demands of life.” Teachers lectured information in factory schools and the students learned by rote copying and memorization. Students were tested on that exact information. The teacher stood in the front, approximately 30 students sat in columns and rows, this classroom was duplicated throughout the entire school, and every other factory school looked the same. Classrooms were on two sides of the building with a hall in between. Classes were for a set time period only. This started in the late 1700’s in Prussia, and is pretty much still with us today. And now you know why you hated school. No human being can learn, prosper, be inquisitive, think originally, or learn how to learn, in such a regimented system, where to succeed you have to be a clone of the model student. And so now I have recommendation eight.
- Stop making school facilities and classrooms like factories, and stop teaching students by rote, testing by rote, and make education interesting again. No one learns anything in bad facilities when they are bored.
Which begs the question, is school in its current form actually about teaching, or breaking the spirit of every kid through sheer boredom and psychological abuse by treating them like conditioned lab rats? Do we have an education, or an un-education system? Is it about dumbing down to remove any education achieved before going to school and everything learned outside of school, so children can be conditioned to learn only what the government wants them to learn? I leave the answers up to you.
Time to dispel the myth that “critical thinking” is what educators say it is. “Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.” – John Dewey. He is the father of the modern public education system in the early 1900’s, who required critical thinking for every student as part of the program. You have been taught that “critical thinking skills” are those skills which are critical for your ability to think. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since this practice comes from the same “reformers” who brought you, Prussian education, factory schools, normal schools for teacher training, and a system of education designed to bring about obedience to the State, why then would you assume for a second that “thinking” wouldn’t be the most controlled aspect of education of all? Well, it is. Critical thinking skills are “right thinking” skills. That is why they are critical. It is CRITICAL for the “system” that every child think correctly, and think exactly the same, for that is the purpose of public education. It’s what we used to call “indoctrination” when referred to concentration and re-education camps. What started with Socrates as a system of questions to test the validity of any theory or idea, has become a way to enslave the collective mind of a nation, all under the disguise of a lofty title. The ability to think critically in the modern sense is the ability to criticize. The question is, criticize what? Since our education system is a Leftist indoctrination system created by so called “progressives,” the thing they most want students to criticize is everything they are trying to eliminate: freedom, liberty, religion, God, independence, independent thought, independent actions, patriotism, national identity and culture, private property, marriage and family, community, founding documents, accurate history, rights, guns, entrepreneurism, and most important — creative thinking. That is what students are taught to be critical of, and to eliminate if possible from their minds for it is “wrong thinking.” Right thinking, which replaces everything mentioned above, includes: collectivism, blind obedience to multiculturalism, hate speech laws, unrestricted immigration and no borders, radical environmentalism, no private property, no single family homes, no private automobiles, but in favor of smart growth communities and public transit, government planned jobs and economy, the climate change global warming hoax, the LGBT political agenda, diversity, censorship they decide, politically correct anything, radical racial resegregation and break up of society into groups, radical feminism, replacement of Judaeo-Christianity with Islam, and the destruction of all our founding documents and principles. If you doubt me, try “thinking critically” about climate change, and you are immediately labeled a “denier.”
For further reading and what I use for reference see this:
- The last recommendation is to remove any pretense that critical thinking is about thinking, when it really is conditioning and indoctrination of a Leftist agenda to replace everything our country stood for before the “progressives,” mandated their “reforms.”
We have traced education from the beginning. We have seen how a free and open system operated in ancient Athens, and in our founding years. We have seen the education systems of Sparta and Rome become models of strict military discipline and government control. We have seen how they were adopted by Prussia and then spread across the United States. We know this system still exists relatively untouched for millions of schoolchildren, and will continue this way for generations to come unless we do something about it. We have seen that our reformers took the worst of the world education systems, school buildings and equipment, and implemented them here. We know that no matter what the name du jour, like Common Core, it’s all the same Prussian system of control. We can do better. We can take a look at the best of what the world has discovered about education and look to that. And then we can come up with a completely new way to educate, not necessarily based on the past, but open to what worked well, and incorporate that into something new and different from anything tried so far. That’s my goal. So let’s modify the original question: Since you now know what I have described about education, and you are still free to come up with any kind of education plan you want, what would it look like? Here is what it would look like to me, drawing on everything that has ever been, to everything I know it can be.
