Skill Development

The Future of Education and the School of Life

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by Anna Brix Thomsen

School of Life LIG ELFIn the previous post we did a thought experiment where we placed ourselves in the shoes of a child in today’s Western school system. I am sure many can relate to the experiences described and agree that the current school system is not optimal.

In this post we are therefore going to do a different thought experiment. We are going to imagine what it would be like to go to school in a potential future education system, an education system that honors and prioritizes the life and well being of our children, an educational system that doesn’t aim solely at producing future consumers to keep the wheels of corporate capitalism spinning, but on nurturing compassionate and independent individuals to live and become their full potential and become responsible members of society as a whole.

When politicians and scholars discuss educational reforms, the bottom line comes down how much money is allocated in the local and national budgets to optimize the education system. And as other parts of the economy are prioritized, the education system is often left with severe cutbacks, low wages for teachers and poor physical conditions.

However – in this thought experiment we’re going to take this point out of the equation. We’re doing this for the following reasons:

First of all, studies have shown that long term investments in quality education is far more profitable in the long-run than short-term cutbacks often resulting in increasing drop-out rates and educational inequality. Therefore, it is not valid to discuss budgets that are in no way acceptable when it comes to establishing an optimized education system as though it is a given condition when looking at educational reforms.

Secondly, within the proposal of a Living Income Guaranteed system we are proposing a fundamental restructuring of our economic systems, where supporting that which is best for ALL citizens is a primary principle and aim. What this means is that if we can all agree that education is so important that budgets shouldn’t determine how good our schools are, then budgets isn’t the first point that should be discussed when it comes to education, but in fact the last. The last meaning, we look at what would be optimal when it comes to creating an education system that is best for all and THEN we look at what is possible in terms of allocating resources; not the other way around. An example of how this makes it possible to finance an education system that in the short-term might be more ‘expensive’ than the one we have today (yet more profitable in the long run), could for example be through we as citizens deciding that an ample budget for our education systems is more important than an astronomical budget used to arm military forces. This is however not the only way that a Living Income Guaranteed system will make it possible to restructure a country’s economy, as several proposals have been made to for example nationalize resources and increase value added tax, so if this is something you are interested, you can read more about the proposals for financing a Living Income Guaranteed System.

Furthermore, one of the fundamental pillars of the proposal of a Living Income Guaranteed System especially in relation to a restructuring of our education systems, has to do with the fact that everyone who doesn’t work will be able to receive a Living Income, a ‘citizen’s wage’ if you will,  and where those who do work will earn at least double what a living income provides, through placing the minimum wage at the double of the living income.

So to sum up the fundamental change of our education systems that a Living Income System provides in relation to education is that:

  • In a Living Income system, parents will have the opportunity to spend more time with, and even be the primary educators of their children. They will in other words have more responsibility when it comes to the education of their children, but will also be better equipped at providing the best possible education for their children
  • The people who do decide to become teachers and instructors will be those who are passionate about teaching as teaching will not simply be an easy access to a stable salary. This is an important point, because we have all experienced how demotivating it is to be taught by someone who’s not only unskilled at teaching but who also is highly ineffective at it and few of us have experienced the stark difference it is to be taught by someone who’s not only qualified but also passionate about teaching.
  • The budget for education is determined only by how far we are willing to go to provide the best possible education for our children. What we are talking about here is not necessarily fancy school structures and infinite budgets for schools to take their students on fieldtrips. It is also not astronomical teachers salaries, but instead simply to – through resetting the idea that school budgets must be kept as low as possible – give ourselves the space and time to rethink what education can and should be. A specific example of this has to do with class sizes, which I covered in a recent blog that you can read here.

 

Instead of doing a thought experiment where we imagine a ‘Day in the Life’ of a child or parent in a Living Income system, I’d like to ask you to simply imagine for yourself how it would be like for you as a parent to raise your child in a world where struggling to survive is no longer the first priority because this point will be taken care of by the Living Income System. How will it be like to wake up in the morning? To get everyone dressed, fed and ready for the day? How will it be like to have the ‘luxury’ of the right to decide between parenting as a ‘life-path’, a career or even both, in a way that supports everyone involved?

How many mothers and fathers do not go to work every day feeling guilty, stressed and apathetic, knowing that they’re leaving their child in the hands of strangers? How many parents can honestly say that they have full trust in the daycare and education-system to do what is best for their children? And if they have the trust, how many will admit that it is a trust build on hope because anything else would be too unbearable to consider?

I’m sure many parents have considered homeschooling their children for this exact reason, but realistically speaking, how many are in a financial position where they are able to do so? And how many parents have had any form of training in terms of communicating with and effectively educating a child?

Imagine if all parents would receive proper training, similar to that of kindergarten- and elementary school teachers, but even more streamlined and supportive. How would your communication with your child change?

