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An education system built on psychology and the cultivation of innate strengths and interests - with a focus on philosophy

Imagine a school system based on psychology and the cultivation of personal strengths. Where psychology and philosophy are taught in grade school.

It's obvious today that our public education system is outdated and not conducive to creating the best possible society we could strive for. While public education has seen large overhauls since industrialism in the form of standardization and universal compulsory education, the time is overdue for a new renaissance in pedagogy.

How is it that while some children easily receive straight A's while others barely get by with C's, and many drop out all together? There are two reasons I see:

1: Lack of proper cultivation due to familial/social disadvantage
2. Lack of how conducive our pedagogical system is to their personality types.

The first is proven by statistics that a privileged background produces higher likelihood of scholarly success, and the second is proven by the many people who couldn't connect with their studies and yet went on to become self-actualized and successful, like Richard Branson. (His success is DESPITE his education, not because of it!). So, even privilege aside, this is an indication that our current system is perfectly fit for some (the straight A students) and that there COULD hypothetically be a "perfect fit" for someone like a Richard Branson.

So, shouldn't we update the way we look at education? The first proposal is the widespread implementation of psychology. Imagine that as children we are tested according to Jungian personality types, as well as their personal skills and interest sets to determine their greatest potentials. Children and teachers would be put into their respective programs that cultivate the best 'scientific' combination of personalities and skills for maximum realization of potential and self confidence. Also, by teaching philosophy and psychology to children, we will develop more moral and intelligent people. Mental health, confidence, self-actualization

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    Jan 28 2012: I absolutely agree with the importance of psychology as a school subject. Actually, I think it should the the most important subject, even though there we no psychology subject at my school, just a part of a programme at ethics classes.
    I would like to emphasize the need to teach children, to say it simply, to understand themselves and the others better.
    However, I'm not so sure of focusing on philosophy, I really don't like this idea. I do not heighten philosophy as a subject.
    • Jan 28 2012: Yes, the idea of children understanding themselves and others is exactly the case- an ISFP child with a great propensity towards art would, under this scenario, be cultivated around conducive activities and people- raising their confidence and artistic abilities, while under the current system, they might feel alienated by people enthralled in extroversion and facts, and therefore their innate abilities would not be fully realized. Having each child realize their difference is a core part of tolerance and self-esteem.
      But I wonder what it is about philosophy that turns you off? Many of the problems we have are because of dangerous indoctrination of ideas into children which later translate into neuroses, egoism, immorality, etc. Wouldn't instilling the idea that questions should be asked, that all 'truths' should be evaluated, that a dialectical process should be espoused, and that we must think through our premises and values before coming to conclusions, be an important set of ideas to instill, rather than the "shut up and memorize" pedagogy of today?
    • Jan 29 2012: I agree psychology is important, but imposing disciplines to be studied by kids can't be good. Humans have a born curiosity towards the mechanics of the world and what parents should do is make their kids want to learn and inhibit them. When the kid asks "Why is the grass green?" the paren't shouldn't reply "How you expect to be, blue?" and make the kid feel stupid. Instead he should say: "I don't know but if you can find out from that book/website or other place!". Also the evironment and the media promotes very bad models to kids.

      Most boys are raised to always be competitive and in "fight mode" and i can speak for myself in this case, while girls are raised towards fake material values (boys too in fact). And if you are rational and question the values that the evironment forces in your brain, you will feel inadequate and you'll have a hard time relating to anyone, so you will have poor inter personal relationships.

      In a nutshell, the educational system is anti nature and environment we live in is anti education. Hmmm, I wonder why it works so bad?
  • Jan 29 2012: Bucky Fuller: "Buckminster Fuller attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts, and after that began studying at Harvard University. He was expelled from Harvard twice: first for spending all his money partying with a vaudeville troupe, and then, after having been readmitted, for his "irresponsibility and lack of interest.""

    Albert Einstein: "His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning."

    Jacque Fresco: "Precocious as a child, Fresco's interests did not pertain to the topics presented to him at school. Unwilling, or unable, to conform with the setting of formal education, he sought a self-directed education throughout his later teen years.Fresco spent many days of his youth at the local library."

    Steve Jobs: "Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, while sleeping on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple."

    So YES! The educational system is completely unnatural and if you ask me or specialists in this field they will say that it inhibits real expansive growing and kills curiosity, creativity, self trust and conditons humans towards authority, conformity and blindly listening.