Re: from [SwiftRain <>] (fwd)

jlilly (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 14:35:36 -0600

At 09:19 AM 1/30/97 -0500, you wrote:
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Thu, 30 Jan 1997 01:03:43 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: BOUNCE Non-member submission
from [SwiftRain <>]
>Subject: Re: Three Threads in a Fountain
>References: <v01540b02af15c3e58644@[]>
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>Bruce L. Smith wrote:
>> I believe that traditional education is "appropriate" for nothing but
>> socialization/indoctrination and training. That's certainly all I saw
>> in my five years as a public educator. The few students who readily
>> adapt to the system, the overly tractable...those I worry about.
>alright, i agree with you.
>or at least... i would like to agree with you. it certainly seems that
>way to me. but on the other hand, we have quite a few million otherwise
>rational people who insist that there is value in traditional education.
>it is easy to dismiss an idea as irrational, unfounded or dogmatic when
>only a small number of people believe it -- but what evidence or logic
>can we offer to people that will overcome the weight of the opinion of
>such a vast majority?
>what can be the explanation for a world in which only a tiny percentage
>of the people support the most valid opinion?
>SwiftRain <> --
>From Judith
SwiftRain said:
>>what can be the explanation for a world in which only a tiny percentage
>>of the people support the most valid opinion?
First, who determines most valid?

Perhaps, this >tiny percentage of the people< are openminded and unpragmatic
thinkers who are comfortable with intangibles and unscientific abstractions
of the nature of knowledge, the possibility of choice, and what it means to
be a human being. They are capable of reconsidering an approach so
ingrained as to be second nature and question their own long-standing views.
(When an approach to something produces the results expected, it is
continued. When the expected results are no longer produced, it's logical
to modify the approach, not abandon the idea.) They do not take for granted
that this is the logical way to educate.
It takes no courage, no thought, no effort, no patience, no talent, and no
time to authoritively announce unilateral rules and expectations. The mass
no longer notices the widely accepted concept of education because it is so
deeply rooted, it is part of their common sense. This tiny percentage of
people understand that to exercise the use of power is seductively simple to
apply and recognizes that the mass no longer has the conceived influential
idea of education; the idea has the mass.
People have a tendency to favor practical methods for getting jobs done.
This belief began with the busy pioneers who had no time for figuring out
the source of a problem (but got the job done). (No disrespect intended.)
It was a time when action was of essence so anything other than automatic,
unquestionable compliance (without explanation) was expected.

> but what evidence or logic can we offer to people that will overcome the
weight of the opinion of such a vast majority?

My attempt at logic:
Does an atmosphere of respect, trust and confidence produce lasting results
compared to an atmosphere of control?
Is getting to the heart of a problem and working together to achieve a
meaningful solution, painful, humiliating or disrespectul?
Are you as an adult capable of functioning in the absence of another's
control? (If not, then your confidence in your own ability was not developed.)
Do you see yourself as an adult in the process of getting better at what you do?
Do you need time and assistance to relinquish habits?
Have you ever worked where rules were set which conflicted with basic needs,
drives or tendencies?
Do you enjoy a conversation where your reaction is unwelcomed?
Do you have the opportunity to participate in making real decisions?
Do you like others solving your problems?
Do you want others to impose their social, ethical, and cognitive skills
about what to pursue?
Does autonomy strengthen your ability to decide which values to embrace?
Are you an echo or do you practice freedom of choice?
Has your power of decision making ever been reduced or snatched away because
you failed to make the "right" decision? (someone else's "right"
decision)(this happens in the work place)
Did you learn to make decisions by someone else making them for you?
Do you prefer feeling competent to incompetent?
Why do these questions not apply to children as well as adults?

Presenting strong examples of this model with results that challenge the
current model where there is at least an association between the two ideals
will allow opportunity for the mass to examine their current thinking
facilitating their minds to other possibilities. Those who can not give up
their control, will not accept this model because it doesnot associate any
terms of the current mind set and the misconcept of individual freedom.

School reform: Usually, this only amounts to a series of new and cleverer
strategies to exercise the same use of power. Those in control can begin
reform by abolishing the demand of mindless obedience to mindless
restrictions and be willing to think about the decisions made in the
children's best interest.