Obviously not all parents will want to be homeschoolers and therefore teachers will play an important role in a Living Income system. What I would like you to consider here is that schools and the education system in general does not have to be the way that it is currently. The current school-model is primarily based on an industrial perspective on education, where as many people are to be educated, as cheaply as possible, with the result that the current school system is actually not an optimal learning environment. It is therefore important that we dare to step out of the idea of schools only being one thing, one model and dare to imagine that it could be completely different. An example of this could be a much more streamlined and flexible transition between home-life and school-life, where a community of parents join together to create ‘mini-schools’. If families living together in the same apartment building for example come together in a joint effort to take care of and educate their children, it would mean that some parents could work, whereas others could stay in the community and care for the children. Maybe the parents could even hire a teacher if they prefer to do so; with the teacher being an individual whose passion it is to be a teacher.

Teaching ought to be a ‘calling’ that people decides to do because they’re passionate about teaching. Imagine if all teachers were people who truly enjoy and are exceptionally skilled at teaching, imagine a small group of students all working together and at the same time with individualized curricular aligned to their individual needs. The importance of passionate teachers is not to be underestimated and studies have even shown much difference a teacher makes when it is someone who truly enjoys what they are doing.

Many of the most skilled and qualified teachers today quit their jobs because the working conditions are unacceptable. To retain their integrity and respect for the teaching-profession they actually have to quit their jobs because they see that the current system in no way will allow them to teach in the way they see will truly benefit the children. With 35 children in a classroom having to be taught according to a standardized curriculum and given an exuberant amount of tests, it is no wonder that these compassionate and creative teachers decide to quit their jobs. Instead teaching becomes something you do if you don’t know what else to do or because you see it as an easy access to a stable income. That is certainly not how it should be. However – what we’re suggesting with the Living Income proposal is not that the solution then is to merely give teachers higher salaries. Instead we suggest that teachers are giving a Living Income due to the fact that their performing a public service and it is detrimental for the teaching-profession if becoming a teacher is something one does for the money.

What we are proposing instead is to provide teachers, and so students with optimized learning environments and conditions; small student groups, time to prepare and do research, resources and equipment available that need all the teachers needs.

Imagine what it would be like in such a school environment where the highest priority is on the joy of learning, not as a platitude we tell our students, but as a real statement of intent that translates into practical reality as learning environments optimized to fit all students needs: spaces for reading and introspection, labs equipped with everything needed to effectively teach biology and physics, music studios, painting studios, language labs, excursions to local work-places, guest lecturers, internships for older students – basically a strong coherence between school-life and the rest of society where school isn’t merely a simulation or containment facility but where it actually becomes an integral part of society, given equal importance and priority.

Imagine if all students were taught in exactly the way that fits their individual needs, imagine if all students were treated with great care and consideration when it comes to nurture and support them to reach their true potential. Wouldn’t the world look very different? Wouldn’t we as people be more fulfilled on an individual level and better equipped at stepping into society as highly contributory citizens?

Imagine an education system that truly honors its students, that show them the greatest respect in teaching them to honor life. Imagine an education system where compassion and equality are not simply slogans we throw around to make our excuse for an education system look better, but an integral part of a child’s daily life.

As you can see, the sky is really the limit when it comes to imagining an education system that is optimized and aligned to each student’s individual need. There are so many possibilities available once we step out of the limits of the current education system where schools are pressed to the max to keep budgets down and deliver a fully standardized education.

As a teacher, I stand 100 % behind the proposal for a Living Income system because I would for one like to see and experience an education system that truly honors the human potential, that does not compromise and that has as its chief aim to ensure that all children are educated in the best way possible to harness their unique potential in this world. I would like to see the adults that walk out of such an education system and I have no doubt that the world will be forever changed because of it. This can truly be an exciting time to be alive – if only we dare to step out of our comfort zones and realize that we are capable of so much more, if only we start honoring and celebrating life – and what better place to start doing that than through the potential of our children?

If you are ready to get involved in a political and economic change of paradigms and thereby also a change of our education systems, I invite you to investigate the Equal Life Foundation’s proposal of a Guaranteed Living Income System. This proposal suggests a groundbreaking change in political paradigms that doesn’t ‘take sides’ but instead presents a completely new approach to solving the problems we are currently facing in this world.

 

Re-Educate yourself here:

A couple of weeks ago I was part of the panel on a Live Google Hangout about the Common Core standards initiative. I definitely recommend watching it.

