An Educational Alternative
Sections of this chapter
A Lifetime Curriculum
Freedom of Choice
We can transform ourselves so that we are moral, totally loving, devoid of fear, and totally creative in all our acts. But that is not enough to maximize creativity. We must also maximize our intelligence, because C = IE. We have two impediments to maximizing intelligence. The first is our own fear, which inhibits our ability to learn and forces us to specialize. The second is negative ethics and their consequent fear and destructiveness in others. All creative persons, if they do not always treat all destructive persons with love, are susceptible to the destructiveness of others. If we increase the intelligence of unethical persons, we merely increase their ability to destroy. Even highly ethical persons, if they are too intelligent and not yet moral, are occasionally destructive; their acts may lead to irreversible entropy for the entire planet. This is part of the cosmic quarantine by the Local Moral Society (LMS). Consider what the highly ethical inventors of nuclear weapons in both the Soviet Union and the United States (as well as other countries) have done. They have done this because they refused to assume full responsibility for the consequences of their actions, absolving themselves of this responsibility by turning over control of those weapon systems to the political bureaucrats of their countries.
By their very nature, political bureaucrats are persons who value power over truth. Persons who, in any way, seek power over others (personal power) should never have it. Those who seek personal power without truth are even less qualified to have it. It is unethical to increase their intelligence. No one should be given control of a weapon that he or she is incapable of creating for him or herself. No one should be taught what he or she cannot discover. That is why we focus first on increasing ethics, then on increasing intelligence. This is a minimum constraint on the destructive spread of intelligence. It is how we should emulate the cosmic quarantine. We maximize intelligence together with ethics. We maximize creativity.
To maximize creativity, an educational system must take into account the relationship between ethics and intelligence. At the same time it must not inhibit the flow of information to ethical persons. A technique for accomplishing all these objectives is to create an educational system based on love in which creative transformation is inextricably interwoven with the increase in intelligence.
Education in secular schools is inevitably separated from any ethical considerations. In seeking to maximize only intelligence, they minimize creativity by specialization and the destruction of ethics through conditioning by fear. Religious schools often corrupt their ethical teachings with dogma and compulsive ritual based on fear, thereby alienating those who are scientifically and creatively oriented. As a result, religious schools tend to produce few scientists and the least creative psychosocial specialists.
In order for an educational system to maximize creativity as opposed to merely increase intelligence, it must have the following characteristics:
Many of these objectives will be accomplished simultaneously by organizing the students into autopoietic octets of four males and four females who learn as a group and decide by consensus what they should focus on next. Students should join the octet whose pace and inclination of learning is most compatible with their own. Anytime students cannot reach consensus in their octet, or find a better octet for themselves, they may change octets. Students who wish to work individually or in other-sized groups should also be able to do so and encouraged to change their organizational structure to whatever structure is most creative for them. It may be that the available octets are not optimal for all students at all times during their lives. Students should have an opportunity, not an obligation, to work and study in autopoietic octets. The prediction is that those who choose to work in autopoietic octets will maximize their ethics and creativity as well as their intelligence; if not, the Theory of Creative Transformation can be changed. Given this background, we now focus on the curriculum and the educational organization which maximize creativity. It is our intention to make this curriculum and educational organization available to the maximum number of persons, regardless of their economic means.
- 1. It must be based solely on the evolutionary ethic.
- 2. It must emphasize the growth in ethics and love along with the growth in intelligence and give preference to the former over the latter when and if conflicts arise.
- 3. It must in no way use fear to condition the student.
- 4. It must encourage love and cooperativeness rather than competitiveness among students.
- 5. It must at all times provide the opportunity, not the obligation, for the student to generalize in all fields of knowledge, including the arts, rather than specialize in a single field. Conversely, a student must always be free to specialize by choice while being told the consequences of those actions.
