Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Dangerous Child: Curricula Part II

In modern government education, students are meant to be receptacles of a consensual wisdom. They are meant to accept and conform to the consensual wisdom du jour, as communicated by designers of government school curricula.

Many children are destroyed by this approach, falling by the wayside without having achieved the correct credentials for a modern pigeon-holed success. Of those who "succeed" in government education, very few will have anything uniquely significant to contribute to the shaping of a better world or better society. The uniqueness and creativity of almost all those who pass through the system will have been processed out and disposed of.

Children who are too creative, who think "outside of the box," who ask too many questions that are difficult for factory trained teachers to answer -- these are very dangerous children. It is best for the system if they would simply drop out . . . .

More of the John David Garcia early childhood curriculum:
Physical Biological
Physical Theory Physical Practice Biological Theory Biological Practice
4.00 6.00 The concept of the wheel;
smelting metal from ore;
making a simple calendar
from astronomical
observations; counting and
use of Arabic numbers to
1,000 for calendar making,
time-keeping, and other
Making a potter's wheel
and using it; making an
advanced bellows driven
by a pedaled wheel to heat
a charcoal, earth, and clay
oven; making a spinning
wheel, a sundial, a simple
Advanced gardening; the
making of cloth from plant
and animal fiber; advanced
care and management of
sheep and goats; gourmet
cooking with spices and
herbs using ovens; making
more advanced permanent
shelters of wood and stone
Spinning fiber; simple
weaving of cloth with no
loom; wheat and corn
cultivation; making bread
with & without yeast;
breeding sheep and goats
with seasons; training
dogs; constructing small
stone and wood huts
4.25 6.25 More advanced metallurgy;
the saw and how to use it;
how to cast bronze tools,
nails, the chisel, and metal
hammer; advanced use of
wheels; simple arithmetic;
adding and subtraction
with Arabic numbers;
simple geometry
Construction of wheeled
push carts; construct
bronze tools and show how
inferior they are to steel
tools; use steel tools in all
construction; use pick and
shovel and push cart to
build small irrigation
system and buildings;
show how arithmetic and
simple geometry help
construct these projects
Group design of large
irrigated garden, suitable
for self-sufficiency of 16
persons; advanced looms
and weaving; advanced
animal husbandry and
selective breeding of sheep
and goats; care of chickens
and cattle
Construct and plant
garden; advanced cooking
and preserving of food;
fermentation to produce
alcohol, distillation of
alcohol with copper still
4.50 6.50 Advanced bronze-based
metallurgy and smelting of
other similar metals;
identify related ores and
other rocks; simple glass
technology; building an
oxcart from wood, leather,
and bronze; simple
multiplication with Arabic
numbers; more simple
geometry, right triangles,
and the circle; advanced
calendar-making & time-keeping; how to make a
simple boat with sail and
Smelt and cast advanced
bronzes and similar
metals; make and cast
glass sheets; make mirrors
of metal and glass; build
an oxcart; show how
arithmetic and geometry
are useful; use detailed
astronomical observations
to make a better calendar,
and show how arithmetic
and geometry help; build a
small sailing and rowing
Show how to use a simple
plow and fertilizer to
prepare land; show how to
make fertilizer from
minerals and organic
substances; show how to
cross-pollinate and
hybridize plants and trees;
show how to use advanced
fermentation techniques to
produce wine and alcohol;
discuss effects of alcohol
as preservative and drug;
storage and preservation of
Advanced agriculture and
gardening projects; make
fertilizers, crossbreed and
hybridize plants; grow
grain and grapes; ferment
to alcohol, distill alcohol,
use alcohol as a fuel and
preservative, use as
disinfectant; cultivation of
yeasts, and advanced
4.75 6.75 More advanced arithmetic
and geometry, division of
numbers, simple fractions;
creation of more advanced
sailing craft, the ideas
behind a horse-drawn war
chariot, the compound bow
with metal-tipped arrows,
how to construct the two-person war chariot and its
relationship to the oxcart;
the Babylonian abacus
Show how arithmetic and
geometry contribute to
following technologies
built by groups; build a
more advanced sailing
craft; build a war chariot
using steel, wood, and
leather; show how much
more difficult it was with
only bronze; build
compound bow with
bronze-tipped arrows;
practice with bow until
expert, and practice with
war chariot
Domestication and use of
the horse as a biological
machine, special care and
breeding required by horse,
horse behavior and
anatomy, equipment for
controlling horse and how
to make it
Horse training and use for
farming and pulling
chariots, speed
comparisons, training
horse for chariots and
bareback riding

