We Can Change!

WeCanChange.US

We Can Change Our Future!

Educate and Train Us

A process like with Inform Us began in education, in 2028.  We created a committee to gather input, study and propose a plan for meeting all public education and training needs.  That committee consisted of representatives of government, business, non-profits, teachers, students, citizens groups, academics, schools, minority groups, environmentalists, different social and economic classes, and other interests. 

As with Connect Us infrastructure efforts, this group worked 3 years, polling the public in various ways, including numerous interactions with students of all ages, writing papers, holding public meetings, soliciting ideas and comments, and circulating drafts.  It determined we wanted to:

  1. Be sure that all teachers, students and their parents understand the relevance and real-world uses of all knowledge and skills conveyed in schools, why we learn it, before asking anyone to learn it.

  2. Prioritize the development of how to learn; think; critically assess, analyze and evaluate; create; apply knowledge; communicate well; resolve conflicts; be and work with others; and acquire skills, over any specific content.  Educate to enable and empower, rather than to socially condition.  Provide and respect diverse perspectives, rather than conclusive and presumptive narratives claiming to be ultimate truth.  This is what we think we know now, why, and why that may change.

  3. Comprehensively explore, understand, critically think about, talk about and work out on intentions meanings, and impacts of Earth Citizen, National and other values and principles.  What are they; why are they important; what do they affect; how do we use them; and what do we think of them?

  4. Make it real, fun and engaging, not boring, about authority, discipline, compliance or conditioning.  Give us as much real-world exposure to it and experience with it as possible.  Be it, do it, feel it, immerse in it, grok it, and grow wisdom.  Don’t just talk about and assess it abstractly.

  5. Make education available in various ways for students with different aptitudes, learning styles and disabilities - writing, talking, video, multimedia, games, activities, stories, projects, songs and dance.  Expose all to all methods and let us choose and use the most effective for us. 

  6. Let students develop at our own paces and challenge levels, with flexibility to pursue personal elective interests, in addition to common knowledge and skills that are valuable to all.  Provide opportunities for all students to be together and interact with and help each other, so all are able to be and work together respectfully with all kinds of people, but allow students to group together by shared interests, aptitudes and advancement paces, so all are stimulated and helped by peers.

  7. Assure all teachers spend adequate time in current real worlds, understanding by living and working in them how people, employers, organizations and communities operate, make decisions, get paid, use tools and technologies, solve problems, analyze and evaluate, get things done, handle complaints and make progress.  Teachers must know the real worlds they are preparing students for if they are to be effective preparing students for those real worlds.

  8. Have high quality, beautiful, fully functional facilities and resources for full spectrum, high quality education and development experiences:  buildings; gyms; exercise fields; playgrounds; art spaces, equipment and supplies; dance spaces; musical instruments; athletics gear; gardens and nature; transportation options; performance venues; science labs, equipment and supplies; work spaces; good food and water; and computer and communications equipment and network connectivity.  We’re preparing students for the future, so students should be readily exposed to and immersed in state-of-the-art technologies that will be parts of our futures throughout our experiences.

  9. Have school calendars and daily timelines be compatible with those of parents and caretakers, so problems are not created by children being free when parents and caretakers are not. 

  10. Be able to hold all teachers and school administrators accountable at every level of education, except for pure academic research, so they can be improved or released for poor-performance, rather than untouchable, spoiled and trapped by tenure or tenure equivalents.

  11. Provide real-world life skills, like how to find work, pay taxes, be a citizen, use financial systems, evaluate and make food, travel, get help, engage emergency services, get and evaluate information, cultivate good health, resolve conflicts, engage healthcare systems and manage media relationships.

  12. Provide education free to all, at all levels, from pre-school through university and graduate degrees, including college or university housing, food and supplies, so graduates start their real working lives free of debt and with the freedom to apply ourselves any ways we want to.  Invest in our people.

  13. Assess student progress in a variety of ways, so some learning styles, backgrounds, interests and aptitudes are not advantaged over others, and assess and assist developing capacities to learn; think; create; critically assess, analyze and evaluate; apply knowledge; communicate; acquire skills; express; be and work with others; resolve conflicts  – not just memorize and regurgitate content.  Evaluate and assist students holistically, not just using easy to grade and compare tests.

 

It’s been a long and exciting journey, but education has now been revolutionized and is much more fun, satisfying, fulfilling, engaging, available, fair and effective, for students, parents, teachers and society. 