The Ultimate History Lesson with John Taylor Gatto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQiW_l848t8

PROPAGANDA | FULL ENGLISH VERSION (2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NMr2VrhmFI

The Century of the Self
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7EwXmxpExw

Psywar
http://metanoia-films.org/psywar/

The Trap
http://archive.org/details/AdamCurtis_TheTrap

The Power Principle
http://metanoia-films.org/the-power-principle/

Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century
http://metanoia-films.org/human-resources/

The Story of Your Enslavement
http://youtu.be/Xbp6umQT58A

Blind Spot
https://vimeo.com/30559203

Inequality for all documentary:
http://www.putlocker.to/watch-inequality-for-all-online-free-putlocker.html

The Four Horsemen:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fbvquHSPJU

On Advertisement and the end of the world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8gM0Q58iP0

Third World America – Chris Hedges
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drZE65_134g

More articles about parenting and education in a Guaranteed Living Income System:

http://livingincomeforall.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/parents-need-a-living-income-now/

https://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/category/parenting/

http://economistjourneytolife.blogspot.com/2014/01/day-259-living-income-guaranteed-and.html

https://livingincomeguaranteed.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/the-self-perpetuating-cycle-of-homelessness-and-living-income-guaranteed/

Watch the hangout about Education for a New World in Order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlj5wGCRnSU

 

For Further Information, Follow these Links:

Living Income Guaranteed with Labor as Interest

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With the nationalization of banks within the Living Income Guaranteed and the eradication of interest on money, the money supply will grow as a function of labor. The labor has a capital value that will increase the money supply. This has been effectively used by the Germans where they made labor one of the foundations of their economic system. And within the Living Income Guaranteed where you have a Living Income for all your basic needs and you have a guaranteed minimum wage that is double the Living Income Guaranteed, your labor value will be predetermined as part of every product and service produced.

This means that the input of your labor as value is reflected and revealed within the price of goods and services. This way each person will understand that part of the price is another person’s livelihood, and that as you give = you will receive. Labor then becomes part of the economic value system, part of the production cost – which must be valued sufficiently to be able to support the laborer.

Labor is the action of the human with a measurable value which will be like the accumulation of interest and you’ll have a compound interest effect, which will have the effect of an ever expanding economy, ensuring that everyone in the country has sufficient support to have a dignified life. This is a fascinating point that economists should have adopted long ago, but unfortunately labor has been demonized instead of realizing that that is the actual only real interest that can exist within a system based on money.

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

Basic Income Guaranteed with Labor as Interest

Living Income Guaranteed and Education

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One of the fundamental issues in the world today is that education has become irrelevant, because it is based on the value that you can give to a corporation or a business to make a profit. Therefore even your labor and your education do not belong to you and do not add value to the system and do not allow you to effectively participate in the world for the betterment of everyone.


In South Africa for instance, there’s now a point system where your education is based on a life-long learning process that accumulates points. In the Living Income Guaranteed system, education will be the enhancement of your labor value – your labor value being the capital growth that you add to the system. It will also be the way we add money to the money supply and the way we grow the economy. According to your education and the points you add to your labor value, your service and labor fees that will determine your income value will accordingly increase at a guaranteed level, as it will be a set framework that is equal for everyone.

We will be able to increase our capacity to earn by increasing our labor value through increasing our education. This is why education will be important to be at a quality and evaluation level that is equal, so that the labor value increase is equal. The form of competition within the system would then be your drive to improve your labor value through education. This will bring education back into value and it will ensure that those with effective accumulated labor value increase, as education will take prominent positions based on the quality of labor which will thus produce a new living standard within the world system: it will bring about a quality in service, a quality in the general living conditions of the human as we will have a system of education based on integrity as a result of having an economic system based on integrity.

Our labor will be worth our value, which will be important especially in terms of the Living Income Guaranteed because your service fee/labor fee will carry a value of service tax/ sales tax/ value added tax which is a form of tax value that is created through labor and not through resource, and thus will facilitate in large, the ability of the system to supply and to sustain a Living Income Guaranteed.

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

Basic Income Guaranteed and Education

Living Income Guaranteed and Teaching

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This is a more difficult issue because thus far the education systems of the world have only been a drain in the economy and have not really produced anything substantial. One of the latest examples is the South African education system that in the last 10/15 years has eaten up 20% of the budget, but at the university level, there’s only a 15% pass rate with billions being lost in inefficiency.

Education and specifically teaching is also a type of ‘easy job’ because there are no real guidelines or minimum standards, while this is one of the points that build the foundation of a society that can exist without a criteria to measure effectiveness, to apply it and to expect effectiveness.

The current likelihood of drawing people into the education field is purely for having an ‘easier job,’ one where there is no real accountability and that is quite a problem. Therefore in Living Income Guaranteed we suggest that the teaching profession should be in the category that is normally referred to as one’s vocation. This means that teaching should be in the hierarchy of needs at the level where a person has achieved everything they wanted to be and become in this life, thus they are accomplished and ‘feel the calling’ to educate the children of the future. And they decide to do so not because of money, they do it because of the satisfaction it gives and because they have prepared themselves effectively to be the best that they can be.