The first thing we have to strongly emphasize is “creative thinking.” Whereas critical thinking is designed to destroy, creative thinking is designed to create, which is the difference between a negative system, and a positive one. Creative thinking means, thinking like there is no box. It means: brainstorming, rejecting convention, getting new sources of information, daring to be different, daring to think like no one else, not restricting yourself only to what you know, asking questions no one has asked and then answer them, drawing on all sources of knowledge even if unrelated, talking to everyone regardless of title, taking risks, being bold, trying new hobbies and activities for inspiration, seeking out and reading new sources no one else is using, observing everything, keeping records and journals, keeping your humor, and publishing your results regardless of the consequences.
For a more in depth discussion please go to my source for this here:
The first step in a totally new concept of education is to define what it means to be educated. My definition from earlier is that only by a demonstration of what you can teach, can you truly show what you know. Therefore all advancement in my new system will be by the demonstration of teaching in as many areas as possible, and accumulating “Certificates of Achievement” which certify what knowledge and experience has been gained. If you consider that any source, or school, or class, or experience, can serve to teach, then we should broaden the definition beyond what is learned in class or school, to what is accumulated at any point in a young persons life. Since being educated means teaching as much as you know, then the goal becomes to learn as much as possible, to be able to teach as much as possible. And so learning can take place anywhere, organized or not, and, you should be able to get credit for it. Your total accumulation of certificates would be the documented accumulation of what you have learned. There would be no distinction between blue collar and white collar as all study of professions would be honored equally, even though there are vast differences in the spectrum of employment and the work done. But a Certificate of Achievement in plumbing and one in theoretical physics are both certificates of achievement, and should be valued accordingly. How to evaluate the quality of teaching to reward the various certificates is going to have to evolve through all the various disciplines, and will take time.
Along with the demonstrated ability to teach, should be the ability to write about your subject, knowledge area, skill, discipline, hobby, about whatever learning and experience you have acquired. Such work should go towards any Certificate of Achievement, or Certificate of Ability. Such work should also be kept for future student reference as a resource, just like any other source, and should be cited and referenced in any future student’s work. Since the test of achievement is the ability to teach, some portion of written work should go towards the modification or addition to the manuals of teaching. This would continually upgrade the teaching information and practice based on the latest knowledge and experience. Nothing is a greater waste in current education than for millions of students writing millions more papers, only to have them be graded and thrown away. Granted not everyone writes a masterpiece, and the vast majority are pure regurgitation per teacher requirements. But there are also gems of real knowledge, discovery, insight, ideas, and creativity, and those are the ones that should be saved, published, indexed, and available in school libraries, online, and available to the public.
If you remove the age barriers and restrictions common to school and the grade levels, then demonstration of learning through teaching can be credited as soon as someone can talk, write, and teach. We’ve all seen videos of parents who have taught their children remarkable skills in gymnastics and martial arts, in singing and dancing, and more, in kids who are three or four years old. All of that should count towards our concept of being educated. And as soon as such learning can be taught, through demonstration and instruction, and other young people can be shown to have learned, then a Certificate of Achievement in that area at a particular level should be granted. There can also be several levels of achievement up to master levels. Think of advancing up through a particular skill, discipline, or knowledge area, as students advance up through different colored belts in martial arts. There is no age requirement to start, or finish, so age is irrelevant. There is no time constraint by which a certain amount of knowledge must be gained, nor limitation of how quickly it may be gained. Each student advances at their own pace, and when they have the required skills and knowledge, and can demonstrate their abilities, they advance. Imagine if all of education were structured that way. If so, there would be no need for conventional tests or letter grades, as each discipline would function, like martial arts, with its own standards and levels. You can start as young as you like, accumulate skills levels as quickly as you like, and there is nothing to hold any individual back, since there will be no grade levels based on age or birthday. No one could compare themselves directly to anyone else, since every education would be as unique as the individual, and no two people would have the exact same levels or types of certificates of achievements, at any particular time in their lives.
