Gentle Wind School Newsletters
 1990? REBOUND Volume 1 

A Note To Educators

In our final issue of "Great Education Moves," we published the following list of criteria for a proper school. These criteria are based on the principles of natural reality--not on teacher convenience. Educated people have been conditioned to accept and even favor the conditions of convenience over the principles of natural reality.

Criteria for a Proper School

  1. Children Will Not Be Allowed To Start School Until They Are At Least Nine Years Old.
  2. Children Will Not Be Subjected To More Than Two To Three Hours Of Formal Instruction Every Day.
  3. Classes Will Be Limited To Five Students Or Less.
  4. All Classes Will Be Geared To The Needs Of The Individual Child, Not To The Convenience Of The Teacher.
  5. No Subject Will Be Taught Out Of Context. All Subjects Must Have A Direct Bearing On A Child's Life, And Be Directly Related To Reality.
  6. Children Will Never Be Graded (A Pass--No Pass System Could Be Used Until People Learned To Measure Accomplishment In The Observable Quality Of A Person's Work.)
  7. Children Will Attend School For Three To Five Years. They Then Will Go Our Into The World And Pursue A Field Of Interest.
  8. Schools Will Be An Integral, Interconnected Part Of Community Life. Children Will Be Educated In Hardware Stores, Hospitals, Police Stations, Churches, etc.

We have received first-hand information that many educators who have read "Great Education Moves" have come to the ridiculous conclusion that they can freely extract any of the ideas on this list and apply those ideas to the current system, and that in doing so they can "improve" the quality of education in their classrooms and in their schools. We want to remind educators that these criteria for a proper school represent a list of minimal conditions that must all be met if schools are to function on the principles of natural reality rather than the principles of teacher convenience. One cannot improve the quality of education by extracting one or two of these ideas (the ones that are convenient for educators to use) and applying them to the current system. Unless a school is established on all eight of these principles, children will be harmed. These criteria represent the minimal guidelines for establishing a system in which children will not be harmed.

The reason that educators believe they can get away with extracting a few convenient ideas from this list of criteria for a proper school is that educators have so little knowledge of the physical world. Educators do not know anything about how things or systems in the physical world are made and put together. For example, if you were putting in a foundation for a new house and you wanted to make sure that your foundation was constructed properly, you would have to follow a set of guidelines. You would have to obey all the rules and laws that govern physical reality regarding house foundations, otherwise you would construct a faulty foundation that would not support your house. You would have to follow all eight of the following guidelines, along with several others not listed here:

  1. Do not build on swamplands.
  2. Do not use weak concrete forms.
  3. Use proper ratios of sand, mortar and water.
  4. Mix sand, mortar and water adequately.
  5. Do not pour cement without re-bar.
  6. Follow the established guidelines for proper load ratings.
  7. Keep all sides plumb.
  8. Do not pour concrete without proper footings.

Anyone who has ever installed a foundation knows that it is not possible to follow only those guidelines listed which are personally convenient, and expect to construct a proper foundation. But educators who do not know how things are made and constructed in the physical world do not realize that there are laws and rules that govern physical reality which cannot be violated if one expects to properly construct a home or to properly educate a child. Educators think that they can just pick out a few convenient guide lines for installing a foundation or educating a child and that they will still end up with good results.

Educators are, like the rest of us, victims of their own system. Any teacher who was himself or herself educated in the current system past the end of the second grade has incurred permanent mental and emotional damage. Educators themselves are permanently damaged in a way that causes them to be disconnected from physical reality. If a house construction standard requires that a particular house be built with 30,000 nails to withstand hurricane winds of 90 mph over a 72 hour period, educators say that we can get away with using only 1,000 nails and that the house will still be structurally sound. Educators believe that if there are 4,000 electronic components in a television set, then it is okay to leave out 10 or 15 components. Educators believe that in constructing a television set it is okay for an electronics technician to just go ahead and leave out a few resistors and a few capacitors, and that the television set will still work. The fact that the picture is rolling constantly and that the TV. is unusable is of no consequence to teachers. Similarly, educators believe that in educating children it is acceptable to ignore the laws of nature and just go ahead and take children out of their families prematurely; ignore the children's natural needs and interests; and stuff them with meaningless, useless data. The fact that the majority of young adults in America are unskilled, incompetent and incapable of functioning in adult society is of no consequence to teachers.

Some people say that educators have high standards, but in fact educators have no standards at all. If educators had standards, they would make sure that everything that would be necessary to educate a child properly would be done. Educators insist on treating children as if they were products. Even that would not be so alarming if educators actually knew something about how to manufacture a perfect product. But educators themselves are so damaged and have so little knowledge of physical reality that if they were automobile manufacturers, they would try to produce cars with three wheels, not seeing that four wheels are essential to the functioning of the car.

Children have very specific requirements if they are to thrive and prosper. While most educators do not know anything about what children really need in order to thrive and prosper, educators do know that what they are doing to children is harmful and wrong. Most educators realize during their student-teaching or during their first few months of employment in a school that what is going on in schools is hurting children. Teachers realize right away that it is not possible for one adult to meet the needs of 25 to 35 children and that very destructive things are going to have to be done to children in order to get them to conform to a system based on these ratios. The only conscionable reason for setting up schools as they now exist would be if there was a natural, or man-made disaster that wiped out most of the existing adult population and the majority of survivors were small children. Then, one might be able to justify at least in some small way the current system, with its improper student to teacher ratios and destructive "teaching techniques" that involve taking subjects out of context and the use of public humiliation in the classroom. But as soon as a full population of sixteen and seventeen-year-olds emerged the system would be dismantled and a new system with proper adult to child ratios (one adult to five children) would be instituted.