We suggest that the teachers should be the best individuals of our society, the living examples that can share with the younger generations how to walk through the path of life with sufficient skills, sufficient understanding of how the world works while standing as an example of what it means to be a self responsible and integral person in society. Therefore money should not be what drives the teaching vocation, because Living Income Guaranteed would be – in our proposed format –sufficient to make a decent living, which means a teacher should only ever receive the Living Income Guaranteed and not anything more.This would require one to look at teaching from a different perspective and to investigate the reasons why our education system at this stage seems to be a complete failure.

What must also be emphasized is the importance of the family in the basic education of a child, realizing that in essence: education begins at home. The tools and the mechanisms with which to do this should be available in every home, and every parent should be educated and supported to understand how to facilitate this so that by the time the child reaches school, they follow an integral technological education curriculum that facilitates the correct functioning and learning of the mind, and the structure of the character within the relationships that produce a society that is best for everyone. This is how we can bring about the intellectual development of the human to be able to facilitate and contribute to society through finding more effective ways for the coexistence and harmony that is necessary between humans & humans, and humans & animals and humans & nature.

Another proposal is that if a method can be found to be effective in managing and ensuring that the teachers do produce the children that we can be proud of in our society, such as teachers being subject to performance evaluations and meeting the criteria for effectiveness, then one can revisit this point and possibly pay the teachers at least the minimum wage. However, based on our current evidence, the situation has not improved at all, it has only gone backwards and there is clearly no solution proposed for immediate implementation, and to simply try and ‘motivate the teacher with money’ while the very future of our society is dependent on their effectiveness means such incentive would be in fact counterproductive.

Teaching will be stepping stone to create a society that is genuinely driven to support others to become the best self-sufficient interdependent beings in society, rather than being merely competition driven individuals to make the most profit only – we will finally establish living values that will be the essential structure in which the functionality of our coexistence in self responsibility will be based upon.

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

Basic Income Guaranteed and Teaching, Education

Living Income Guaranteed and Property Ownership

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Living Income Guaranteed is particularly focused on those situations where a person is not in a position to have sufficient income to be able to participate as an equal within society through spending, purchasing, ensuring the basic needs required for a human to exist. There are conditions where a Living Income Guaranteed is not required meaning that those that have = do not qualify for a Living Income Guaranteed which is destined to ensure that there is enough income available to support those when in trouble, or when society is not yet able to produce sufficient jobs.

One of the foundations of capitalism is owning property, but also one of the foundations of capitalism is having a society that is able to consume because they have the means with which to do so, and this is why it is suggested that a balance must be struck.

The basic regulation would be that if you have more than one house you’re owning = you do not qualify for a Living Income Guaranteed because you are able – due to your property value – to sustain yourself or at the very least, you’ll have to sell one of the properties and then if you do not have employment, you’ll be able to qualify for a Living Income Guaranteed.

Another point is Investments. If you are able to sustain yourself through your investments – that means you have money somewhere in some form = you won’t need such investments any longer, because the Living Income Guaranteed will also act as a pension. Eventually, a mechanism will have to be established to see at which level investment would be sufficient so that you are no longer dependent on the Living Income Guaranteed and you are able to sustain yourself. Therefore savings or investments from the perspective of it creating sufficient wealth for you to sustain yourself will automatically place you in a position where you do not require a Living Income Guaranteed, because you are able to financially sustain yourself.

Capital growth is thus one of the points that will be promoted within a Living Income Guaranteed system because it will eventually create a situation where one will be able to be financially self-sustained, and the objective is to get each human to be financially self-sustained so that you are no longer dependent on your social systems – pension plans, insurance, loans, investments – as well as acquiring the skill to use capital in a way that you actually are able to sustain your existence. Then capitalism will become a functional system that benefits everyone with this necessary support when needed and a necessary responsibility when your Living Income Guaranteed is no longer required. This also places one within the self-development mindset that capitalism represents where you specifically acquire skills to eventually free yourself from the needed support, because you have been able to create for yourself a self-support system. Within your hierarchy of needs this would mean that you have achieved a level of self-fulfillment, thus a higher level of living within responsibility.

The psychological benefit one can find within capitalism will be worthwhile as it is structured practically within this reality, you do not have the stress that comes if you get to fail in your endeavor and you have nowhere to go, because there will be support. And as we have noticed within capitalism, one tends to fail the first few times because you haven’t got the skills yet and the experience, although that should be developed also within the education system so that failure is limited to the minimum, because failure means resources get wasted and when resources get wasted: it becomes more difficult to have a sustainable balanced system.

Equal Life Foundation Research Team

 Basic Income Guaranteed and Property Ownership