As parents, we care deeply about who we entrust to educate our children. Many of us are forgoing traditional education and mainstream schooling for our kids, in favour of homeschooling, unschooling and now – bush schools. Joey Moncarz from the Deep Green Bush-School near Auckland, shared his thoughts on the education system with us, and how they are providing an alternative. Do you agree with his sentiments? Leave us a comment at the end, sharing your own experiences and ideas.
Education in the Age of Screens, Surveillance and Apathy
By Joey Moncarz, Deep Green Bush-School
The seemingly impossible challenge for parents today is how to properly educate their kids when all around us, society – aided by schools – is doing its best to dumb our kids down, delay maturity, cripple social development and watch and control their every move.
While more and more people are interested in ‘natural’ food and ‘natural’ products, few seem to ask what natural child-raising looks like. Of course, may of us know that breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a baby, and not Nestle’s infant formula. After all, breastfeeding is how we evolved. But what about school?
The fact is, any school – whether state or private – is not natural. It is completely unnatural. It is as synthetic as polyvinyl chloride and as toxic as Roundup and 1080. Schools were invented a mere 150 years ago by factory owners and the One Percent to produce factory workers who would do what their told, follow orders, go to war, and not question anything, which is why schools operate on the same assembly-line principles as a factory. This is simple history and nothing has changed. Schools were never designed with our children’s health and happiness in mind. And certainly not for maturity and ecological wisdom. They were designed for domination, social programming and control, as demonstrated by their authoritarian design and obsession with modern technology. With this understanding, the high rates of bullying and youth depression and suicide makes complete sense.
We live now in the most schooled and educated generation in the history of human existence on the planet. What do we have to show for it? The result of 150 years of compulsory schooling is a world of global environmental devastation, deforestation, ecological collapse, patriarchy, by far the highest number of slaves ever, massive inequality, more than one billion starving people, increasing political and economic instability, toxic nuclear waste and the very real threat of nuclear war. This reality is the result of schooled and educated adults – not just the “highly-educated” politicians and generals, but also the parents, professionals, blue-collar workers and all other members of the educated adult population – just as it was “highly educated” adults who designed and built concentration camps and gas chambers last century and it is “highly educated” adults who carry on with their lives today as millions are still being killed. After years and years of going to school, we know even less about how to live healthy and meaningful lives. With all this education, the bulk of the world’s adults are clearly unwise, immature and irresponsible. Schools are nothing to defend, though teachers themselves are generally well-meaning. But the institution of schooling is not.
The result of 150 years of compulsory schooling is a world of global environmental devastation, deforestation, ecological collapse, patriarchy, by far the highest number of slaves ever, massive inequality, more than one billion starving people, increasing political and economic instability, toxic nuclear waste and the very real threat of nuclear war.
If we were really interested in designing the healthiest form of education so that we end up with healthy, wise, mature, and responsible young adults, forget the education “experts”. Look to how Maori and the world’s countless indigenous peoples raised their young for thousands of years. Or, if you only believe Western Science, look to evolution. How did humans evolve to learn? How have children been learning for the last two million years? After all, humans have been on the planet for two million years. Schools have only been around for 150 years. Remember, humans have been breastfeeding their babies for millions of years, but infant formula is – that’s right – also only 150 years old. Which did we evolve for?
Humans evolved to grow up surrounded by kids of all ages – not just their same age. The older ones learn to look after the younger ones, and the younger ones learn from the older ones. But schools artificially keep our youth in a state of immaturity by separating them by age – which means that the only role models kids have are kids of their same level of immaturity. This was done intentionally. Now we take it for granted, but it’s unnatural. Young people need a mix of ages around them in order to mature.
Humans also didn’t evolve to learn by direct instruction or to sit in a classroom. Humans evolved to learn through play, observation and imitation.
See page 2 for the rest of the article…