If there is no need for conventional school grade levels nor restrictions based on age, there is no need for a conventional school year. Learning can be constant year round, as can the accumulation of teaching certificates of achievement, or certificates of ability, or certificates of knowledge, or certificates of any other kind as yet unthought of. One might question whether at this point there is a need for conventional schools at all? I think there is, but there have to be a lot of changes. Current education and law make school compulsory, there are prescribed ages to start, and for each grade level, and prescribed areas of study, all mandated by the government. Per my recommendations all government interaction in education should be removed, then all authority for guiding education defaults to parents, and transfers gradually to students. There may be special cases, like in my own personal case, where a desired area of study, in my case flight lessons, was purposely held back despite a demonstrated ability and aptitude on my part, as well as an incredible desire to move forward as rapidly as possible. So one of the provisions of my system will be for the independence of students who show a demonstrated ability and desire to study and persevere despite objections of parents, in a generally accepted area of study and accomplishment, students should be able to move ahead with that study on their own. Students would be able to apply to learn, and receive voucher money, to pursue their passion, regardless of parental obstruction and sabotage. I started flying lessons at 12 because of my own initiative, but was held back and had to fight every step of the way. I never got my dream career ultimately, so this is very personal to me.
The key to a universally educated population is not compulsory government run education, but complete school choice in all matters. That means unconditional vouchers. Vouchers can have no limitations save that they have to be spent on gaining knowledge and ability so as to be able to ultimately teach that knowledge and ability. Again, broaden your definition of education. It would extend to private schools because there would be no government schools, also: private classes like martial arts, dance, acting, flying, cooking, art, health, or an infinite number of other options; charter schools, Montessori schools, and any other type of schools; summer camp, day camp, and all related activities like sailing, archery, crafts, and more; instruction in games like chess, and video game expertise for future work or military applications; shooting instruction, competition, gun-smithing and anything to do with firearms knowledge; any military instruction for career or otherwise; anything with trade vocation or mechanical applications; any skills and knowledge gained as a result of volunteering or charity work; any music instruction from school bands and orchestras to private lessons; any acting, theater, or stage instruction; all of this plus everything I haven’t thought of yet or mentioned. In fact, any possible skill or knowledge area that can be taught, is open to a Certificate of Achievement. We can try different names for these certificates. We should consider special categories of achievement for skills that can be demonstrated through teaching that are learned as part of work or an apprenticeship. Lastly all schools should be tax free, and that includes any church or religious school. The current spending per student for government schools is around $12,300. Once you eliminate the various levels of education bureaucracy much more money should be available. Add in the money not spent on illegal aliens and the vouchers go up even more. Let’s say for example that every parent gets a voucher of $15,000 per student, to be spent on any education option they see fit. That should make for some amazing options, and parents are always free to add their own income and resources on top of that.
Funding information: http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=66
So the goal becomes not getting good grades on standardized tests, it becomes accumulating Certificates of Achievement, from demonstrated ability to teach, at any number of different levels, for any number of different subject areas. So the next question is what subjects to pursue, how high to rise and achieve in any particular area, and what should be the spread of activities and certificates gained and earned? That is for parents to decide, gradually transferring that authority to students as they express and demonstrate talents, knowledge and skills. Granted in the ideal parents and students will agree, but sadly that isn’t always the case. Again, I come from a family with severe personality disorders, and so your desired path isn’t always paved for you, and may be blocked completely as in my case. So I have to leave an option for independence for every student at some point so they can take over their own education, possibly working with an education coordinator as an emancipated minor. Also, there should be a provision for parents to be able to expose, and sometimes force, a certain level of time and trial for certain activities at the beginning level. Again, some of my greatest experiences were forced upon me. I had a band director put a tuba in my lap and say: “Penglis! Play this! We need a tuba player.” I was heartbroken at first because I wanted to be a trumpet player, but tuba was the best musical and one of the best personal experiences I ever had, and lasted a wonderful 11 years.
Now, it may be a daunting task for parents to try and figure, from every possible school, class, and activity out there, how to design a complete program for their child or children. I have two solutions. I’m sure private enterprise will come up with guidelines and possible programs for parents to follow. That way parents who have little idea how to go about this job will have help, and those parents who want total planning and control will have that also. Think of it like a restaurant pre-planned menu where you select items for each course. A more detailed plan can be constructed for parents, perhaps by school advisors or education coordinators. I knew definitively I wanted to be an airline pilot at five, I never wavered from that, and under my system, an overall program could have been constructed around that ultimate goal. One idea is to have an educational consultant, someone to coordinate a variety of educational options and help parents come up with an individual and comprehensive plan for each child, from a variety of school options running concurrently. Think of them like a primary care physician who sends you out to specialists for particular treatments. In the case of education, the primary education coordinator would coordinate and keep track of the student as their teacher, evaluator, consultant, and guide through the whole process. Vouchers should have money for this option.
