Break Free of School Conditioning

Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash

Schooling is designed around some pretty big lies: adults have figured everything out, standardized information processing is learning, you have to be good at everything, and it’s okay to psychologically manipulate kids. To transform schooling and transcend any conditioning that you got, we need to replace these falsehoods with an understanding of how the human operating system operates and thrives.

Adults haven’t figured it all out. Far from it.

K-12 schooling pretends that adults have discovered all of life’s answers and just need to work out a few irrelevant details. School tells kids and parents there is a set body of knowledge that needs to be memorized. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Science is currently engaged in a shift that is equal in importance to the Copernican revolution. Astounding theories of the origin of life, how living systems operate, and the role of consciousness have emerged over the past century that challenge the dogmas of science.

Children are forced to memorize dry, boring, facts that are often biased, outdated, and incorrect. Even though children delight in asking the BIG questions, philosophy has been stripped out of K-12 education. History becomes a list of events and dates that follow a random dialectic process. The causes of WWI become an acronym to be memorized. Plants and animals (including humans) become machines that compete for survival and can be reduced to and explained by the functioning of their smallest parts. Rather than becoming mesmerized by plants, young children are forced to color and label the parts of a plant on a worksheet.

Most people have lost their sense of awe and wonder

Wouldn’t it be more powerful to fall in love with and become awed by the power and intelligence of plants? Did you know that a plant emits biophotons, chooses energy routes backwards in time (resulting in higher energy efficiency than any man-made machine), and alters energy emissions when a person in the next room is thinking about harming it? Probably not. Not if you were schooled.

A boring, rigid schooling system eliminates free inquiry, philosophy, and conversation from education and replaces it with false scientific certainty.

Do you look at the world every morning and marvel at the fact that you are alive and the world is stunningly beautiful? It’s time to start.

If you are uncertain of your purpose or calling, it is not your fault

We don’t allow children any time or space to discover who they are, what their unique gifts and talents are, what they value, what their answers are to the big questions, and how they want to contribute to the world. Human curiosity, imagination, and capacity for conceptual thinking is impeded. The powerful roles of play, free inquiry, creativity, imagination, aesthetics, and philosophical debate are not allowed.

Don’t worry. You have a built in GPS system that will guide you forward step by step when you learn how to connect with it. Your emotions tell you when your thinking has gone off track. You have an innate intelligence that will guide you with a soft, loving whisper. One of the biggest wounds of schooling is disconnecting you from your inner knowing.

Information Processing isn’t Learning

Humans are not designed to process information. We are not machines. We are not computers or mass robots. The problem is that the dogma of materialism is built into schooling. Nothing exists that isn’t physical matter. That makes children blocks of material ready to be molded into “human resources”.

The best schooling hopes to do is mold young humans into the type of person who will contribute to the economy and get along well with others. The current educational trend is “career and technical education” which is another attempt to mold people into useful human capital.

We psychologically manipulate kids to get them to process information

In the early 1900s, men who trained with B.F. Skinner introduced behavioral psychology into public school, believing that they could use rewards and punishments to get desirable behavior. You see this built into the system in the form of rewards and punishments (grades, the GPA race, extra time outside for good grades, behavioral charts, desk cards being flipped for undesirable behavior, tech demerits, uniform infractions, suspensions). The threat of punishment turns out to be even more powerful than the punishment itself.

Teacher resort to coercion in the form of fear, shame, humiliation, and praise to try and gain attention and compliance to subject matter that is neither interesting, relevant, nor contextualized to the lives of students. Mastery and adaptive learning built into EdTech solutions are a sophisticated and hidden form of operant conditioning that measures and tracks human attitudes, emotional responses, and aptitude.

We continue to school children as if they are mechanistic beings that lack souls and consciousness and need to compete in artificial academic contests to prove their worth.

You end up judging yourself based on your weaknesses.

By forcing children to be good at everything and focusing on their weaknesses, we create insecure, fearful people who do their best to pretend that they are okay. Everyone is good at some things and not so good at other things. Nobody is good at everything.

If school requires reading, writing, computation, or sitting still before a child is developmentally ready or personally interested, the child can be labelled slow, stupid, or learning disabled. People go through their whole lives with a false perception of Self and capabilities.

Humans have a negativity bias that evolved to protect us from danger. We have stronger emotional reactions to negative stimulus, especially when it relates to the self-identity we craft. Wildly accomplished people are plagued with an Impostor Syndrome. This is a hard way to navigate life — especially when you start from this position.

People lose their inner spark

People are being conditioned to be other than who they are naturally designed to be. With the notable exception of psychopaths and people with personality disorders, most people are altruistic, cooperative, and empathic until they are conditioned to be otherwise. The behavioral conditioning in school causes people to disconnect from the centrality of their inner knowing, engage in winner-take-all competition, and end up doubting themselves and fearing the world. They live from the outside-in. Humans are designed to operate from the inside out.

It’s time to reclaim your spirit and reconnect with your inner wisdom.

Freedom in a world addicted to fear and compliance. Author, Coach, Freedom Lover.

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