We usually define education as the acquisition of knowledge. This is of course necessary, but represents only, say, five per cent of the entire process. And this knowledge is prettily useless, if this process results in a neurotic person, submissive, unable to be happy, rebellious or immoral.
Psychoeducation is thus a larger share, let us say a quarter.
The rest, therefore 70%, is about the maturation of the brain, which is certainly the basis for avoiding to get a sociopath, idiot, pervert, delinquent, fascist, etc.
I therefore review these three parts in order of size. But obviously the whole process is necessary. If the brain represents 70%, it is only the basis. If knowledge is only 5%, it give the sense.
We saw in the previous chapter V-14 how the brain develops, thanks to a self-formation mechanism. Education must mandatorily account with this fact, as this mechanism results into periods of life where different aspects of the personality are formed, or can be definitively lost if the child is deprived of the necessary conditions. I wrote this chapter before the previous, hence some repeats, but also a better understanding in the light of the previous.
Initially, the maturation of the brain is a fully automatic process. However the neurological consciousness is an integral part of the automation: even if it does not «choose» in the common sense of this word, it is still its reactions which will increase or decrease a pleasant or unpleasant experience. The whole process remaining, at this point, under full neural control, and therefore fully material.
We cannot say much from the child in the womb. Sensory perceptions are rare, and he will probably focus on them (sounds, movements, functioning of his body). We however know that he spends most of his consciousness time in dreams... but of what is he dreaming about? Probably what he perceives, or biological dreams as seen in chapter V-7. Without stakes or analysis, but with simple emotions, such as fear or desire.
Before the age of three, important maturation take place, about the sensory and motor pathways. An important element which appears here, that Maria Montessori discovered by observation alone, but which was subsequently confirmed by neurological research, is the notion of sensitive period: the maturation of a given neurological faculty can be done only at a specific time of life. In fact, just as for the formation of the body, the formation of the brain is following a construction plan in a succession of steps. The main difference is that this process continues up to the age of three years, with the exception of sexual functions which are activated at puberty.
An important point of the sensitive periods is that the person needs that his environment provide specific experiences, at the appropriate time. This condition is generally satisfied with sensory experiences, but more problematic for social or emotional experiences.
An example of sensitive period is the maturation of binocular vision. In the event of a failure of the brain to pair the two images, one of the two eyes is «deleted»: it is amblyopia, one eye which remains weak despite wearing glasses. Correcting this problem is possible if it is detected very young (hence the interest of the medicinal monitoring of all children). But the more we advance in age, the more difficult it is, and impossible after six years old.
Another example of maturation, this time «silent» and fully automatic, is the appearance of long-term memory, at three years. This probably corresponds to the starting-up of newly established circuits.
Long-term memory really appears in an already complex and organized consciousness. For instance, my earliest memories, at the age of three, relate to the purchase of a car, a train journey, a garden, a move. In these memories, I knew precisely what all these things were and what they involved. And the time where I put the plastic potty vase on the burning stove, it really was to harm it. (Although I was surprised of the result, not knowing that plastic could melt.) This clearly shows that memory functions well before three, but everything is forgotten after.
The age of three years is a key period, where the child comes out of his self-centered state to discover social relationships. Before, it is totally useless to impose him companies that he does not like, or punishments of any kind or for any motive. However, at three, he realises that he has effect on others. This is visible very soon: in a few weeks, the child, until then kind and cute, starts to make blunders or unpleasant things, with the characteristic small mischievous smile: he no longer does random things like a baby, he knows that he can annoy others! The relatively quick emergence of this behaviour sometimes takes the parents by surprise, who then wonder what is wrong, or worse they try to ignore the problem. But actually everything is perfectly well: the child is just starting to «seek the limits», that is to say the social rules. He is not «becoming evil», he even decided nothing by himself, simply the desire to interact with others is arising in him, just as sexual desire arises at puberty.