Consider this a Modular, Decentralized, Non-governmental, Education System. How is it modular? We consider going to “school” as in one school. But why not go to a variety of “schools” to get the needed Certificates of Achievement? Why be limited to any one school? Does this mean several different schools per day? It could, but it doesn’t have to. Entry and exit from any number of schools would be completely fluid. Divide up schooling by quarters for example. Say a parent found some good classes at the local private school first quarter, some special classes at another private school second quarter, a summer camp school summer quarter, and a military school fourth quarter. Or the time divisions could be by year, or by week, day, or month, or any combination for any number of options the parents decide. For divorced parents I’m sure the custody split would also decide the education decision split. So school would become modular, rather than by year. There also would be no residence requirement. Parents could live anywhere they want and send kids to any school they want. Kids would also be exposed to different ages and different skill levels, as those who want to master a subject could qualify by teaching those of a lower level, or those who are just trying out a new subject or talent area could learn from more advanced students. Students also gain the knowledge that anyone can teach, and anyone can learn, that the two are interchangeable, fluid, occurring simultaneously, while building teamwork, and destroying the myth that only experts can teach, or be learned from. Teachers would advance in their profession not by how the union or tenure protected them and how the next contract looked, but by how many students wanted to learn from them. Those teachers who were the most popular could hire apprentice teachers to whom they would teach their methods and spread the knowledge out. That is how schools could develop. The options are endless. But one of the keys to success is equal funding adequate to cover a certain level of options desired by the parents and students such that no student fails to get a varied education if they have the ability and desire. Students who show no desire to learn a talent, skill or knowledge area well enough to teach will stand out very quickly, and as such their self imposted limitations will be clearly obvious, their own problem, and follow them throughout life with ever limiting options until they change their behavior. Everyone can be an expert at something. It just has to be found and wanted to be found.
“The greatest enemy of freedom, is the limitation of your own thinking and imagination.” Greg Penglis
Once we free up schools to run as they see fit, schools will be free to dump the factory model of cell block classes with desks arranged in columns and rows. They can set up any learning environment they want. This makes school design options as open as the teaching options, and should provide for some very interesting innovations as private schools and private enterprise let their imaginations go. Since government will be completely removed from education, there will be no government schools anymore, but the remaining infrastructure of public schools should be made available for private acquisition. As for the public school teachers, they should be able to be retained or retrained to adapt to new systems, and most might be grateful for the opportunity to teach and innovate as they see fit.
We need to bring out the best in teachers and allow them to teach to the maximum of their ability, to reach the highest potential of their student’s ability. Case study: Jaime Escalante. He taught math at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, which was known for drugs, gangs, violence, and terrible education conditions, and he got a class through the advanced placement test in calculus. Were the students different? No, the teacher was. His story and methods should be studied and emulated in math classes everywhere. Were they? Probably not! That is a waste of talent, and of students. Case study: Erin Gruwell. She was an English teacher at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California. She taught kids who came from broken homes, with drugs and gangs, and had them write about their personal experience, which was turned into a best selling book called “The Freedom Writers.” She now runs The Freedom Writers Foundation and teaches teachers. Her methods should be studied and emulated across the education spectrum. These two teachers revolutionized English and Math, and got things from their students that no one thought possible. It’s not the kids background that holds them back, its the assumptions that they can only learn so much, or not at all. What if the standard for writing was what Gruwell’s students did, and the standard for math was what Escalante’s students did? What if every student had the chance to be that good? Sure puts Common Core to shame. Education should be uncommon, not common, and it should get the best possible from every individual student, not make all students the same.
The first complaint from the education establishment, the government, and the pubic education unions, is going to be: who is going to set the standards of education if not the government? Good question. It’s obviously not the same government that has already ruined the education system, so it has to come from somewhere else. The answer is a combination of parents, students, teachers, schools, and the cumulative result of everything we’ve talked about. Each area of study and expertise will determine on their own the qualifications for each level of achievement. This is going to be a long process, but it will be worth it. In some areas the government has already set pretty good standards, as in the levels of pilot certificates. Martial arts has the various belts. Trades have levels of apprentice and journeyman. The military and police have ranks. The Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have badges. There is nothing wrong with taking established standards and applying them directly for Certificates of Achievement, instead of my categories of beginner through master. Again, there are as many options as there are areas of study. This will be a process.
