Sunday, November 9, 2014

Schools need to be Libraries with Guides instead of Teachers

Schools of fish mindlessly dart as one...

...which can appear beautiful and effective for herd animals' defense and perhaps even factory workers, but Americans should not stand for their children to be "educated" so. It trains them to be obedient animals that echo information back on command, not independent critical thinkers. We need citizens who are eager to learn, explore problems and come up with creative solutions. Our problems are entirely too complex to fixed with a reductionist philosophy or symptomatic treatment philosophies. We have a design problem.

We need a new model.

We've heard it before: the education system is "broken". The reality is it never was; it's flawed by design, always was & it's a lot of fun reading about it in history, but I don't have time for that (Dumbing Us Down). The fact is our schools aren't helping students; they are mostly hurting our youth and failing to prepare for the real world. Roughly half of college graduates are finding jobs. None of these jobs promise longer than an on-average 5 year run with little to no longterm benefits. Student loan debt is a staggering 3 trillion and rising with less jobs that can support a family available every year. The K-12 system of memorization & 8 hrs of indoor sitting has to end. The economic ladder to nowhere and memorization babble has to end. K-12 public school as we know it has to end.

Schools should be libraries.

We need schools to be giant libraries with much more than books, microfiche, audio and video. We should have tool libraries, building material libraries, machine libraries, print labs, old technology libraries, computer labs, fabric libraries, etc. It would all be tailored to (& by) the specific community, no federal oversight or interference. The local professional industries or trades would be intricately tied into the library. Unique locations would create unique experts. This diversity is exactly the decentralized stability that a large country like ours needs to be economically stable. Tying ourselves to a global economic oligopoly is the opposite of stable. Small, localized and independent - defines strength in both economies and democracies.

No more...

No more judgements, no more grades, no more directives, no more shame, no more labels, no more restrictions, no more control, no more sitting, no more K-12 indoctrination machine, just free people and minds pursuing what is alive in them. Democracy led by the ideals of the Constitution, & the Bill of Rights.

Going to the LibrarySchool

You step into your community LibrarySchool's main building to start your journey to answer a simple question: What was the first cotton gin like and how was it so important? A Guide specializing in that era & in engineering is waiting to meet you for your appointment with them. They discuss your questions and possible places you could explore for answers: the machine library, the book library, the internet & multimedia and microfiche archives. You choose to visit the machine library which has an actual cotton gin. You spend the next week returning, drawing, reading sources about the cotton gin as you sit before it. You then go to the building material library and start trying to replicate some of the primary mechanisms and their context in time. More study of the machines from earlier and later machines that have similar key working parts or designs generates a context for the cotton gin's arrival & effect. Using the 3D printer lab, you scan the main working parts of the cotton gin you've created, miniaturize them on the computer and then connect them to make a practical device. You print it and then patent your design online that day with the US Patents office, securing your hold on your new invention that builds upon a classic design that shaped history.

In our area, it would surely have a farm library where different types of farm experts practiced on Library land to demonstrate their abilities in a living archive. Other areas would specialize in other disciplines. Communities would excel in their strengths and train experts that can go enhance other communities with their strengths in a democratic offering and exchange.

The future is decentralized, democratic & DIY. 

Is our education preparing them for it?