What to do with the child who seeks the limits? There is only one thing to do, but we must do it at once: punish. Oh, no beatings, no screams, no psychodrama: initially, to show our displeasure. But obviously, this is not enough, since it is precisely what the child tries to provoke! He cannot yet understand by himself that he must not. Then the punishment is the only solution: a thoroughly dosed slap on the thighs, replying a pinch by another pinch... simply matter of showing that if he is unpleasant with the others, then he must suffer the painful consequences. In this way, the child integrates very quickly the idea that he must respect others, instead of using them for having fun of them. If in more people show them love and respect, then he knows that he can rely on them. The combination of the two allows him to integrate another even more important notion: that he cannot be happy alone, but that we are happy together. Thus the necessary discipline of life in society is not a burden, but a tool that he appropriates in order to express his personality: we created a normal and balanced person, neither submissive nor abusive.
Important notes on corporal punishment:
To start with, I am aware that, in some countries, corporeal punishments are illegal, and by extension to advise for them is also illegal. So I cover myself by advising instead not to do children in such countries. This is quite obviously the purpose of these laws, right?
I am aware that many will oppose the above statement, by equating physical punishment to ill treatment. Others will instead see my text as a confirmation of their authoritarian or fascist methods. But both commit the same mistake of type of logic (chapter I-7). In fact the issue is not «pro or con» corporal punishment, but a successful education. Then everything is only a matter of timing and dosage. There even is a quadripolar diagram (chapter I-4):
Ill treatment, fascism
And, as in any quadripolar diagram, the right choice is not the right or the left, but the top. This is what I meant above, and nothing else.
What I am talking about is not bullying or dangerous beating, but a mild punishment, at a strategic moment and with a definite purpose. I would even say that it is denying this to the child in a sensitive period which is an ill treatment. Indeed, this deprives him of the opportunity of learning respecting others, and exposes him to much more painful problems later. In this case, the punishment is like a «vaccine», painful but necessary to prevent worse suffering. And I see no virtuous legislators speaking of prohibiting vaccines!
The idea of never punishing children is not new, it comes from the Hippies. Having visited some «communities» in this time, I soon saw the terrible consequences: these children were angry, aggressive, revolted against everything. Why? Because they were still looking for the limits! Finding none, in front of adults who accepted anything from them, they were raising the pressure indefinitely, up to becoming little monsters, like the ones we see in the epoch testimony movie «Zabriskie Point». The governmental or social authorities much denigrated these communities. This is very stupid from them, since they are now doing (2013) exactly the same mistakes! With the predictable result: a groty-punk generation which rejects any ideal, makes racist bands, burns cars, gets lost in drugs and computer violence... They are still in desperate need of limits, which are denied to them!
Law and social workers must serve children, not ideologies. This meaning to prohibit authoritarianism or abuse, while leaving some means for the parents to pass the educational message. What I have seen personally, or in the news, is that the parents or the teacher can be found literally in self-defence...
We saw in chapter V-12 that psychopathy likely appears at this age. One possible explanation is that, as in the example of amblyopia, the self-adjustment process of the brain does not take place: something is wrong in the emotional life, and the child will disinvest himself of it. Just as nervous links are removed from the amblyopic eye, emotions are disconnected from the sociopathic brain. Thus, with his emotions suppressed, his ego is immune from any interactions with others, and it can swell freely to insane proportions. Okay, this is only one possible explanation among others. The parents were already accused of causing autism, and it was a disaster. Many other causes can block the maturation of the brain: encephalitis, autoimmune reactions, vaccines, shocks, «game» of the shaken baby, etc. Many things may act like thalidomide, an excellent medicine, but which had the defect of blocking the formation of the limbs of the child, if he received it at this time. Are there thalidomides of the mind?
