The relationship between children and adults

I have no idea who Professor T. Ripaldi is, or the original source of this quote (neither, it seems, does anyone else who has blogged about it), but it’s a great quote nonetheless and very much in tune with my perspective on the relationship between adults and children, as expressed in the following Eduspire Presupposition:

Presupposition 7: Children and adults are equals; co-teachers and co-learners on the co-creative journey that is life.

“When we adults think of children, there is a simple truth which we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn’t getting ready to live; a child is living. The child is constantly confronted with the nagging question, “What are you going to be?” Courageous would be the youngster who, looking the adult squarely in the face, would say, “I’m not going to be anything; I already am.”

We adults would be shocked by such an insolent remark, for we have forgotten, if indeed we ever knew, that a child is an active participating and contributing member of society from the time he is born. Childhood isn’t a time when he is moulded into a human who will then live life; he is a human who is living life. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied him by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation.

How much heartache we would save ourselves if we would recognize the child as a partner with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing him as an apprentice. How much we would teach each other… adults with the experience and children with the freshness. How full both our lives could be. A little child may not lead us, but at least we ought to discuss the trip with him; for, after all, life is his and her journey too.”

– Professor T. Ripaldi

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Eduspire, children and the New Earth

Eduspire is an approach to education and life that inspires us to go within; to seek answers inside ourselves. The idea is that we let kids out of the box in order to allow them to go deeper within themselves. Then we follow their lead. This is the key to the creation of the New Civilisation and the New Earth.

These are not “New Age” beliefs or concepts. The New Earth is real. It is being co-created right now by people who have awakened to the truth of their multi-dimensional nature. How do I know? Because I’m one of them! The truth is, we all exist on multiple frequencies simultaneously — just like TV channels. When I “tune in” to the New Earth, I am tuning into a higher frequency of consciousness. How do I do this? By immersing myself in present moment awareness. This is where the New Earth energies are accessed and where the wisdom within is unleashed. I’m referring to a state of being beyond the thinking mind.

Want to know who led me out of my mind and into this state of being? Children.

Children have the answers. Children are born knowing. Through their example they teach us, “This is the way it’s supposed to be!” But we insist they “grow up” and join us in the box. The magic, mystery and wonder of childhood is life’s greatest truth. Simplicity is our true nature. All resistance to this simplicity comes from the mind. Children don’t live in their minds, which is why they are such profoundly effective teachers of conscious presence.

Spending time with children — particularly very young children — is a huge opportunity to reconnect with your own inner child. We can learn so much from simply observing them. They are our greatest role models of living in the present moment. And the eternal now is where you will find the New Earth — a world of peace, harmony, community spirit, ecological awareness and abundance — being born. It is being co-created by awakened adults working in partnership with children.

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The Eduspire Paradigm

From Fear to Trust: The Education Shift

How do we create harmonious community?

We don’t create harmonious community by enforcing laws or getting people to agree to a set of rules or beliefs. That is exactly the same level of thinking that created our disjointed and dysfunctional society in the first place. A community is made up of individuals. Healthy relationships with others begins with a healthy relationship with self. A harmonious community relies on each member of that community having done the necessary work on themselves to maintain a consistent state of inner harmony and balance. This is our natural state of being. The Eduspire Paradigm is designed to cultivate this connection with our true nature. It is an approach that inspires us to go within; to look inside ourselves for answers. Healthy relationships inside translate to healthy relationships outside. Our experience of the outer world is always a reflection of our inner world. The Eduspire Paradigm is an inside-out model of education that supports an inside-out way of life.

The easiest, most natural way to cultivate an inside-out approach is through spending time in nature. Nature has a restorative effect. It is the doorway to inner silence and inner peace. Spending time in nature reveals to the individual the inherent simplicity of the truth. Peace comes through simplicity. Without simplicity, we cannot be free. So any truly harmonious community enjoys a strong connection with nature.

A harmonious community is a heart-based community. It is characterised by the absence of ego. One of my favourite quotes is by the lecturer and author John Randolph Price:

“Until you have transcended the ego, you can do nothing but add to the insanity of the world.”

The ego is the root cause of all conflict, division and separation inside The Box. The Eduspire Paradigm is a tool for creation outside the box. That is, outside the confines of the rational mind; beyond the limitations of the fearful ego. This is not to say that individuals living in a harmonious community don’t have egos. While we are in physical bodies, we have egos. And of course we need our minds in order to function in the physical world. But the ego is not in control in a harmonious community – like it is inside the box. The inner beast has been tamed. The highest good of the community always takes precedence over individualistic self-interest. But this is spontaneous and effortless for individuals who have reclaimed their true nature.