Everything begins with the big picture:  what are we talking about, learning and doing; why do we care; how do or did different people think differently about it; how does it fit in our worlds; what seems right about it, and why; what may be wrong about it, and why; and how might any of it change in the future - so all understand the relevance of what we and our children are engaged with.  That makes a huge difference in engagement, understanding, effort levels, learning, progress - and everything, really. 

Educational content and activities are often viewed, processed, interpreted and interacted with through filters of principles and values, so those become well understood at every level of school experience.  “Give it a few TP (Ten Principle) passes to avoid leaving a mess behind.” (Usually gets giggles from kids.) 

Principles and values are integrated into most everything, part of why-we care big-picture engagement.  We have learned from experience that when students, parents, families, teachers and administrators share principles and values, disparities, problems and socioeconomic and other unfairness are reduced, we have decent lives at home and in functioning families and communities, everybody understands what we are there for and why, it is respectful, engaging and fun, then there’s little need for discipline. 

School discipline form of punishment is almost non-existent.  All students and teachers serve as conflict managers, helping all work through problems.  All are motivated to respect and help all.  It works. 

Educational materials and activities are professionally produced in various formats: books, lab activities, presentations, simulations, games, videos, stories, songs and films, which we process at our own paces, partly guided by our own interests and passions, at school or anywhere, using content in Inform Us. 

Learning objectives can be completed in various ways.  Some like to read about it in books and stories; some like to hear people talk about it; some like to see videos and dramas about it; some like to express something about it in art, music or dance; some like to make things related to it; some like to do something related to it.  Diverse opportunities for engagement exist.  Students can participate in any; students must participate in several; and students are all exposed to all.

Students can completely immerse and engage in interactive, 3D virtual worlds, as individuals or groups, where we can safely have experiences, which we then discuss and work with in a rich and varied ways. 

Most educational experiences present situations, diverse perspectives on them, problems with or needs or desires to improve them, chances to think about them through shared principles and values, and challenges to do something to make those situations better, for the benefit of all, alone and in groups.  This produces holistic wisdom through real experiences, rather than rote knowledge or conditioning.

Sometimes the challenges are to do something known, that we do already, and are essentially training.  More advanced challenges are to do something unknown.  Those require listening well and discussing situations and problems, analyzing and thinking about them, figuring out what knowledge and skills are needed to address it, figuring out how to get and getting the knowledge and skills, engaging with others in teams to learn and work together, designing solutions, creating and assessing them, communicating solutions and processes effectively, working out conflicts and challenges encountered in teamwork, dividing and integrating work efforts, and basically engaging with it in ways people do in the real world. 

Tremendous and accelerated learning takes place through engaged efforts to address challenges.  Students acquire knowledge and skills, develop abilities, and create wisdom through rich experiences.  We learn to express ourselves effectively and honestly through writing, speaking, music, dance, drama, stories, art, building, growing, and in many other ways.  Amazingly frequently, student created solutions get adopted and end up having real-world impacts in the real world, student art and performances are viewed and appreciated in communities, and student created products find homes in communities.

Teachers provide individual and group mentoring, tutoring and coaching, which there’s lots of time for, now that we are no longer lecturing and disciplining, and in practical project work and many field trips, where students experience the richness, relevance and usefulness of what we’re learning in real worlds. 

All educational content is free on demand to all via public information and communication systems, in very high quality and in diverse media, so students and adults can learn whatever we want at any time, in any language.  Teachers don’t have to be involved in educational content creation or communication.  Some choose to make that their focus and area of contribution.  Teachers counsel, motivate and inspire, tutor and help students get unstuck, and provide support.  Students do not fear or resent teachers.

Every third or fourth year, teachers leave schools to go live and work in different ways, often in very diverse, inspiring and stimulating environments, where we learn, grow and develop deep experiences and wisdom with current realities, which we can then help students prepare for, because we’ve personally developed experience and wisdom with them.  Teachers are encouraged and assisted to pursue other things when we’re no longer fulfilled or engaged by teacher roles or are performing poorly.

Students progress through a system of advancement and accomplishment based on actual advancement and accomplishment, rather than by age, grade, memorization or gaming testing systems.  It’s like the Joy Scouts, with badges for specific knowledge, skills and experiences leading to levels of achievement, like Joy Scout ranks.  Beagle Scouts and Tenderfeets are all members of the troop, interact and help each other as a troop; Beagle Scouts are appropriately challenged together with other Beagle Scouts; and students working on the same badges work together and help each other in acquiring those badges, regardless of rank.  At any given age, students may have very different badge and rank sets, but all are still around and engaged with each other, as well as with students of other ages.  Diversity is valued.