In more and more countries, law forbids any form of corporeal punishment, always considered as a mistreatment. It is indeed right to forbid the general use of such punishments, but the above case must be an exception: it is to deprive a child from a benign punishment at the sensitive period which is a mistreatment. Indeed this removes him the opportunity to learn to respect others, and exposes him to much more painful problems later. In this case, punishment is like a medicine, unpleasant but necessary to avoid worse problems. So that law must allow for this exception, accounting with the timing and intensity of the punishment (no excessive violence, not on babies, etc.). Well, before resorting to the judge or to the social worker, if parents are unable to grasp at this nuance, they are at heavy fault, either they succumb to violence or to laxness.
There are many other sensitive periods, where the child is interested in morality, beauty, or in various social, intellectual, manual, artistic activities. Of course he must get each time the elements he needs, under penalty of missing such or such aspect of his life. If we are not ready to give him what he needs, then it is better we do not make children.
During a sensitive period, the child focuses on a type of activity, where he gets outstanding results. This gave rise to different myths such as the Indigo children, or gifted children. The temptation is then great to stuff the child with the corresponding knowledge. But the sensitive period passes, and the child is interested in something else... stuffing is clearly counterproductive, because it rather leads to a distaste of the matter. Let us be happy with obtaining balanced children.
The last observable sensitive periods are in adolescence. We of course see the awakening to love and sexuality, where, here again, happy experiences will bring the teenager to invest in these area, while unfortunate experiences (or too early) will disgust him. Of course sex education must prepare this time, before the gutter does it (pornography, sexism).
Another important step of teenage is the detachment of the parents, and looking for other ways of life, other groups. In the modern world where so many things are available, this will often be accompanied with changes in ideas, values, culture or religion. This is a normal and desirable step, which takes a dramatic turn only if one adds drama.
Adolescence is interesting for the study of sensitive periods, because at this time adolescents are able to explain what they feel... provided that they have already received enough psychoeducation to be able to admit and consider their emotions.
Reminder: «sensual» is not synonymous with «sex». This subchapter does not speak of sex.
Reminder: Sensuality is the ability to enjoy all the sensations that our body offers us, together with the surrounding nature: contact, motion, plants, elements, artistic creations, other people, etc.
Reminder: the ... (no name in our civilisation, thanks) is the ability to inhabit our bodies and to feel good here, with all its movements and abilities. For example to know dancing with just hearing the music.
Reminder: Affection is the ability to offer positive feelings to others (negative feelings never miss, thanks) such as cuddling, affection, friendship, love, etc. and also to be able to enjoy these feelings when we receive them from others.
These faculties, which define the human being, are the basis of our happiness and our expression, with regard to the relationship with the natural world and with the others. It is therefore essential to develop them, before anything else, if we want to do better than a sausage in life.
And this is a very serious affair: the human brain is only a chimpanzee brain with certain functions a bit more developed. If it does not receive the proper education, so it remains with a chimpanzee clan mind (note 63), not finding better to do from his life than fighting between gangs while burning cars.
The organic relationship between the mother and the baby is by far the main opportunity to develop these faculties, especially with breastfeeding, toilet, hugs, smiles, kind words, and other gestures of tenderness. It is therefore a fundamental need of the human being, and not to offer it is criminal, an abuse in the same way as deprivation of food or of instruction. I do say it is a bad treatment, which can have serious consequences: idiocy or mental retardation. After you can still learn them rational thinking or social manners, but the human heart is dead.
This judgement obviously extends to all those who oppose breastfeeding: doctors who give anti-lactation hormones, social workers who discourage breastfeeding, etc. After peaking in the 1970s, the anti-breastfeeding crimes decrease. But the problem is far from resolved, and we shall talk about in again in chapter VI-6 about homosexual «adoptions» or «surrogate mothers».
Other opportunities are also needed to further develop these faculties: contact with nature, games with other children, manual activities, etc. A well led education will therefore mandatory provide all these elements, under penalty, there also, of mutilating the child of his future happiness.
When my daughter was two years old, I put her in a rucksack, and I wandered in the forest with her, for her to see plants and flowers.