- 6. It must provide objective feedback to the students about how well they are learning without in any way having this feedback serve as reward or punishment. Only the act of learning is a reward. The only punishment is not learning. The objective results are necessary only to avoid self-delusion. The students should learn to find at least as much joy in discovering their mistakes as in discovering their successes.
- 7. Creative independence of the students should be encouraged and never criticized before the fact, even when it seems obvious that the student's ideas will be wrong. We learn by our mistakes, using objective feedback, which should be given only after the students have tried their innovative ideas. In this way students are encouraged to recreate the knowledge they acquire and to use their creativity. They are taught only what they can create.
- 8. There should be no educational time constraints whatever on the students; they should move at the pace which is most satisfying to them. Slow students should be free to move at their pace without feeling rushed. Fast students should be free to move at their pace without feeling bogged down by others.
A Lifetime Curriculum
The curriculum is one that can be started by young children and continued into old age without being exhausted. A person wishing to maximize creativity in the shortest possible time would follow the curriculum approximately in the order given; but anyone should be able to take many different paths within this curriculum, including specializing at any time. All students would be counseled on the consequences of their actions, but encouraged to follow their instincts by doing what feels right for them without fear of making a wrong choice.
The objective is to make the totality of human knowledge readily and easily available to as many persons as possible in such a way that, if they wish it, they are constantly maximizing their rate of growth in creativity relative to their present intellectual and ethical potential. In order to do this we plot an optimal course through the curriculum for all octets or other groupings of students and let them modify the courses according to their own personal inclinations. We also make the feedback on their progress and that of other students readily available to them whenever they wish it, but on a private basis so that any particular student's progress is known only to the student and his/her counselors. All other data is in statistical summaries and protects the anonymity of each student.
The expectation is that, under this system, learning and creativity will be seen as among the most joyful of human experiences. Students will learn to play the Game of Life for the joy it brings--without fear of punishment or expectation of extrinsic rewards. If their studies are disassociated from external reward and punishment and all students are respected for whatever choices they make, the students will optimize the curriculum for themselves. The essential requirements are to have the totality of human knowledge available and accessible at all times without extrinsic rewards or punishments associated with it. This may be done as follows:
We divide the totality of human knowledge into three primary areas, or dimensions, because human beings normally perceive the integrated whole of the cosmos as three distinct types of phenomena. These are the physical, the biological, and the psychosocial. There are many levels of knowledge within each of these dimensions that are normally associated within our archaeological and cultural history. Indeed, what integrates the three dimensions into a whole is the evolutionary perspective (as in the first four chapters) by which we see human history as a continuation of our biological evolution and biological evolution as a continuation of material evolution. Therefore, at each level the student is presented with the three distinct areas of study--plus a fourth discipline, which is an ethical evolutionary-historical-artistic integration of the first three.
Art integrates knowledge at the unconscious level. The entire program integrates knowledge by having ontogeny recapitulate phylogeny at the psychosocial level. Students learn in an order, context, and manner similar to that in which the human race learned the same material and are given an opportunity to rediscover this knowledge. Everything they learn is always related to everything they know in a meaningful, practical way.
Within each of these four areas there exist side-by-side the theoretical ideas and the practice of these ideas in technology. This gives the overall structure for the curriculum as shown below.
Physical Biological Theoretical Practical Theoretical Practical Low level examples Nature of stone Stone tools are made The nature of animals and fish Hunting and fishing are practiced Medium level examples Newton's Opticks Telescopes, microscopes of 17th century are made Human anatomy is studied per 17th century Valid medical practice per 17th century is applied High level examples Quantum electrodynamic theory Lasers and holography Molecular biology of DNA & proteins Recombinant DNA and genetic bioengineering
Psychosocial Integration Theoretical Practical Theoretical Practical Low level examples How persons communicate Language games are played Evolutionary ethics at the behavioral level At all levels, practice art, music, plastic arts, humanities, religious myths of each evlutionary level Medium level examples Spinoza's Ethicsis studied Social organization & government, 17th century Human history & evolutionary ethics, intermediate High level examples Quantum theory of mind Creative transformation applied Evolutionary ethics, advanced
At each level there is artistic expression in music, literature, plastic arts, dance, humanities, and religious myth that ties all the knowledge together at the unconscious level. Therefore the students have the opportunity to learn and practice the arts appropriate to each level with the technology of that level.