If you were a modern psychologist, and you were studying a group of educators who, knowing that behaviors such as humiliating children before their peers was the wrong thing to do, went ahead and did it anyway, you would have to say that all of the teachers had serious character flaws. This is, in fact, true. Teachers do have character flaws in the same way that members of the Mafia have character flaws. Mafia leaders know that it is against the laws of God to steal, murder, extort money, dispense harmful drugs and run prostitution rings. They know it is wrong to beat people UP, intimidate them, and get them into gambling, but they go ahead and do it anyway.

The reason that Mafia leaders go ahead and do these things is for the money. Mafia types realize what they are doing is wrong, but in order to get the money, they manipulate themselves inside so they can go ahead and do what they know is wrong. The same thing is true of people who go into teaching and who stay in teaching past a certain point. Early on, educators discover that what they are being asked to do is wrong. A few rare individuals who cannot bear to knowingly inflict harm on children get out of teaching very quickly. Those who stay usually do so for the money. The fact that this system has been able to entice the best people of good will and integrity to do harmful things to children for money is a sign of how destructive this system really is. Even high quality people who work within the system cannot change it and end up being corrupted by it. This is why we say that the current system cannot be, changed.

If you took the money out of crime, Mafia types would not do it. If you took the money out of teaching, most educators would not do it. Giving Mafia types lectures from the pulpit every Sunday has no effect on them. Similarly, trying to tell educators to stop harming children has no effect on them. If we took the money out of education, how many of today's "dedicated" teachers would work in a classroom for five to seven hours day after day with ratios of 30 students to 1 teacher (a ratio that all educators know from their own undergraduate courses in educational philosophy and psychology are detrimental to children.) We would estimate that less than 1 percent of all the "dedicated" teachers in this country would remain in the teaching profession. So, in reality, we all know what teachers are dedicated to doing, and perhaps this account will help readers to better understand what "dedicated" means. anyone who is dedicated to harming children for the sake of a paycheck is dedicated to his or her paycheck. Anyone who is dedicated to children would leave the educational system within one year of being hired and would not return to it for any reason.

What we are trying to say to educators is that extracting a few convenient ideas from "Great Education Moves" or from "Rebound" will not do any good. The current educational system is inherently destructive and needs to be completely dismantled. In fact, if you as an educator absolutely insist on remaining in an inherently negative and destructive system, then instead of trying to institute a few ideas that will not work within this current structure, we would suggest that you seriously consider beating children. While this may sound a bit extreme, if you as an educator are going to grade children, you should also beat them. First of all, if you beat them, you will get more pleasure out of your work and the children will at least have the benefit of physical contact, which they do not have now. You might also find that you can achieve superior academic results. Catholic parochial school teachers, especially nuns, have used physical beatings to achieve superior results for many decades. If you achieve superior results, you can, of course, ask for another pay raise.

Secondly, and more importantly, if you as educators would consider beating children when they made mistakes as well as grading them, the children would at least know who their real enemies are. If educators only grade children and do not beat them, then children hate themselves. They go through life thinking that their teachers were their friends. If, however, educators would beat children, the children would hate the educators instead of themselves. They would have clearly identified the enemy and would not be burdened with self-hate and lack of self-esteem for the rest of their lives.

There are some more positive but less convenient things that educators could do in the current system that would introduce a connection to physical reality which would be very useful to children. Educators could consider employing children in the schools. For example, sixth graders could work with children in kindergarten through first grade, fifth graders with second graders, and third and fourth graders with each other. They could teach each other to read, write and do mathematics. This measure would give all students a connection with reality because it would break down the homogeneous grouping that now exists. To not do this is to insure that the random quality of the subject matter is solidified within a child's consciousness. As this system now exists, very little learning takes place after the second or third grade.

Secondly, schools could manufacture marketable, usable products that can be manufactured within the school. These products should be directly connected and related to the subjects that are being taught. These products should be things that people can use in their homes and businesses, which in turn would help children to retain some connection to the physical world.

Thirdly, teachers and school administrators could improve the school environment and make it more pleasant for children by finding out what each child would like to do, and then finding a way to weave that into classroom activity. Teachers and administrators could start with the children who are doing the worst in school. Educators and school officials already know from their own research that the children who do not do well in school continue to not do well (and vice-versa.) However, educators and administrators never do anything to interrupt this cycle for those children who are not doing well. Teachers and school administrators could pretend that each of these children at the bottom of the class was the only child of the members of the Royal Family in England. They could pretend that each of these children was born with a particular genetic defect that prevented them from learning in the ordinary classroom environment, and that these children required a more simple setting with more kindness, so that the path to knowledge could be made easier.

Most educators would say, "I'd have to spend half my day on just a few children." This is true, and is exactly the point, and it is exactly why educators will not follow these suggestions. To implement these ideas into the existing system would be just too inconvenient for any "dedicated" teacher, and so, like all inconvenient suggestions, they will be ignored.