“The Children Are Our Future!” This popular slogan is supposed to have meaningful and positive connotations for having our children inherit a better future. We were those children who became our future. What did we get from our past to help us have and make a meaningful and positive future?
We basically got early and educational conditioning that influenced and molded much of our behavior. Each generation has been conditioning their children for supposedly a better future only to having arrived at facing the greatest threats to humanity and our environment. Since the past generations have not achieved a sustainable and better future with less violence, abuse and greed, we should examine what could be missing in early/educational development that might be essential toward achieving our hopes and dreams. We need to improve human relationships worldwide or we will not only leave children behind, we risk leaving humanity behind.
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN MISSING?
We have neglected a few essential ingredients to enable children to inherit a better future: Their Potential Interests, Talents, and Skills and Creative Relationships (CR). CR are developed by sharing our best talents to achieve a better future. We need to include these essentials in education in order for students to expand their creativity and to contribute to a better world in partnerships with peers and adults.
When we ask youngsters “what do you want to be or do when you grow up?,” we know their answers are mostly based on fantasies. Instead or in addition, we should be challenging them by asking ” how would you like to explore the world just to discover your potential interests along with your peers and then choose your favorite interests to arrange apprenticeship projects to develop your potential talents and skills in partnerships with adults to achieve a productive and peaceful world?” I offered this opportunity to 4th through 12th graders in a pilot project and got positive responses that are presented in my article on Quality Education.
EDUTOPIA – STEPS TO QUALITY EDUCATION
What a great title for exploring worldwide potentials for Quality Education. Edutopia has been generated by the George Lucas Educational Foundation in San Rafael, California. Bravo to George Lucas, our famous filmmaker.
Some of the Foundations research demonstrates that as students expand their creativity for life enhancement, they improved academically. The Adobe Success Story of the Lee County Public Schools in Fort Myers, Florida is a prime example.
My proposals for Quality Education are to integrate the expansion of student’s creativity with the inspirational relationships they acquire with adults.
I feel we need to update the mission for Quality Education.
PROPOSED MISSION FOR QUALITY EDUCATION
Education needs to meet the essential needs of not only the local regions, but as much as possible, the needs of our world’s future. We are more interdependent than ever to develop the best in human relationships toward achieving a more productive and peaceful world of communities.
We know that societies are capable of conditioning their young people and adults to believe in the “superiority” of one class of people and claim justification for controlling “inferior” classes with many forms of abuse. But, we also know of societies that become capable of conditioning their people to respect humanity and not want to harm anyone or to harm our supportive environment. The UN has declared GAVIOTAS as a model community for developing countries. I recommend the book GAVIOTAS by Alan Weisman, the Tenth Anniversary Edition.
I’m going to stick my ego/neck out to challenge using test scores alone as the criteria for evaluating “No Child Left Behind.” In order to meet the most urgent need of our world societies, I submit, is to reduce violence, abuse and greed. What good are high test scores if those who achieve them are willing to support the dehumanization of humanity and our environment? If people can convince others to dehumanize innocent people, we can kiss high test scores to the devil. Domestic and world violence, abuse and greed have prevailed to a most dangerous degree. Our greatest need is to improve human relationships worldwide or we will not only leave children behind, we risk leaving humanity behind! Even if students don’t achieve adequate grades, if they at least acquire enough respect for humanity and would not want to harm any human being, that would be a meaningful path to a peaceful and caring future.
I can’t help feeling optimistic that there are enough caring young people and adults with a vision of our potentials to achieve a more creative and peaceful world. With such passion, we can and should form an emergency project that I would call:
INTERNATIONAL COALITION for EXPANDING CREATIVITY (ICEC)
ICEC should be a nongovernmental body to explore and promote the most promising and effective energies that can contribute to a more productive, creative and peaceful world of communities.
The findings of ICEC need to be presented to the broadest audience worldwide in order to develop constructive and critical thinking about projects to enhance humanity. In this spirit I submit my proposals for the ICEC and for Quality Education.