At each level the students are taught by at least one teaching octet that splits the four primary areas of study among them, with one male-female pair team-teaching each of the four areas. A teaching pair is responsible for both the theoretical and the practical studies in each of the four areas. Therefore, each teaching octet must contain at least one male-female pair that is expert in each of the four dimensions: physical, biological, psychosocial, and integrative (ethical, humanistic, artistic). Each male-female team-teaching pair can effectively handle up to 32 students at a time. The day is divided into eight periods of one hour each, with the teachers teaching four periods and spending four periods in counseling, preparation, and personal research. At the lower levels the young students spend a considerable amount of their time in relevant play and, possibly, taking naps,according to the student's wishes. Some of the counseling is reserved for parents so that parents will not use reward and punishment to condition students. Each octet can effectively teach 64 students. It is predicted that the effectiveness of the teaching and the learning will be maximized if the students are organized as tracked, mutual-interest, comparable-ability student octets engaged in autopoiesis. Each octet of teachers in turn interacts autopoietically to coordinate and integrate its teaching. Eight octets of teachers, with 512 students, is probably the optimal upper limit for school size to achieve the maximum amount of diversity and choice for the students. There would also be two coordinating octets of teachers made up of one male and one female from each of the teaching octets. Overall school policy would be determined by unanimous consent of the two administrative octets in consultation with the teaching octets from which they come.
Schools themselves could go several ways: (1) emphasize a fixed rate of progress (track) and teach up to eight levels; (2) have a single level of studies with up to eight standards of progress (tracks); or (3) have a combination of the two. Local circumstances would dictate what would be best for the students. It is important that the students be able to move along at the rate that is best for them. Students could either choose a school that matched their rate of progress and had several adjoining levels or find a school at their level which offered the multiple rates of progress option for whatever level they wished to assume. These combinations and permutations of possibilities should be worked out by market forces and the teachers themselves.
Teachers can probably best teach students who match their own natural rates of progress. However, some teachers are very patient and compassionate with slow students, who learn much more slowly than the teachers did when they were at the same level. These more versatile teachers would be ideally suited for schools with multiple tracking at a single level. In this curriculum, we assume a single fast track for the brightest, quickest students, since it is these types of students who will probably first use this system. A level is a year of study for the quickest student group. These fast students would start at age 3 and go at the fastest possible rate. On the other extreme, very slow students could start at age 8, for example, and go at one quarter this rate. Almost the entire population would fit between these two extremes.
This approach to education would greatly accelerate the pace of learning because everything is relevant, interesting, and readily available in a loving context without fear. Everything the student learns is always related to everything the student knows. My best estimate, based on experiments I have personally conducted, is that many students will learn at a 400% higher rate than in our current, classical educational system that emphasizes intelligence over creativity. This lifetime curriculum demonstrates a quantum educational process that catalyzes itself. Remember, the slowest students could move at one fourth this rate.
The thousands of possible variations on the preceding outline of the integrated education, designed to maximize creativity, can be made available to almost every human being by reducing the rate of learning in any or all of the four key areas for those who cannot or prefer not to keep up the pace as given. Up to eight rates of progress, or tracks, are feasible within this system. The last or 13th level is an unending level which is repeated every year with new material. Once a person at any age has finished the first twelve levels, he or she may then enter the 13th level and stay there for several cycles to develop his or her creative maturity. The 13th level may also have multiple tracks. Any student may take any class at any school, and may generalize or specialize. No pressure is put on the student to conform academically. The student is simply presented with opportunities to accept or reject. The choice is always the student's. Therefore, some students may, if they wish, spend all their time studying music or mathematics and boycotting the other classes and courses. However, I predict that if they are given a free choice from an early age, almost all students will choose to generalize and optimize the curriculum as outlined.