How can we make decisions on where to go to school? Word of mouth, reviews, advertising, consumer reports, rating agencies, polls, and more are involved. All of these can be applied as a way to select school options, particular teachers, and programs. Students can write their own evaluations to be read by other students. Since all schools will be private, it is in their interest to offer the best teachers, best programs, best experience, and best quality, to attract the most students and voucher money to operate. There will always be parents who make more than other parents. That can’t and shouldn’t be controlled. But a base level voucher for every parent can. Parents will be able to evaluate learning situations on so many factors: facilities, whether classes are large or small seminars, how long any class meets, whether there is individual tutoring, how much independent study, when they meet, what is included for field trips and outside learning, and any other variable.
One huge change is likely to be the explosion of vocational training, and the amazing shrinkage of the need for liberal arts studies and colleges. Under my system of individual paced learning, most students will so greatly exceed the hopelessly inadequate government restricted education, which holds most students back by making them wait on the slowest, least motivated student, that ***most students will have the equivalent of a college education by the age of 18, just like students used to before the “reformers” took over, and like many European and Asian countries already do with their students. For some reason we separate out vocations as non-academic. That distinction has to be done away with, as should all such arbitrary distinctions. Since education is completely open now, and again, accomplishment is defined by what one can teach, learning auto maintenance technology should receive credit just as learning Shakespeare does. Why should a student who loves fixing cars not get a Certificate of Achievement for advanced auto repair, and have that certificate go to their cumulative total certificate program? What if the ultimate goal is auto engineering, or auto design? Would not credit for repair and maintenance give an amazing background in practical use and operation of current technology? Could this facilitate future design and engineering that is more maintenance friendly? How many auto engineers have actually worked on the technology and auto parts they design, comprehensively, in the real world? If you were selecting students for mechanical or automotive engineering school, would not the person with practical experience credit be more valuable and be a better student? The possibilities are endless once you are open to the combinations and cross applications. Again, the levels of learning are Rote, where government education is, then Understanding, then Application, and finally Correlation, which is where learning transfers over into other areas. This is Correlation.
For convention and because of age and maturity levels, some familiar areas of education would remain, especially in the early years. Those of approximately junior high and high school student age will probably be mixing in various education modules and classes. College and university might be another convenient grouping. But since the liberal arts and most of the entry level courses for any particular area of study would be done by 18, college would be mainly professional training and could probably be accomplished in greatly reduced time, especially if attended all year. I’m sure a course of study could be developed for ambitious students to have a law degree and have passed the bar by 21. Why not? I was flying airplanes around New England by myself at 16. But if some students take longer, that’s fine too. Certain levels of accomplishment in a particular number of areas would be required in order to qualify for entry to the professional schools, pretty much like college admissions today, but based on my system. That would apply to law, medicine, engineering, finance, or whatever. One question is whether we would even have bar exams anymore, or could a program be developed like an apprenticeship where a certain level of achievement in actual trials as an assistant, and a level of demonstrated instruction of the law would be a viable substitute, and possibly better evaluation, than a bar exam.
One way schools of all levels would compete is by entrance requirements. More exclusive schools would have higher entrance requirements, just like now. The difference is the unlimited ways that could be defined. At some point in a minor child’s education, those entrance requirements would play a big part in the education program design. Since standardized tests like Achievement and SAT’s would be obsolete, this also removes the accusations of bias on standardized tests, and the quotas for admissions. Grades would be gone as well, and replaced by levels of achievement. So to qualify students, a certain level of achievement in a certain amount of areas could be set as entrance requirements. Anything above that would demonstrate which student candidates were further qualified. If more students want a particular school, the entrance requirements would probably rise. The same for lesser desirable schools, their entrance requirements would lower. Each student would be free to put their individual total Certificates of Achievement as a picture of exactly who they are for the schools, rather than the schools coming up with arbitrary test scores and grades that students have to try and achieve. One thing that will probably remain the same is the relative value of a certificate from a particular school. Just as a law degree from Harvard is worth more than a law degree from Bob’s Law School, if there is such a place, certificates from schools for various levels of accomplishment will have to be evaluated individually just as the students are.
