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EDUCATION REFORM 1

Our government spends more than 550 billion dollars per year on education, yet home schooled children - who have markedly fewer financial resources - continue to outperform those students who are schooled in traditional classrooms.  In order to truly reform the system, we will need to cease placing such excessive value on standardized testing, and realize that education may not always be easily quantified.  This site focuses largely on the detrimental psychological effects of institutional rigidity and the "tough standards movement."

The "Tough Standards" Movement: A psychiatrist's description of the "Tough Standards" movement and an explanation of how school interests are dominated by the political and corporate worlds.

Education and Freedom: Education discussed as a coercive psychological system that forces students to conform, and prevents them from thinking for themselves or developing according to their own personal constitution's.

How People Learn Differently: The system fails to recognize that all people learn differently.  Males often learn differently than females.  This lack of recognition leads many people to denial and a lack of emotional integration.

Getting the Big Picture: Not everyone is able to learn solely through the use of the written word.  We need a teaching method that works for everyone, and incorporates other methods of learning.

Education for the Whole Brain: The human brain has many parts, but our present educational system only addresses a small percentage of these.

Short and Long Term Memory: Forcing students to do rote memorization and complete repetitive exercise does nothing in terms of actual learning. Short term memory, rather than actual understanding or long term memory, is what the school system's focus.

Mind Damage Through Excessive Control: Schools function similarly to cults, controlling the lives of their students, and hindering their healthy emotional and mental development.

Discovering Who We Are: Forcing students to take part in a rigid curriculum stunts their growth as unique individuals.  Education shouldn't be mandatory, but rather, an invitation.

Mental Illness: Mental illness is now the leading cause for hospitalization of children ages 5 through 19.  Rather than help to alleviate this problem, our schools only make it worse.

Families and Mindfulness: Much of the dysfunction that plagues the modern family can be traced back to false ideas and damaging practices that are an inherent part of the school system.

The Alienation of Emotion: A personal experience from my psychiatric training, and commentary about the high prevalence of mental illness in our society.

Alienation In The Life Of Students: The modern classroom produces feelings of alienation, particularly when the administration controls the curriculum, and the students feel powerless.

Destructive Anger: Tracing anger back to early childhood development, I found that it was usually the result of three things: abuse, control, and neglect.  Three things that are prevalent in our schools.

Follow The Leader: Article by Periel Kaczmanrek that explores the flaws of compulsory education.

"Do No Harm" : The present educational system is damaging to young people. If it doesn't serve to help young people learn, it should at least adopt the rule of doing no harm.

Famous High School Dropouts: A partial listing of some famous and highly successful high school dropouts.

Storm Of The Century: Discussion of symbolism found in the compelling novel by Stephen King, which has also been adapted into a film.  Fear, forced compliance, and a system that operates on the "give me what I want and I'll go away" principle.

A Logical Overview: Our entire school system is based on faulty logic, which, in turn, is based on false assumptions.  We must reexamine our beliefs regarding the functioning of society.

Education as Top Priority: In a poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, 76 percent of the respondents asserted that the federal government should increase spending for education, thus ranking education as the most important issue among 14 issues including health care, Medicare and crime (cited in Public Agenda Online, 2002b).

Institutionalization and Deschooling:  The adverse impact of institutions on patients living in psychiatric facilities can be analogized to the experiences of children who have been subjected to the pressures of traditional schooling.

Animals in Captivity vs. Animals in the Wild:  One of the key problems with placing animals in captivity is the fact that the typical development of their authentic being is arrested at all levels.

Bibliography: A list of books that discuss school reform, and support the conclusions upon which our ideas for educational change are based.
 

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