by Marco Torres
March 16, 2012
Empowerment refers to
increasing the spiritual, political, social,
educational, gender or economic strength of individuals
What has ultimately enabled you to think for yourself in life?
Above parenting, many say that both age
and experience have allowed them to evolve and move past the
restrictive classic conditioning that educational systems impose
This not only derails children from reaching their
full potential, but it scars critical thought processing tied to
social and emotional intelligence.
Only through deprogramming future
generations from the classical educational model, will children be
empowered by building behavioral, social and emotional skills at
levels which will contribute to their success in all areas of life.
IQ only accounts for about 20% of a
By far the majority of a person's
success is attributable to social, emotional intelligence and the
ability to foster hope. Trumping general intelligence, previous
academic achievement and personality, hope "uniquely predicts
objective academic achievement," showed a three-year longitudinal
study out of the University of Manchester.
Education is not just the means of making you a degree holder; it is
the gateway to the art of living. Education enables you to think, to
discover the principles of life, and to correctly evaluate your
experiences. Education gives you the ability to know the difference
between the achievable and the unachievable. If you are an educated
person in this sense, you will certainly discover the value of the
habit of forgetting and that the past is irrelevant.
A recent study of 20 elementary schools in Hawaii has found that a
focused program to build social, emotional and character skills
resulted in significantly improved overall quality of education, as
evaluated by teachers, parents and students.
Education is something that has a formative effect on the mind
allowing you to grow and develop. We must learn to not dwell on the
negative experiences many of us acquire from our conventional
educational system and surpass these events to make room for true
unconditional growth. This is education.
Last fall, a brilliant comment from an elementary school student hit
home just as facilitators were gathering opinions and impressions
Commenting on what she thought about
education and how it could be modified to teach children better, 11
year-old Julia Williams from a Grade 6 class said:
"I don't like school because they
take everything I'm good at and tell me I can't do it anymore. I
just want to once be able to do the things I'm good at like
drawing and writing stories. I want to do it all day because I
can think better than when I do stuff like math.
Shouldn't I be able to really like
or even love what I do when I come here. They should help kids
do what they know how to do best and I think the rest...I mean
all the other subjects will just work out, and if they don't,
well... then they're just not that important."
Deprogramming and Deschooling Children
For future generations to learn what society has become, why we have
the problems we do in the world, and why adults never progress
beyond many of their mistakes, it will be necessary to move out of
the current educational paradigm and into a new one.
involve a systematic deprogramming and deschooling of all children
in developed nations.
In a sense children are psychologically conditioned to fail and lose
hope. Fear of failure breeds inaction and hopelessness. It's a
vicious cycle. When children lack hope, they will fear failure. When
they fear failure, they will never act.
They then take this formula
with them and apply it in all instances of their lives. The result
is that they never develop a positive mindset to hope for the best
and that determines their reality.
Only the strongest children who
are empowered by their parents can break free from this slave
mindset so prevalent in educational institutions.
Deschooling takes children out of schools, but, unlike a lot of
home-school approaches, it doesn't import the classroom into the
home. It does away altogether with educational clutter such as
curricula and grades.
Deschoolers maintain that a child's learning should be
curiosity-driven rather than dictated by teachers and textbooks, and
that forcing kids to adhere to curricula quashes their natural
inclination to explore and ask questions.
Deschooled children can organize their knowledge in free and better
They never need to feel they are through learning, or past the
point that they can begin something new.
Each thing they discover
can be useful eventually. If we help provide them with ever-changing
opportunities to see, hear, smell, taste, feel, move and discuss,
what they know will exceed in breadth and depth what any school's
curriculum would have covered.
It won't be the same set of
materials - it will be clearer and larger but different.
A Liberation Movement For The Love of Learning
The foundational tome of the unschooler is
How Children Fail, the
first book by an American teacher named John Holt published in 1964.
The writer suggested that smart children struggle,
“because they are
afraid, bored, and confused. They are afraid, above all else, of failing, of disappointing or
displeasing the many anxious adults around them, whose limitless
hopes and expectations for them hang over their heads like a cloud.”
Mr. Holt supports his thesis with observations from a sort of
classroom diary he kept throughout the 1950s and 60s.
“a child who is learning naturally, following his curiosity
where it leads him, adding to his mental model of reality whatever
he needs and can find a place for, and rejecting without fear or
guilt what he does not need, is growing in knowledge, in the
love of learning, and in the ability to learn.”
The idea puts a lot of faith in children, their innate interest in
learning and in their intelligence. It also restores faith in
parents, returning some control over their children's growth that
they handed to educators and politicians more than a century ago.
It is time to shift educational policy and put the power back into the
hands that need it most, our children.