In closing I think the best way to illustrate how a total education program could work is to use myself as an example. If I could have chosen my own course of study to end up an airline pilot, this is what I would have wanted, and what I would have had to do.
Career objectives: Airline Pilot, Aviation Writer, Aviation Psychologist.
Second Career: Radio Talk Show Host, Writer, Video Newsmaker.
Granted, most kids don’t know at 5 what their career should be. I was the exception. So for many a more general course of study would be tailored. Different areas could be tried until one or two, preferably two, paths are emphasized. Modular study programs can be changed at any time, or simply changed emphasis. Since every education plan is individualized, anything can be created. Mine is just one example. But this format could be used to create a plan for any child up through age 21. This is only what I would have wanted for myself.
Levels of Achievement for Certificate: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, Master.
Each program defines its own criteria for each level. Each student/parent selects the level they seek to attain. Beginner could just mean doing it for fun, for an introduction, to see if future mastery is desired, to fulfill future requirements, or any other reason they choose. It is more desirable to achieve the levels desired by any future professional career or training school. Levels will be demonstrated through teaching and written work. No need for standardized tests or grades anymore. That puts all students against each other. *** All work and accomplishment in my system is individual, so all competition is with one’s self. One thing this system does is to encourage a purpose to education at a far earlier point. It is in one’s interest to look for areas of interest in young children that might grow into careers, intense avocations, hobbies, or just things for fun to explore. Rather than just going to school because the government mandates it, and suffering through with huge wasted amounts of time and opportunity until the government no longer mandates it, this system encourages planning, purpose, and no wasted time, since every course and subject of knowledge or experience will have some justification, from experiment to college or career. Without the need for traditional college liberal arts or core classes, the huge debt students incur in college for those classes will not be necessary, and that money can be put to professional schools and saved for other purposes. This will help break the college / government student loan extortion plan which mandates college, and then mandates the huge debt to pay for it, all with government controlled money and debt. Now for my ideal education program.
Program:- Ages 5 – 11.
Basic intro academics in classes: – English, math, science, music, gym, art, history, any special program in that school.
Level of Achievement – Beginner.
Independent Study:- Read most of World Book Encyclopedia (true story). Books on science, dinosaurs, weather.
Level of Achievement – Intermediate.
Independent Study:- Aviation, airplanes, aviation history, military/battle/tactics history for aircraft, civilian aircraft, airliners.
Level of Achievement – Advanced.
Boy Scouts:- Camping – survival skills. Map reading/Orienteering/compass/navigation/chart skills. First Aid badge. All other badges – personal achievement, knowledge and experience.
Level of Achievement – Intermediate.
Bike Riding Club:- Bike riding, travel experience, maintenance, mechanical knowledge, outdoor exercise.
Level of Achievement – Beginner.
Private/school music instruction/introduction to band playing:- piano, trumpet, tuba. Continued with tuba only.
Level of Achievement – Beginner.
Martial Arts:- Judo. Health, coordination, spiritual development, discipline, accomplishment. (true story)
Level of Achievement – Beginner.
Program:- Ages 12-17. (I started college at 17)
Continued school academics:- same as above. Additions include literature, biology/earth science, concentrations in history. Special emphasis on English composition.
Level of Achievement – Intermediate. Level for English Composition – Advanced.
Classes on Aviation from Independent Study above. Detailed research papers required.
Level of Achievement – Expert.
Special Areas of study:- Meteorology, either in class, local college, or certified meteorologist, perhaps from radio or TV.
Level of Achievement – Advanced.
Physics/Aerodynamics/Fluid Dynamics – hands on experience as well as classroom. Level of Achievement – Beginner.
Radio/Mass Communication:- Academic classes, work/internship at school/commercial radio station, ages 16-18.
Level of Achievement – Beginner.
Flight School:- Begin program leading to Private Pilot Certificate and Instrument Rating. (true story on Private)
Level of Achievement – Advanced. Glider training. Level of Achievement – Intermediate.
Aircraft design study and aircraft maintenance. Level of Achievement – Beginner.
Summer Camp 2 months a year, 12-15 years old:- Crafts, canoeing, socialization, archery (hand eye coordination) music, camping trips, sailing (physics, wind correction and knowledge, fluid dynamics).