A person finishing and understanding at least one cycle of the 13th level will be extremely well prepared to go into almost any specialized professional graduate school program in physics, astronomy, chemistry, molecular biology, zoology, medicine, botany, any engineering field, architecture, philosophy, psychology, history, music, art, film, etc. The objective is not necessarily to replace specialized professional graduate schools, although this may be a side effect, but to give persons a foundation and a perspective that will maximize their creativity, whatever they choose to do in life. This type of education would be expensive but less than the typical $10,000 per student per year in a good private school without room and board. By integrating this educational system with the economic system of the following chapter, we could soon make available this type of education to every human being and his/her children who wish it, regardless of their economic means. Creative education is the best possible investment.
As will be seen, the educational and economic systems will support and enhance each other. The problem at this time is how to start to organize the schools so that they become a self-catalyzing process.
The preceding curriculum is merely a brief outline showing one of many thousands of paths that could be taken through the totality of human knowledge in order to maximize creativity. To a great extent it reflects the education I wish I could have had for myself and my children. This knowledge, except for the ethical theory, is widely available. Yet it is an education that is not available at any price anywhere in the world. The reason for this is that part of the bureaucratization process in the academic communityinvolves the compartmentalization and isolation of knowledge in such a way that everything is maximally difficult to learn and creativity is minimized. This is not done consciously or maliciously, but it is an unconscious response of the academic community to its own fear in a system that is based on fear. The academics have the illusion that the more specialized, irrelevant, and difficult their fields, the more secure they will be.
The greatest fear induced into the members of the academic community is the fear of making an error in front of their peers. The greatest disgrace is to say something wrong and not appear clever. The academics have been conditioned to be so terrified of erring and of appearing less than clever that they almost all eventually fall into the destructive trap of narrow specialization and debunking of any truly original thinking. They try to appear clever while repeating conventional wisdom over and over. They obfuscate their knowledge with jargon, abstraction, and irrelevancy to make it as difficult to understand and as boring to study as possible. In this way the specialists protect their specialty from poaching by more creative generalists, but they still remain afraid. Persons whose major concern is appearing clever and never making an error will never create.
It is impossible to create if one fears error. Indeed, if we are to be maximally creative we must be prepared to make many errors. Science will correct our errors. We always learn more by trying or thinking something new and making an error, and then correcting it, than by repeating the old and never making an error. The minimum confidence we must have in our own creativity is to believe that we can correct our errors. Scientific method can always permit us to overcome our errors if we apply it without fear, while respecting objective truth however it manifests itself.
This must be the central organizing principle of the School for Evolutionary Education (SEE). SEE is what we will call all schools which follow the spirit of the preceding curriculum and refuse to use fear to control their students and their faculty. The sole motivation of the students and faculty must come from the love of learning and creating, and from communicating these to others without fear. They must learn to care nothing for appearing clever. They must learn never to fear error in the pursuit of truth. The latter involves constant openness to negative feedback and scientific method. Ironically, this integrated, holistic, open, creative structure will enable students to learn any specialty at least twice as fast as they could if they focused exclusively on the specialty, and without having their fear increased or their ethics or their creativity diminished.
The problem with fear is that it is contagious. Teachers who are driven by fear will instill fear in their students. In this way the cycle of self-destruction is repeated in our schools in a downward spiral until almost everyone is unethical and destructive. Only those with the courage or intelligence not to be intimidated by the academic bureaucracy plus the guidance and the will to educate themselves remain creative. These are the persons who survive the academic bureaucracy, but they usually become absorbed by the bureaucracy and rarely do anything to improve it. It is these persons who must form the nucleus of SEE.