Sport is only a poor substitute of... (no name in our civilisation, thanks). It may be useful as an exploration or expression activity, but the notions of test or competition remove it any educational value. Not to mention money in sport, which totally perverts it.
The frequent lack of this education leads to all those grey and indifferent people that we meet in the street (because we do not find them in more interesting places), who do not vibrate and are interested in nothing, their sensuality atrophied, who «do not feel» vibrations, who need drugs or violence to have feelings. This inability to simply enjoy life is a profound disability. Who did that to them do not deserve the name of human.
It must be remembered that the human psyche was «designed» by evolution to function in a specific context: a mother physically close to the child, a father, great parents to guide them, and a tribe with other adults and other children. There is no «law» requiring us to follow this natural model, but any discrepancy is paid in a way or another. For example the nuclear family of the today capitalist society is one of the main causes of the rise of egocentricity, and of the loss of memory between generations (see an absurd example in chapter VII-2 on «abduction»).
Social education allows to understand and control the relationships with others.
It begins with the mastery of our ego, at the age of three, as seen above. Unsurprisingly, cultures where children learn this normally are the largest providers of spiritually developed people.
The mastery of his ego allows the child to have normal relationship with the other children, without domination or submission, without physical or emotional violence. Free of these obstacles, he then can experience the whole range of human relationships: friendship, solidarity, game, work together, camaraderie, group, meeting other cultures, etc. So he will be able to enter the adult world with already a serious experience in these things, instead of discovering them at this time. Educational movements such as Scouting offer this, but it would be even better if they did this as a part of an advanced ideal, as the Hippies attempted to do so.
More than with any other aspect of life, the child may experience difficulties into finding normal human relationship. This is because only one sociopath or dominant in a group can completely distort the exchanges, especially of energy (chap V-17) or social recognition. And in this world, it is almost impossible to avoid the child to meet ideologies or prejudice likely to restrict his experience, or even to stop his spiritual development.
It is important to understand here that things like racism, sexism, clans, dominance, risky conducts (alcohol, dangerous bets), ordeal (hazing, «tests» etc.) etc. do not spontaneously appear in children. As with coarse words, they do not invent them, they only reproduce what they heard. However it is perfectly possible for educators to react and denounce these things, and after to go on with social exercises which allow to cancel them before they take root. It is the sole absence of reaction of educators which induce in children the idea that these things would be normal. And this is what I observed during my own experiences: the silence of educators was always understood as an endorsement.
On the other hand, I can also testify of the efficiency of a right attitude from educators: I had the great privilege of attending a Scout evening against racism, between French and Algerians, in 1967 in the oasis of Beni Abbes, Algeria, just five years after the war. Of course it took me many other exercises to effectively eradicate racism from my mind, but at least, from this moment, the right direction was given. And only two years after I had my first spiritual experience.
This also implies that everyone agrees in the entourage of the children. If a social worker comes along at that time to denounce our «sectarian» methods, then she breaks the trust of children towards their educators. If she wanted to ensure to have later enough social cases to «justify her job», she won.
If, despite these precautions, some violent, harassing, or dominant children continue to disturb others, then we must separate them. This is useful at two levels: 1) normal children can continue their development without being disturbed 2) violent children are given a taste of their own cuisine, which remains, at this age, the best way to calm them down.
It is in all ways always useful to teach children to protect themselves from stalkers, sociopaths, hazers, bullies, etc. by various psychological, spiritual... or martial disciplines.
Psychoeducation is learning to master our neurosis, opinions, beliefs, etc. which prevent us from understanding life, make us feel inadequate feelings, or make us do bad things to others.
Psychoeducation (chapter V-11) is not something that we do to a person, but something that the person will undertake himself. The only things that we can do for him are 1) to give him the desire, by showing ourself psychoeducated, happy, positive, loving. 2) to give him means, by explaining him efficient psychological or spiritual techniques.