Level of Achievement – Beginner. Level of Achievement for sailing – Advanced.
Music Performance:- Academic school, specialized school, community organizations. Tuba/vocals.
Level of Achievement vocals – Beginner. Level of Achievement tuba – Advanced.
Basic Skills Program:- Skills for life, age appropriate, to include but not limited to: computers, bank accounts, credit cards, basic financial planning, sewing a button, loans, mortgages, resumes, cooking, nutrition, medical care, health, exercise, auto care, auto purchase, starting a business, dysfunctional/sociopathic personality characteristics, marriage and family law, basic contracts, basic civil and criminal law, legal proceedings, government bureaucracies and procedures.
Level of Achievement. Beginner to Intermediate.
Completion of all current college liberal arts requirements for bachelor in non-career areas, equivalent to current college degree. Level of Achievement – Intermediate – Advanced.
Program: Ages 18-21.
University, with Flight Program and College Radio Station.
Flight Program:- Commercial, Multi-engine, Flight Instructor, Airline Transport Pilot. Working as flight instructor once certificate is achieved. Participation in college flying club. Level of Achievement – Master.
Aviation Academics:- Meteorology, aerodynamics, physics, atmospheric science, flight physiology, aviation psychology, great aviation authors to include Ernest Gann, Richard Bach, and more. Case studies: Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong, Douglass Bader, and more. Level of Achievement – Intermediate to Master.
Practical Study:- Airframe and Powerplant school, Avionics. Leading to Aircraft (A&P) Mechanic Certificate.
Level of Achievement – Advanced.
Career Academics:- English composition, general psychology, celestial and ancient navigation, history and development of navigation, history of airspace and FAA regulation, extra research skills, creative thinking, emergency preparedness and decision making psychology, corporate psychology, passenger fear of flying psychology.
Level of Achievement – Advanced to Expert.
Well Rounding Optional Academics:- Economics, philosophy, specialized history, literature, political science, rhetoric, debate competition, socratic dialog and inquiry, English, arts, law, constitution and founding documents.
Level of Achievement – Beginner to Intermediate.
Radio Program:- Academics: history of radio, FCC regulations, show prep, DJ, news, talk. Practical options when ready: internship, work/study, possible air shifts. Possible radio shows.
Level of Achievement – Beginner to Intermediate.
Music and Performance:- Marching band, orchestra, on tuba. Any other musical organization.
Level of Achievement – Expert.
Sports and martial arts:- Aikido, kung fu, archery, competition shooting, fencing, sailing, tennis, distance bike riding.
Level of Achievement – Beginner to Expert.
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Completion Standard: Ready for airline training as first officer at 21. Optional military pilot career. Optional any other career in aviation from general aviation to airline. Second career after first, and ongoing avocation – radio broadcasting. Accomplished writer for articles, books, professional papers, thesis, any other publication.
Ready for further study and eventual practice in aviation psychology, aviation education, designing programs for both.
To get the most out of this article, sit down and type out your own educational program as you wish it had been done, using my format above, and come up with your own program. If you have kids, or especially if you are planning on kids, do this for them as much as you can. Then talk to friends, family, community, the media, and start talking about changing education so this system becomes a reality in our lifetimes. It can be done.
If we judge people for employment, or for college, or anything, based on resumes and standard academic achievements, we miss so much of what makes up a person. But if people can demonstrate through teaching to others the total of what they have learned, then everyone can shine as an individual, and be celebrated for the levels and certificates they have achieved, and those they have only experienced for whatever personal reason. This is how we should educate from here on. Since there are no restrictions to the number of hours available for study and credit, like in current school, and since the areas of achievement are virtually unlimited, any student is free to work at their own pace to accomplish as much, or as little, as they can. This isn’t an equal system. It rewards work and achievement, where no one can hold the individual back, except for parental misguidance and extra funding beyond vouchers. But we as a society can work on those. If you are with me and like this system, please share my article everywhere you can.
I’m also for hire if someone wants me to set up and run the world’s greatest school…
There is a ton of educational background material I have learned about from these sites on Wikipedia and used for this article. The reason I like Wikipedia is that they are subjective and opinionated, and give me a variety of viewpoints, many of which are controversial and contradictory. Contrast that with single sources and textbooks that proclaim to have definitive and correct knowledge. Where is real education and learning to be found? Here are my sources for this article.