Now, transcending the ego is not something that typically happens overnight. It has taken me seven years of conscious and persistent effort to complete the transition from my mind into my heart. Ego transcendence entails unlearning everything you were to taught to believe in school, undoing all of your social conditioning, letting go of all your accumulated emotional baggage and clearing out all your fears and limiting beliefs. It’s about facing the shadow self and returning to your original state of childhood innocence. And this is the reason why I see children as the teachers and way showers for the future of education and the future of the human race; they’re not bogged down with so much baggage. They are still living, demonstrating role models of the truth. Their inner lights have not become fogged by over-identification with the ego-mind. They are much closer to that natural state of inner harmony and balance. That’s why the Eduspire Paradigm is a child-led model of education. And that’s why I believe children hold the key to the creation of the harmonious communities that will define the New Earth.

The future of schools

The school system is a sinking ship. School reform is like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. Computerising curriculum delivery is like installing free Wi-Fi on the Titanic. The ship is still sinking. And it will hit the ocean bed within ten to fifteen years. Prepare to say goodbye to rows of desks, standardised curricula and testing, textbooks, batching by age and OfSTED inspections. It’s all going down with the ship.

In relation to their traditionally understood functions, “school teachers” are going the same way as the coal miners. Their services are no longer required. And no amount of noise from the teacher unions can save them. Teachers used to be the only ones holding the (clay) tablets but this is no longer the case. The children have their own tablets now. They no longer need teachers to acquire knowledge. Knowledge is freely available on every Internet-connected device. The qualified teacher — trained to deliver information in one or two specific subject areas — is a completely redundant concept in the context of the 21st Century world in which we are now living.

In a world of exponential rates of change, a child’s ability to discern is infinitely more important than what to learn. The idea that there is a “set menu” of knowledge that every child needs to consume in order to survive in today’s world is utterly absurd; that is 19th Century Industrial Age thinking. Nobody cares what you know any more. What matters is what you are able to do with what you know; how you apply your knowledge in the real world. Application of knowledge precedes consumption of knowledge.

Make no mistake, the education revolution is already happening. However, it is, first and foremost, an inner revolution. It is taking place within the hearts and minds of individuals. And the people riding the crest of the wave of this inner revolution are children. The education revolution is their revolution, not ours. We must listen to them, empower them, trust them. We must follow their lead. For they are the people in whose hands our hope for the future lies.

Improving the quality of delivery in schools is not the answer. It is time to stop delivering and to start empowering. If we are to persist with the notion of “teachers” then let’s give that title to the children. Let them teach themselves. Let them teach us. Let’s empower kids to be proactive learners and creative innovators, as opposed to passive recipients and dependent consumers. Let’s move from a one-to-many education system to a variety of many-to-many anti-systems. Let’s empower children to create a multitude of parallel solutions outside the entrenched system. Let’s empower them to forge their own educational pathways.

Sending your child to a traditional school is like sending them to a traditional dentist. Times have changed. We cannot meet the needs of 21st Century learners with 19th Century mindsets. Why continue preparing children for a world that no longer exists? Let’s stop building new schools. Instead, we can use the infrastructure of learning spaces already available in the community — libraries, coffee shops, church halls, museums, art galleries, community centres, etc.

Can existing school sites and buildings be transformed to meet the learning needs of the Innovation Society? Absolutely. It is the top-down hierarchical organisation and attachment to “standards” within these institutions that must go. Standard learners in standard class sizes housed in standard rooms fed on a standardised curriculum taking standardised tests…… does this sound like a recipe for creativity and innovation? As more and more parents finally wake up to the obsolescence of the school system, hundreds of thousands of children will “abandon ship” over the next ten years. Schools will have no option but to cease all ties with central government and to horizonatalise their hierarchical structures. School buildings will become “home bases” of learning for the whole community. Classrooms will be transformed into interactive spaces in which people of all ages come to connect, collaborate and create. Children and adults will be free to come and go as they please.

Is there any place for today’s school teachers in the New Paradigm of Education? Only those who are willing to look within themselves and to do the necessary inner work will survive the Education Shift. The “de-schooling” process can take years to complete as it involves questioning everything you have ever held to be true about learning and life. We are talking about “undoing” a lifetime of conditioning here. I was twenty-eight years old when I walked away from the teaching profession; it took me seven years to fully recover. Those who refuse to relinquish their conventional mindsets will go down with the ship.

A new breed of educator will emerge. These people will role model the pursuit of passion and living a life of meaning and purpose. They will be facilitators of learning, working with and alongside children as collaborators, co-learners, co-teachers and co-creators. How do we teach creativity and innovation to children? We don’t. Innovative entrepreneurship is neither a genetic predisposition nor something that can be taught; it is an active endeavour. We provide children with the opportunity to be the natural-born creators and innovators that they truly are. We set up “Creative Learning Spaces” throughout the community — characterised by their three defining values of Play, Autonomy and Collaboration — in which children take over as creators of their own destinies.

These are exciting times to be alive. The education revolution is an unprecedented opportunity for expansion in human creativity and innovation. It is an opportunity to widen the boundaries of what is considered possible in human endeavour and achievement. But this is a child-led movement. We must listen and follow their lead. Our trust is the greatest gift we can offer our children. As the 19th Century (yes, I am aware of the irony here) English novelist and journalist George Eliot observed:

“Those who trust us, educate us.”