The major problem for creating SEE is not a lack of funds, as the next chapter will show. The major problem is how to recruit and organize qualified teachers. The teachers, as well as the students, must be motivated solely by the desire to learn, teach, and create. To help maximize the creativity of another is the most creative thing we can do. That is why no one should ever fear an Ethical State. Qualified teachers must realize this. They must be prepared if necessary to make economic sacrifices and work in an insecure environment in order to have the opportunity and the privilege of maximizing the creativity of their students. Furthermore, the problem of specialization is such that most of the potential teachers are far more specialized than the students who would complete the thirteen levels. At first, it will take at least 64 teachers--probably closer to 128--to properly cover the knowledge at the thirteen levels. The larger the number of teachers the more difficult it will be to integrate them creatively. Remember, eight is the optimal number for creative interaction.
Therefore, the first task is to create an octet of teachers to create more teachers. They will teach others as well as themselves. This will be done by exposing more specialized, but creative, adults to the thirteen levels until collectively the skills exist among 32 men and 32 women for teaching all thirteen levels. These 64 men and women will then form the faculty for the first SEE, which will be a single-track school with all thirteen levels. It will teach children and adults and compensate for those who are highly specialized. Those who complete all thirteen levels (remember that the 13th level should be repeated at least twice) will then be able to become members of the faculty at other SEEs until SEE becomes available to all humanity.
The indications so far are that it will be easier to recruit artistic generalists who have relatively low levels of fear and are relative scientific illiterates than to recruit scientific generalists who have an adequately low level of fear. It is easier to increase the scientific literacy of the scientifically ignorant who are ethical than it is to lower the fear of scientists who are unethical. The scientific disciplines appear to be the ones most dominated by fear. Furthermore, truly creative scientific generalists are so rare and valuable that they have innumerable opportunities to do their "own thing." It will take time for them to learn that their "own thing" can best be done within SEE, or their own version of SEE if they wish. They, more than others, have all options open, if they can share their creativity by loving humanity. This will maximize their creativity in the long run. Therefore, the plan is to put together the best qualified teaching octets that can be created within the near future; then through self-study and tutorials to bootstrap them to a level at which they can continue to teach themselves and others. There will be no compromise regarding fear, only regarding knowledge. Additional teaching octets will be created whenever possible. Fortunately, it is possible for relatively fearless persons to learn from even highly fearful persons when the latter are employees of the former.
In the academic bureaucracy, the student and his/her creativity are the least important factors in decision making. At SEE these are the most important factors. The major task of the early teaching octets will be to design and create textbooks, syllabi, workshops, and laboratories for the SEE teaching program. These will then be used to teach other teachers until it is possible to begin a full-scale school or a system of schools with all thirteen levels. It makes sense to eventually have each thirteenth level be a separate school built around one or more teaching octets. In the meantime the process of creative transformation may lead to better techniques for lowering the fear of persons who are intellectually but not ethically qualified to be SEE teachers. We have made significant progress in the last year in being able to help persons who previously seemed beyond help. Now it only takes enough courage to (1) try the process of creative transformation and (2) openly receive gentle, negative feedback from loving friends over a few months. It only takes a mild commitment to play the Game of Life.
Once eight teaching octets who cover the entire thirteen levels have been created, then a private school will be set up on an experimental farm near a large river and a seaport, where most of the field studies, workshops, laboratories, and building projects can be implemented. An appropriate tuition will be charged per student. Work-study scholarships for half-time study and half-time work will be given to students whose half-time labor is worth their half-time tuition. Full scholarships will be given to students with the highest creative potential to the limits that funds for these purposes are available from the SEE economic network. Full-time employees of SEE or its affiliates will be given full scholarships for all of their children. In this way the schools will bootstrap themselves by supporting and being supported by SEE's economic network. The economic network will guarantee employment to anyone who finishes the thirteen levels. The problem will be how to keep this from serving as an extrinsic reward to the students.