Many social utopias, especially the Soviet regime, were based on the misconception that society shapes people: a communist society would produce motivated and altruistic workers. This is unfortunately not true, and it is the most fundamental cause of the economic failure of the Communist regimes. Other religious communities, or hippies, also failed for the same reason. In the case of Maoism in China, religions in this country precisely detained the psychoeducation methods which lacked in the Soviet Union. Their use in the frame of a a communist society would have allowed immense progress in China. The rejection of these religions by Mao thus sealed the failure of communism in China, even before the atrocities and violations of human rights began. The irony is that he knew it, he said it himself. The biggest killer of humans of all times is also the biggest destroyer of ideal.
Psychoeducation is based on introspection: to be able of observing our own internal state, our own tendencies and feelings, rather than to blindly submit to them. To be aware of them is already sufficient to weaken their grip. Then, visualization and meditation allow to modify them, reduce or strengthen them, according to whether they are positive or negative.
However, in children, the introspective abilities appear only very gradually, from the age of six to adulthood. For this reason, the young child merely accepts moral rules or behaviour rules, without questioning them.
The questioning of these rules should immediately alert: the child seeks to understand why these rules, often by posing himself against them. The time of the fundamental explanations has come, on the meaning of life that we saw in chapter V-5 (love, freedom, beauty, etc.), and the ethics which follows, that we shall see in chapter VI-2 (respecting others). Either way, the parents must themselves be clear with these questions... or their explanations will convince nobody. Or they will just transmit their neurosis, prejudice and mental limitations to their children! We know that this is the origin of dictatorships spreading over dozens of generations, or barbaric customs such as genital mutilations.
But this moment also signals that it is time to give tools to the child, such as simple visualization methods, bases of relaxation, etc. Oh, I see some who scream to the cult... Know, hypocrites, that I was submitted to that, in a quite «normal» setting, and I have no regrets on this, quite on the contrary. If this is the only thing that these contemptuous and grey «educators» were able to bring to me, at least it was valuable.
With adolescence, appears the ability to meditate, and of course everyone learns this at school. The teenager is now perfectly able of taking himself the psychoeducation process in hand.
However, there is another method for the young children who cannot yet visualise: children stories. (and of course books, movies, comics...). Everywhere and in every time tales were used for this purpose, to the point of forming a broad base of social and moral education, or even to define entire cultures. The power of the stories lies in the fact that the child impersonates the hero: he will then experience his emotions. So we realise the equivalent of a visualization, which result is however imposed from outside, without the control of the child. Of course, this feeling is used for the child to integrate the moral which concludes the tale.
However, it is fashionable in Europe or in the United States, to make fun of these tales, as they are often flawed with moral conformism and puritanism (Did you ever wondered why Donald's nephews sleep in this weird position: arms above the blankets? Even if they «do not speak of sex» in books for children, these people still actively prepare them for the shame)
However the «free» alternatives to traditional tales are appalling: stories of vampires, sorcerers, call to racism against blondes, comics showing caracteropathic children, sexist, materialistic, egocentric, and especially who never evolve! When we see the backward clichés that this literature drags along, we understand that they do not find good authors, and that they need to receive very special permissions to publish stories of sex obsessed kids without being accused of paedophilia. Oh, if your car was burned, you know at least that who ordered that.
At last, a large part of psychoeducation is the example that we show to the children. Do not lie to them, do not to make promises that we cannot hold, do not be rude, do not mock at them, do not punish them unfairly, respect their aspirations, their privacy, their religion... are all examples that the child will assimilate unconsciously, and even consciously after five years old.
We must think that children copy us, with fidelity, as a tape recorder which duplicates a recording. They are always on the lookout, and the slightest deviation is retained! Then of course, if we offer them a bad example, do not be surprised if they follow it, sooner or later. If after we speak them of moral, they answer: «Yes, but you...» Needless to say that at this time we lost already: the child is on his own course, good or bad, and there is little means of change it at this point.
