What if we abandon the word ‘school’ or the notion that it is the only place for learning and make education the responsibility for all of us in society
What if you asked your pupils to plan their day/ week/ term/ curriculum… then stood back?
The Western Educational system is out of touch with the world around it. It is too focused on passive consumption and lacks critical thinking; lessons are most often held indoors and students are disconnected from the environment around them. What if we could learn from and with nature? It it is proven that being in nature can improve children’s development, their mental health and physical health and their imaginations.
Furthermore, society is facing potentially catastrophic crises such as climate change and biodiversity loss and we need to foster a culture of dreaming in order to transition to alternative and resilient futures. How might the educational system have to change in order to learn from and with nature, to understand our place within the ecosystem and to foster a culture of dreaming alternative futures?
This is very broad but activities that teach young children about needing to live within planetary boundaries can be very specific and tailored to the child’s individual interests and abilities. I have a few ideas here – https://www.bigdreamslittlefootprints.org/teaching-resourcefulness
My hypothesis is that if we teach our children from as young as 2 or 3 HOW to live happily by buying less, buying better, mending and sharing, and WHY this is so important, they will hit adulthood understanding the challenges we face and knowing what needs to change. They won’t feel desperate and anxious but empowered and optimistic.
What if we don’t do more “school visits” and we start to engage with public gardens, museums and galleries as classrooms at least once a week?
What if University had no ‘walls’, no need for entry criteria and was truly welcome to anyone who is keen to learn. A place where people are free to enter and free to leave What if universities had no schools or faculties or departments and could encourage knowledge that should be inter and trans- disciplinary to tackle the complex problems we have in the world
What if this amazing concept were introduced into the formal curriculum of public education?
The Deep Listening is a long life practice, it is an experience that involves going below the surface of what is heard, expanding and surrendering to the entire field of sound while finding the focus, it is a powerful personal radar, which allows us to identify the infinite layers and what allows us to connect with the acoustic environment, with everything that inhabits it and everything in it.
Although this is an ancient, ancestral practice, in the 1970s the brilliant American composer Pauline Oliveros redefined this generous, democratic and revealing concept as “the ability to listen in all possible ways to everything that can be heard all the time. Deep Listening is exploring the relationships between each and every sound, whether natural or technological, intentional or unintentional, real, remembered or imagined. Thought is included. Deep Listening includes all sounds that expand the boundaries of perception”.
This ability to develop the hearing system is brought to us by everyone, from people with low hearing to those who have no major difficulties in their hearing system. There is no one way to listen and develop this ability. What is interesting about this practice is that it strongly encourages body work, the practice of meditation and relaxation, it encourages social interaction, as well as listening to the sounds of daily life, nature, one’s own thoughts, imagination and even dreams. It cultivates a greater awareness of the sound environment, both external and internal, and promotes experimentation, improvisation, collaboration, play and other creative skills vital to personal and community growth.
We open ourselves up to listen to the world as a field of possibilities and listen with limited attention to specific things of vital interest to us in the world. Through access to many forms of listening we grow and change, whether we listen to the sounds of our daily lives, the environment, or music. The Deep Listening takes us underneath the surface of our consciousness and helps to change or dissolve boundaries.
Deep Listening is a birthright for all humans!
To establish a school that teaches all subjects via creativity and the arts. Including maths and sciences.
What if we treated a lesson/learning activity as a mindfulness exercise and allowed time to just look closely, pay attention and notice what is happening? Would we start to notice tiny moments of learning, of achievement, of growth and change? And could this noticing become part of assessing and reporting?