Extrinsic rewards are such an integral and accepted part of our educational system that it is difficult to imagine that it might be otherwise. From the start, grades and teachers' praise are used to turn education into an intellectual contest. Then admission to prestigious schools is used as another extrinsic reward. Finally expectations are raised about employability and income if one merely conforms to the rules of the academic bureaucracy. Creativity is neither a means nor a goal within the educational bureaucracy. The major motivation for education seems to be to obtain a union card.
Young children are inherently honest and ethical. The fact that almost all young children despise school should tell us something, particularly when almost all children love doing creative work of their choosing (i.e., play), from building model airplanes and training horses to planting gardens and programming computers--all without extrinsic rewards. Human beings have an innate desire and need to maximize their creativity. This is the basis of all ethics and ethical play. This aspect of human nature can be destroyed by extrinsic rewards and punishments, as considerable experimentation with both chimpanzees and humans has shown . The question is how far we can go in removing extrinsic rewards and punishments.
Punishments are not a problem within SEE, since it is both unethical and suboptimal from a conditioning point of view to shape behavior with threats or punishment, although punishment in the form of social disapproval or expulsion for nonconformity is an integral part of the educational bureaucracy. Indeed, threats and punishment are totally ineffective in working with moral persons and merely destructive to ethical persons. Therefore, no threats or punishments in any form will be used at SEE. Rewards are more complex.
Almost all parents and behavioral psychologists advocate rewarding desirable behavior in order to reinforce it. Experiments with chimpanzees, dolphins, and humans indicate that extrinsically rewarding creative or innovative behavior causes that behavior to increase. The problem is that, if the rewards cease, then the creative or innovative behavior falls below what it had been before the extrinsic rewards began. Therefore, since intelligence has been increasing along with the creative behavior, and C = IE, then extrinsic rewards for creative behavior must diminish ethics. Part of an ethical education must be to make persons indifferent to extrinsic rewards and punishment. The only goal must become to maximize creativity for ourselves, others, and for the collective, irrespective of extrinsic rewards or punishments.
At the same time we know that unethical means cannot achieve ethical ends. Therefore, we can neither deceive nor mislead students about the extrinsic rewards associated with maximizing creativity. We must instead teach them to regard extrinsic rewards as essentially trivial. One of these essentially trivial extrinsic rewards is that maximizing creativity maximizes wealth for those who retain control of the fruits of their creativity.
Persons with the knowledge and the creativity induced by completing the thirteenth level of the SEE educational program will be extremely valuable to any individual or organization which depends on innovating new and better products and services. These constitute all individual humans and their organizations except organizations that are highly bureaucratic and the individuals who staff those bureaucracies. The latter, e.g. most corporate monopolies, political parties, and government agencies, specialize in living parasitically off the former. Therefore, even parasites are ultimately dependent on human creativity. In destroying creativity they are also destroying their host, which is not an unusual mode of operation for parasites. More will be said of this in the next chapter.
For now we accept as a given that creativity is the single-most valuable attribute that an employee can have. Furthermore, the more the creativity is a result of ethics, the more valuable a given level of creativity is, since honest ethical employees are always preferable over less honest and less ethical employees in all organizations except bureaucracies; and further still, high intelligence with low ethics is an unstable combination which produces destructiveness. Therefore, in a market economy, persons finishing two or more cycles of SEE's thirteenth level will have labor that is worth at least twice the labor of any recent, conventional college graduate and, eventually, probably a thousand times any specialist's salary. True creativity is almost priceless. Any ethical, creative organization will give employees a fair return for their labor and will wish to hire the most creative ethical employees it can find. Furthermore, since the SEE economic network will be investing in SEE educational programs (see the next chapter), and it would be unethical to subsidize any parasitical organization, it must guarantee those who finish the SEE educational program high-paying positions, but in no way compel the SEE students to work for the network. If SEE has been successful, the students will work for SEE because it maximizes their creativity.