I have seen once a scientific study demonstrating a higher rate of delinquents in children who were led to believe in Santa Claus. Unfortunately I have not found it on the Internet, not even with Baidu. I'm not at all surprised by such a result: by lying to children, we make them integrate lie as a normal thing, at an age where they do not have yet any moral sense or independent critical thinking. Not to mention what happens in the child's mind when he realises that his parents mocked at him... About me, my mother told us that Christmas was a game, and I did the same with my own children. The magic of Christmas works as well like this!
Finally one last point is that everybody must speak with a single voice: father, mother, family, friends, teachers, educators, psychologists, media, comics, video games, neighbours, etc. Otherwise the child will automatically follow the path of least resistance, even if it leads to chaos. If it doesn't, you can begin to wonder if he is the reincarnation of a saint.
To acquire knowledge requires work and time. And children provide them only if they have the energy to do so. School as it is conceived today does not at all work in this way, and it is a considerable waste of time compared to the time actually spent to learn.
Indeed, a child can easily learn relatively complicated things, or which require time and effort, if he does it because he has the desire to do so, what he calls per game, what we call having the energy (chapter V-17) The puritan-masochistic division between the «frivolous» game and the «serious» work transforms schooling into an unpleasant pensum, which greatly increases the effort required from the child, and blocks the desire to learn. School steals energy, instead of giving any. The question then is not why there are school failures, but how there can be successes.
For example, let us suppose a language lesson: the child hears explanations on grammar rules. Ok. Then, during the rest of the hour, he hears other children exercising. But he does not make his own nervous centres work, he does not modify his synapses! The following week, he is interrogated... and has it wrong. He gets a bad mark. With a bit of luck, he understand why, but the bad mark remains! And with it the shame, or the feeling of being unable. And if he does not understand, the rule is still supposed to be known for the remainder of the year, which may hinder the understanding of other rules. The child then accumulates bad marks, and he is considered «bad», or even unable to learn. Reprimands, insults and scenes when the parents learn about the marks will only add guilt and fear, leading to a genuine disgust of the matter: the child became «bad in languages». He may then be oriented towards short studies, where he will never again have any occasion of learning important things. A whole life wasted for one mistake?
Still, only a few years earlier, the same child learned his native language without difficulty, simply by having fun. No boring lessons, no hours waiting passively sitting, no bad marks, no scolding when he does mistakes, no guilt... Yet he precisely applies grammar rules which were never explained to him!
It is clear that there is a schmoll.
And still, talking is a natural thing. Mathematics are not. To invest in mathematics requires to build abstraction faculties. It is a several steps process, each requiring specific efforts. Why to do it, if we do not understand the purpose of these mental activities? With a bit of luck, the child will learn the lessons by heart, until the next examination. Then he will forget. Otherwise he will be, here also, oriented toward manual work, or toward «human sciences»... where we however need as much accurate reasoning as in electronics!
If the child is gifted for learning «by heart», this terrible «by heart» that Einstein hated, he may memorize complex formulae such as trigonometry (which are much less trouble to write on a notebook) and become an engineer... There, he will not hesitate to make weapons and nuclear power plants, because he did not developed the capacity to reason out of his specialized domain!
We must also develop the self-confidence of children. Or rather not to break it, as they have it naturally. I recently met a retired woman, who had always dreamed of singing in a choir. But she thought she was not able to do that, because some idiot told her that she was singing false! Inevitably, when we never learned, everybody sings false. While we learn very quickly! So this woman passed besides her dream all along her life... because of some bloke whose only motivation was to break others.
It is clear that we must use the huge energy of children, rather than trying to break it. This can be done easily by creating «game» situations (Yes, game) on issues which are related to their lives. Then they will spontaneously invest into learning, and will get much faster results. Learn a language? Everybody need to talk! And therefore have something to say! For that, we need an activity of interest for the children, a game, a party, no matter what. It may work much better in a party that sitting for a day without doing anything. Learn maths? They must have something they really need to calculate. And above all, the child must do it himself, instead of watching others on the blackboard! This is the only way to make work the nervous circuits, and cause neurological learning. And so the children can learn without effort, while having pleasure. Because it is the pleasure which is the engine of neurological learning!
