Introduction to Blogs
Attention concerned citizens:
If you are interested in exploring how we got to such a troublesome state in our society, and the role that conventional education has played in contributing to and/or causing this development, study the contents of this interactive website. There you will find Blogs that address these issues in detail written by Robert L. Arnold, Professor Emeritus of Education, recipient of the 2018 St. Lawrence Academy Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of education.
As a professional educator these materials resulted from over seventy years of experience within the profession that led to an in-depth study of the workings of conventional schools with special emphasis on early through middle school levels of instruction.
Our attitudes in general regarding education frequently fluctuate between negative and positive views that indicate a lack of continuity in the lives of many citizens. Beliefs are personally selected and maintained ideas that may or may not be supported by factual evidence. Values are those ideas we each hold as truth regardless of other views. Personal orientations can be open-ended reflecting flexibility in the application values or closed and inflexible when dealing with new experiences as everyone faces the challenges of life encountered each day.
These unique personal characteristics are acted out through unconsciously formed motivations imposed without conscious awareness on every new and old experience reflecting a unique pattern of responses that represents the biased viewpoints of each person.
Our unconscious motivations are relatively unknown to each of us unless we have taken the time for introspection to develop self-knowledge and in-depth self-understanding. This is where therapy and the nature and quality of 21st century education becomes paramount .
Teachers and other educators may find these Blogs to be threatening since they challenge established practices of conventional schools, especially at the early elementary and middle school levels.
Let's be clear, teachers do not make policies that are imposed on their classrooms, top heavy decision makers make those policies. Teachers are required to conform even when those policies run contrary to what is experienced daily when dealing with individuals in their classrooms.
As a longtime teacher and teacher of teachers this author’s intention is to improve the status of this profession and make our daily chores immeasurably more rewarding. Please hold your opinions until you have studied the contributions of this work.
We are all wondering how what is happening to our country has developed. How did we get to this troublesome state? What role has conventional practices of educating contributed to and/or caused this development?
What can we look forward to if we continue to see our teenage youth shooting each other on the streets of our cities, and frequently witness mass shootings by older disgruntled Americans? How about those adults who view their personal freedoms taken away by the government, by the elite, the billionaires?
How can we deal with prejudices against the Jewish community, the Muslim community, the Migrants, the Afro-Americans, the LBGTQ community, the Asian cultures, the perceived illegitimate citizens? Where does all this hate come from? Where are answers to this never-ending problem that seems to get worse every day?
As some will claim, maybe we should return to the good ole days when life is thought to be simple, or maybe we should legislate a new vision for the future and thrust it upon the populace, including a dictatorship.
Perhaps now is the time to step back and examine our personal motivations and how they came to pass. Perhaps we can find some common ground in solutions that make sense to us all. This is the mission of the day.
Since compulsory education was initiated in 1842, nearly everyone has been mandated to attend schools at least until sixteen years of age. Many have attended conventional public schools and similarly organized private schools and charter schools. Surely the experiences in these schools have had a heavy hand in shaping the attitudes, beliefs, values, and personal orientations of individual students, the personal characteristics that lie behind the troublesome behaviors we see today throughout this society.
Unique personal characteristics are formed from the experiences individuals have processed over the years. That experience has resulted in the development and maintenance of unique sets of attitudes, beliefs, values, and personal orientations that are unconsciously maintained and repetitively applied in daily life.
They are imposed without conscious awareness on every new experience shaping them in ways that reflect those personality formed and held characteristics. Their meanings are often revealed during both verbal and non-verbal language usage.
In the words of the noted Psychiatrist Lawrence Kubie MD, “Education will perpetuate a fraud on culture until it accepts the full implications of the fact that the free creative velocity of our thinking apparatus is continually being braked and driven off course by the play of unconscious forces. Educational procedures which fail to recognize this end up by increasing the interference from latent and unrecognized neurotic (rigid) forces.”
A response to this reality is not a simple matter since there are multitudinous variables involved in the lives of every individual. If only we could wave a magic wand and things would get better. An alternative is to continue to better understand what is contributing to these problems, many related to the conventional education systems, and to propose changes that will point a way to viable solutions. This is the intent of these Blogs.
Website designer - Regan P. Arnold