Psychosocial Integration
Psychosocial Theory Pyschosocial Practice Integrative Theory Integrative Practice
4.00 6.00 Reading stories in personal
terms about the possible
prehistory of the Sumerian
people; vocabulary
development and the
practical use of grammar
Write stories of fiction and
personal activity using
only alphabet; show how
convenient it is to know
when a sentence starts and
ends, and how punctuation
prevents misunderstanding
The ethics of larger
groups; how it is possible
for several octets to
cooperate if they have
common rules and
objectives; how ancient
civilizations were slave-based and ruled by priestly
Students construct rules
and goals of cooperative
behavior in order to build
large-scale projects,
buildings, irrigation
systems to benefit
hundreds of persons
4.25 6.25 Realistic but fictionalized
history of the founding of
Sumer and how Sumerians
created their culture up to
the time of the invention of
writing; show how the
religion and its ritual
became overwhelmingly
important, and how by
controlling food the priests
controlled people, warriors,
and kings
Write stories of fiction and
personal activity; write
essays on behavioral
ethics; use proper
punctuation for clarity of
ideas and teach correct
punctuation for students;
have students ethically
analyze in writing the
history of Sumer and show
what might be wrong
The ethics of individual
rights; show that taking
rights away from
individuals for a larger
group damages the group it
is supposed to help; show
how creativity is important
to progress and how liberty
is important for creativity
Students study Sumerian
art and try to express their
own feeling about Sumer
in ceramic figurines similar
to the Sumerians; stone
sculpture project;
reproduction of Sumerian
relics and artifacts
4.50 6.50 Read a simple non-fictional history of Sumer,
show their writing and
accounting systems and
note their defects; show
how clay as prime resource
led to cuneiform;
endurance of clay records;
read full accounts of
Sumerian myths, including
Garden of Eden;
Gilgamesh, and Noah
Write an analysis of
Sumerians' history and
their collapse; write an
analysis of their myths and
what they mean; write your
own myths to communicate
the same ideas as the
Sumerian myths; write a
creative story of your own
Ethical analysis of the rise
and fall of Sumer, the
ethical nature of the
conquerors of Sumer, their
strengths and weaknesses,
the weakness of theocracy
and hereditary aristocracy,
why these entropic systems
went on for so long
Creative synthesis; high
Sumerian art compared to
art of conquerors; artistic
group project to
communicate the rise and
fall of Sumer through
music, painting, sculpture,
and dance
4.75 6.75 Read a simple world
history of the Ecumene
from the fall of Sumer to
600 BC; show how little
progress and creativity
there was until then; show
how Aryans spread
Sumerian civilization to
the entire old world and
possibly to the Americas;
read literary examples of
each major culture
Write an ethical analysis of
each major culture and why
they could not significantly
improve on Sumerian
civilization; write an
analysis and interpretation
of their literary works;
write your own story to
express what you feel
about this period of history
An ethical analysis of the
Sumerian religion and
those that followed; show
how ethical vitality in
primitive cultures can lead
to conquest of more
advanced civilizations;
show how religions that
seek reward for ethical
behavior are destructive;
show how it was necessary
to invent morality
The art forms of Babylon,
Egypt, Crete, pre-Confucianist China, and
India; make your own
version of these art styles;
improvise music on the
instruments of these times;
do a group art project on
this period of history
Source__John David Garcia

The main thrust of Garcia's curriculum is the instilling of both creativity and ethics. There is a great deal of practical, didactic, and theoretical substance as well. But the thrust of the program is the training of children who can think and do for themselves within a careful ethical framework.

Of course, the ethical framework that Garcia taught is not the same ethical framework that is dominant in the government school systems, in higher academia, in popular culture, in the mainstream media, or in society in general.

As a result of its uniqueness, one would not expect children who are trained with the Garcia approach to adopt the helpless, irresponsible, lifelong adolescent posture of so many who graduate from the government system. These children would be different. And they would be dangerous to the dominant powers of the established thoughtways.

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