This was clearly understood at least by the far-right video games creators, who invest a lot into creating violent or immoral games, in order to spread their ideas.
My proposal would be that school totally relinquish the notions of class (grade) or school year, for short modules, each with a specific theme, such as a holiday camp or a roleplay. Each of these modules would have a stake which would motivate children, whatever it is. The same module could be taught with different styles, depending on the capabilities of different children. Especially every child would choose his modules, depending on his tastes, or his weak points. One of the big advantages of such a system is to avoid the «chains of failures» when we missed a basic concept, and we lack it thereafter.
The confirmation of these theories is provided by cases of children raised in exactly opposite conditions. For example, I met in the years 70 and even 80, several victims of the French social services, (children arbitrarily incarcerated in centres, without parents or contact with the outside world). The fact is that they were all of lower intelligence, and of course in situation of total school failure. Because, quite simply, nobody spoke to these kids, to only told them what school was for! The very predictable result was that they all totally refused to invest into learning. Why to study an outside would they had no access to? Why to make efforts, if it changed nothing to the indifferent faces of their captors? Where to find fulfilling experiences, when one spends his life in the same building, without any other activities than a ball or cubes?
And what knowledge for the development of our little angels? Apart of course from the well «known» basics: writing, reading, calculation?
To suppress, for obvious reasons: History presented as a series of wars, past languages (except specific need), false philosophy which produces no ideal, novels and comics showing characters who are unable to change.
To add, for obvious reasons: ecology, organic and vegetarian diet, basis of spirituality, meditation, methods for psycho-education, first aid and health basis, contraception, different forms of logic, history and geography as a means of understanding the world which result of them, the history of Europe between the end of the Roman empire and the Middle Age (including the 11th century in Spain), astronomy, morals, and many other things.
There are many systems and theories of education, ranking from the totally phoney to the wonderful.
The classical «not to do» is the nazi lebensborn, where these people placed their «illegitimate» children in centres without anyone to talk to them, with catastrophic results. In France or Romania, many state-led «orphanages» continued these barbaric methods well after the war. A sadistic French speciality was (and perhaps still is) the torture of children, with changing their host family each time they establish a sentimental link! In addition to the terrible suffering, the victims often have disabling sequels, a very low social statute and the fear of the authorities, which forbids them to tell what was done to them. One was able to get his «file», showing up to 70 changes! Imagine the suffering of an child 70 times orphan...
However we see today the birth of a new «libertarian» far right, which has this original that it is more inspirited by «Brave New World» than by the black uniforms. One of the fade of these people is «competitive education». We can easily figure out the devastation it will bring: to be skilled for crushing others does not make one able at learning a profession. My personal experience shows quite the opposite: the best crushers are the less able to direct a group in a sensible way. Thank you gentlemen not to do the experiment. Okay, I know, you will do it anyway. See you in Nurenberg, in the court.
However many positive pedagogies are more or less based on the principles set out in this chapter. They yielded interesting results and won reputation everywhere in the world, except in France where anything pertaining to the mind is considered as cult. Let us quote:
-The Montessori method, which is based on sensitive periods, an experimental approach by the children, and the choice of options. It has thousands of schools in the United States alone, and its effectiveness has been scientifically established, both about the acquisition of knowledge and the construction of a balanced personality.
-The Freinet method, or active pedagogy is more based on personal experimentation than on the depiction of knowledge. To my knowledge it is the only one which influenced public teachers in France. It is therefore somewhat widespread, although not in a visible way. I understood long after that one of my most loved teachers (in École Jean Moulin at Saint Dizier) was an adept of the Freinet method.