Within education, students are not artificially separated or isolated from each other, by age or ability, making different groups and strange social dynamics between them.  There’s no us versus them, just us.

To acquire knowledge and skills, students are presented with real world situations and challenges, shown how to use knowledge and skill tools relevant to those situations and challenges, and set up to work on addressing those situations and challenges, through individual and group games, simulations, field trips and projects.  All have opportunities for self-expression through art, music, dance and writing.  Part of many badges and ranks is teaching and helping others who haven’t yet accomplished something.  We really know and can do something when we can help others know and do it.  Peer to peer learning is amazingly powerful and effective.  Wonderful and diverse relationships develop in sharing and helping.

Students are physically engaged with athletic exercise and challenge, but competition is de-emphasized as the motivational dynamic in sports and athletics.  Instead, cooperation and collaboration are engaged by creating shared physical and athletic experiences and challenges, which reward all, not just winners.

Parents, teachers and students work together to create, manage and revise student learning and experience plans, based on social situations, aptitudes, talents and interests.  We track progress with those plans electronically, using sophisticated computer and mobile applications that identify specific kinds of challenges that are particularly easy or difficult, engaging or unengaging, so there is specific focus for interventions, assistance and reinforcement.  Coaching and tutoring can therefore be very targeted and effective.  Those systems also inform students completing one experience about which experiences in our learning plans are then or soon available, tracking which resources are in use when.

School facilities are beautiful, integrated with nature, and state-of-the-art.  Classrooms are no longer oriented with chairs facing a talking head and chalkboard at the front of the room.  Spaces are organized by experiences.  There are spaces for watching video, hearing guest speakers, simulators, performances, art, dance, science labs, working with computers, immersing in 3D virtual worlds, sports, gardening, play, athletics, building, project work, group discussions, eating, relaxing, napping and quiet time. 

Many schools integrate all ages, recognizing value in continuing community with students of all ages. They don’t separate students artificially by age, particularly when student advancement and experience demand is often not directly related to age.  This has reduced social, psychological and emotional problems from students going through difficult hormonal changes not allowed to play and traumatically isolated with awkward biological changes in Lord of the Mosquitos middle and high schools.

Most schools have natural settings and gardens, which students are engaged with planning, preparing, planting, cultivating and harvesting.  Garden experiences are integrated into curriculum plans.  Students prepare and share foods from them, develop understandings of natural systems and growth from them.  Food and water for students is free, fresh, local, organic and excellent.  We cultivate and nurture good organic students in quality natural environments, and with high quality organic natural foods and water.

Schools operate all year, except shared holidays for children and adults, from 9am to 6pm.  Children and families can take vacations most anytime, because students aren’t locked into fixed schedules and can learn anywhere.  We mostly progress and engage at our own paces and create personal schedules that vary to accommodate family and community schedules.  The same computer systems that track student schedules, curriculum and experiences also track our locations, with family approved settings, so parents can know where children are when they want to.  The variety of experiences available in schools accommodate individual needs for rest, variety and special supports.  This relieves family stress around scheduling and knowing children are safe and engaged when parents are busy with other things.  Students learn to responsibly manage their own schedules and progress on their own paths, with help.

Colleges and universities operate much like other schools, engaging advanced teenagers, young adults and older adults.  All are free.  But there is no longer such pressure for degrees.  Employers seek specific knowledge and skill sets they value, and those can be determined by student ranks and badges, which continue through university levels.  We are often valuably employable without traditional degrees. 

Anyone can acquire knowledge and skills for free through Inform Us resources, anywhere at any time, so many get what we need without going to traditional colleges and universities.  That includes all kinds of work training, so we can all easily continue our educations, acquiring new knowledge and skills that allow us to grow and advance, whenever or wherever we want, for free, even if we’re employed, and without depending on employers to provide or pay for that training.  Anyone can earn badges and ranks.

Because all Inform Us resources are available for free to all anywhere through Connect Us networks, many children achieve phenomenal educational and developmental successes without going to schools, working with parents and caregivers as teachers, mentors, counselors and coaches in communities. 

 

That’s true not just in the U.S., but all over the world, because Connect Us resources are shared via the Internet freely, globally.  So are all kinds of other resources developed by others all over the world.  Network infrastructure advances globally have opened access to these resources all over the world.  Universal translator services make most of these accessible to anyone, no matter what language they speak or read.  These changes have empowered incredible advances in formerly underdeveloped areas, enabling people anywhere to address all kinds of problems.  This has also created incredible good will toward the U.S. internationally, for giving generously to help those of us who live elsewhere.         

 

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