A. The student would
simply approach a person in that trade or profession and
offer his time. The critical thing that the schools must do is to
is to allow the student to have control of his curriculum, and to have
skillful audiovisual programs that explain the fine points well.
In what specific ways does our current educational system reward
conformity and discourage individuality and creativity?
A. Primarily, the teacher is in charge,
and the way to get good grades is to give him what he wants.
The solution is to allow the student to be in charge of his education
and eliminate grades. There is a great deal of
theory behind this
that is well worth reading.
Q. You point out how important it is for
teachers to learn how to recognize the special individual
differences in each student. I agree. But in the real world,
classrooms are often overcrowded. In addition, teachers must teach
a specific curriculum mandated by the school district. Also,
public school funding is often based on how well the students perform on
standardized tests? Given these obstacles and others, how is it
possible for teachers to take the time to recognize and nurture the
special individual differences in each student?
A. For current teachers, give them time
off to attend workshops on the new attitude. Provide
them with videos and other resource materials. A charter school
based on these principles is the best solution.
Q. How can we limit control in the
classroom when it is such a strong force given the fact that
we all must live function under a capitalist system that favors
competition over cooperation.
A. There is also great concern among the
public about the growing social dysfunction and the
realization that our attitudes and practices must change. For
example, home schooling is growing at the rate of fifteen percent a
Q. I agree that scapegoating and favoritism needs to be
eliminated from the classroom environment.
Specifically, how do you suggest that we can begin to do that.
A. I recall that in the fifties, there
was a campaign in the schools, using movies, designed to
eliminate racial prejudice. Where I grew up, it had a powerful
impact. My parent's generation talked about the "Jews" and the
"nigers." In my area and age group, this kind of talk was stopped
cold in it's tracks. We can do the same thing with other social
Q. I am confused about the concept of
mindfulness. How can I increase mindfulness in
myself and my family?
A. An ounce of prevention is worth
a pound of cure. It is much easier when starting with a
young child. But begin with this simple, easy to read, book:
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life,
by Thich Nhat Hanh. Additionally, practice
Q. How can we increase the mindfulness
found in my society? How
do we achieve the "mass mindfulness." That you speak of.
A. This movement is increasing its
membership daily. At some point it will reach "critical
mass," and explode. We are in the process of producing a dramatic
feature film that will make a huge public impact.