-The Steiner method, also known under the name of Waldorf schools (1000 in the world) using an artistic approach of knowledge, in fixed classes. They also develop in a very efficient way, as I could see, the responsibility and the initiative of the children. In Germany, it is advisable to mention a Steiner education in a professional resume. In France, the largest centre faced accusations of cult, which were very predictably rejected in court.
However traditional school, called who know why «modern», is still based on the sadomasochistic principles of the 17th century, of effort (to break energy) and individualism (everyone learns for himself, competition). The student is only a listener of the speech of the teacher, who represents the «authority» (Feudal? Or sadomasochistic?). These principles explain very well the school failure, but they do not explain the successes. Indeed, the functioning of a child is quite different: he learns only when he appropriates a topic. When this happens, the teacher must humbly put himself at the service of this process. And for the authority, the ferrule and everything, there are clubs (for adults only, sorry).
Let us note finally the important and often unsung role played by the social environment of children: neighbors, friends, etc. In France for example, it is considered bad to speak to the children of others, and to correct them usually causes an altercation (parents «supporting» their evil children, which of course further destroys them, instead of helping them). This can even lead us in jail.
However in Asia, in Africa, or in Arab countries, the action of the neighbours is an integral part of education (which assumes a consensus on the values to be transmitted). This is why, in France, we often see children of immigrants «seeking the limits» with their native French neighbours, waiting for their action, which never comes. Thus, the problems which were attributed to race or culture are in facts the fault of the individualism of the native Frenchs.
The school and the parents must also speak with a single voice (and for this, therefore, work together). This is obvious in the case of the everyday experience, but this should also be the case with general philosophical or political orientation (which, whether we like it or not, also pass through the school. In any case, those who break our ears with their secular «neutrality» are often the first to impose their own materialistic religion).
Personal example, my daughter was interested in painting. Of course, myself and my friends did everything in our power to help her and encourage her. So the Buddha statue she painted is still on my altar, after the monks of the Nalanda Monastery very seriously blessed it. However, when she arrived in secondary school, she was told that tags are art. She therefore did tags... and she never painted since. This lie on the definition of art has broken her aspiration. Not only it is a tragedy, but in addition it occurs practically for every child! In the words of Gilbert Cesbron, every child is a Mozart who is assassinated. Then, why are we surprised to have all this cynical and idle youth, if school methodically broke them?
This case is the reverse of the Santa Claus effect seen above, but it leads to the same result: when a child has a normal education from his parents, but society lies to him (as it happened to mine), then the child is no more confident with his parents... And this leads us to the following case:
People who suffer from ideology (chapter I-9, rule 8 and 8bis) always try to transmit it to their children (or to other's children). As no one can reasonably adhere to an ideology (which is a neurosis, not a knowledge), the only way is to use mind control. This is the reason why totalitarian regimes of all colour and size are all trying to recruit children, as young as possible. If they cannot, they use means such children abduction, toward already contaminated parents.
If democracy and the rule of law provide us with some protection against these things, they do however not cure our neurosis. The affected persons must then deal with the rule of law, and disguise their fantasies under the appearances of rule and reason. And to do this, it is often easy to divert the laws and standards. I myself faced serious pressures, from social workers or magistrates, who attempted to remove my children (the only document I have evokes a religious motive). I even saw a coalition of several people, including two doctors (with even an «alternative medicines» one!) and a pedophile («organic» too!), who wanted to practice a sexual mutilation on my kid! It is clear that the democratic laws (chapter VI-11) still allow, into wrong hands, to place victims in situations of legal restraints which are true «totalitarian niches», where only misses the brasero of the inquisition, for these people to engage into their «ideological normalisation» deliria, or their sadistic fun.
At the complete opposite of these things, a real education does not attempt to transmit ideologies, beliefs or opinions, but to develop intelligence and critical thinking of children. And this precisely protects them from ideologies. Children do not necessarily adhere to «our opinions», because they are other persons than us. But if they are able to find the truth by themselves, then they will find it one day or another, and perhaps even better than us.
Ideas, texts, drawings and realization: Richard Trigaux.
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