The potential for corruption due to this necessary extrinsic reward is ameliorated by the following considerations:
For the preceding eight reasons all SEE students will be offered jobs within the SEE network with remuneration in proportion to their objective creativity. These jobs will also be open to any other creative persons. No organization can have too many creative employees, since a creative employee always produces more than he or she consumes. The real problem is how to organize employees so as to maximize their creativity. This is done by keeping all octets autonomous and having their cooperation always be voluntary and by mutual consent. This process begins at the lowest levels of SEE.
- 1. Students are taught within SEE to value creativity as an end in itself and regard extrinsic rewards/punishments as essentially trivial.
- 2. The extrinsic reward is far in the future for most students and does not serve as a conditioning factor. Its primary function is to lower economic fear in the students and their families.
- 3. The SEE economic network will reward the students it employs not by high, lifetime, guaranteed salaries equivalent to a tenured professorship, but primarily by (a) giving them an equitable percentage of the profits that their creations produce plus (b) providing educational benefits at SEE for them and their children.
- 4. Both SEE and its economic network will encourage SEE students to become part of teaching octets and help educate more highly creative generalists. What we wish to minimize is SEE students prostituting their creativity in the service of destructive bureaucracies out of economic fear.
- 5. The SEE economic network will always offer all creative persons the opportunity to develop their innovations in equitable partnership with the network, while studying or teaching at SEE, as an alternative to working directly for the network.
6.Both SEE and its economic network will regard teaching, research, and inventions or other creations that maximize creativity as much more important than inventions which maximize immediate profits. From an economic point of view creativity is the best long-term investment that can be made.
- 7. Within the SEE economic network, studying and teaching at SEE will be considered as the major extrinsic reward for employees and their children for working within the network. Using opportunities for learning, teaching, and creating as an extrinsic reward for activities that are normally remunerative has the opposite effect of using extrinsic rewards for activities that are normally creative.
- 8. Finally, we should never use the remote possibility of an adverse effect as an excuse for not doing what is right. Inaction is always unethical. It is ethically necessary that the SEE economic network retain as many SEE students as possible by whatever ethical means are feasible in order to deny these students' creativity to destructive organizations. One of these ethical means is to offer equitable jobs to all its students.
Freedom of Choice
The focus of SEE is to maximize the creativity of its students. In order to do this it must maximize the freedom of creative choice for each student. This will teach students how to be maximally creative and use their quantum connection. It is necessary to trust students' judgment that they know what is best for them and not condition them to believe that they have no say in their education. In order to maximize the choices for the students, we wish to offer students the maximum number of courses within each school. This will obviously be limited in the beginning, as SEE bootstraps itself from just one school.
The evolution of choice will take place as follows: students will at first have only a single SEE school available to them. They will also have available the current public and private school system. SEE network employees and their children will always be given the opportunity to use their scholar-ships at a school of their choosing. They will not be forced or in any way pressured to attend SEE. They will merely be given the opportunity to do so. In this way there will be a true element of choice from the very beginning in selecting schools.
Within SEE, the students will choose their own track and the courses that they take within the track. All the course offerings of the school will be available to all the students at all times. The students will have the option of skipping the theoretical and just doing the practical, or vice versa if they wish, although the two will be closely integrated. If they wish to specialize they can focus on any combination of the physical, biological, psychosocial, or integrative studies they desire. The student will be free to function as an individual, a member of an octet, or as a member of any other mutually acceptable student team of any size. The students will continuously have their work evaluated on an individual basis by the teachers, so that they know how much and how well they are learning relative to what there is to learn and relative to other students. They will not be judged; only their progress will be noted in a loving way. They will be counseled by their teachers on a continuing basis about which courses will, in the teacher's opinion, maximize their creativity, but in no way will they be pressured to take these courses. They will always be told to follow their own intuition. Each student will normally interact with eight teachers each day. Up to half of each teacher's time will be allotted for counseling with individual students or groups of students and their families. The students will be encouraged to give feedback to the teachers and suggest how to improve the courses. The teachers will be obligated to discuss all these suggestions within their teaching octets and act collectively on them, informing the students of their actions. The students in turn can then give further feedback to the teachers. Students who are dissatisfied with the feedback may go to the school's governing council, composed of two octets made up from the faculty, and urge corrective action.
Students will never be expelled because of poor progress, although such students may be counseled to try alternative schools. Students will be expelled only because they are impeding the progress of other students and seem unwilling to remedy their antisocial behavior. Expulsion will only be implemented by unanimous consent of the governing teachers council and a neutral student octet chosen at random.
All students who wish it will be taught the processes of creative transformation and autopoiesis, then be given the opportunity to practice these processes within octets of their choice. Students who choose to work within an octet will normally, by consensus, all take the same courses teach one another, and do group projects together and possibly in conjunction with other octets.
It is predicted that each octet will choose an optimal path through thecurriculum that will maximize its creativity. When students see that they can make much better individual progress within an octet than they can without it, they will choose to become part of an octet, so that eventually all students will choose to work within octets. If they do not, we should change the theory of creative transformation. The students and teaching octets in turn will modify the curriculum previously outlined so that the curriculum itself will also become optimized. The final curriculum for any octet of students may be quite different from the one outlined.
The teachers, through the unanimous consent of their dual-octet governing council, will allocate the expenditure of funds for the school. A maximum-sized school with 64 teachers and 512 students may have a mean yearly budget of $5,120,000. Teachers' average annual salaries and benefits will be limited at each school to the average annual salaries and benefits earned by full-time employees of the SEE economic network which supported the schools. The balance of the funds will go to books, laboratories, and other operating expenses. Within the schools the individual teachers will have their salaries set by unanimous consent of the governing council so that the overall budget is balanced.
To provide feedback to the schools and the students as well as help them in making choices, an evaluation octet of four teachers and four network employees--chosen at random from members of the school governing councils and the top-ranked officers of all octets in the economic network supporting the school--will supervise an evaluation of the educational and creative progress made by each student at each school. This information will be made available to all students, all teachers, and all employees of the network supporting the school. The identity of the students will be kept anonymous except for the individual evaluation of each student, which will be made available to the evaluated student. If the creative transformation theory is correct, there should eventually be very little difference in average progress rates for students of comparable tracks and comparable levels at different SEE schools. Insofar as information is available from other private and public schools, the latter should have rapidly declining progress relative to the SEE schools, unless they adopt SEE's teaching methods.
This system should maximize the opportunity for creative choice among both students and teachers. The schools will compete among themselves to attract students by trying to create the educational environment most conducive to maximizing creativity. Any octet of teachers could create a school and expect support from the economic network simply by attracting students from the network. Their only restrictions as a SEE school will be (1) not to have more than 64 teachers and not to have more than 8 students per teacher, and (2) to allow themselves to be evaluated as previously indicated. Non-SEE schools would have no restrictions or need to submit to evaluation. All they would have to do is attract network students, and the network would pay the proper tuition per student (perhaps up to $10,000 per year). We should trust students and their parents to make the right choice in a free environment.
SEE itself should be set up as a not-for-profit organization or be fully integrated with the economic networks depending on what will maximize creativity in each environment. Much will depend on the ever changing and ever more unethical tax laws of the United States. It is always better to spend our income on educating ourselves, our children, and our associates than to give it to the government bureaucracies.
The main objective is to integrate the octet networks in such a way that creative transformation, education, and economics are optimally pursued to the best benefit of humanity. Within the context of the evolutionary ethic there is no conflict between our personal best interest and humanity's best interests. Whatever maximizes our personal creativity maximizes humanity's creativity. We fulfill our obligation to humanity by learning, teaching, and creating to the limits of our capability. These factors are better understood within the context of the SEE economic network.
© John David Garcia, 1991, All rights Reserved.