The same headings and sub-headings (Schooling) can then be used to envisage what might be the main characteristics of a more appropriate system of education.
ROLE OF ADULT
1 person to 7 children on average (i.e. between 4 and 10) for ages 3-13; number of adults per ‘Education Club’ 7 on average (i.e. between 4 and 10); therefore, maximum number of children, in attendance at each Club, 100;
each group of adults, called Tutors, a good mix of age, gender and experience, each of whom is ready to treat children as individuals, thereby giving them ‘Attention, Approval and Affection’, i.e. the ‘3As’, at all times, while helping them to realise that they are ‘a spiritual being entering a human body.'
kind, warm, caring, patient, fair, understanding but firm people,
who set ‘a good example’ by demonstration (not by telling);
able to assist children in the acquisition of the ‘3Rs’,
in the context of the Areas of Development listed below,
as well as make a specialised contribution in one or two subjects,
such as music, drama, art, craft, science, technology, sport, etc.,
and to impart wisdom. (See 'CwG', Book 2, Chapter 9.)
to enable, facilitate and provide;
to support, guide and advise;
to draw out rather than to put in;
to give reasons for all requests and proposals;
to see mistakes as opportunities for growth;
to respect the autonomy of the learner;
above all, to encourage a child’s innate desire to find out,
be curious, ask questions and think for themselves.
open-ended but consisting of a broad and varied menu of interesting and worthwhile activities, taking into account each child’s age, needs, abilities and interests, and incorporating the principles of ‘honesty, awareness and responsibility’. (See ‘CwG’, Book 3, Pages 336-337.)
based on all the areas of personal development, i.e. the intellectual (head), the emotional (heart), the creative (hands), the physical (body), the social (interacting with others), the moral (being honest and truthful and able to decide for oneself ‘what is right’ and ‘what is wrong’, based on what is/is not working) and the spiritual (knowing Who We Are and Why We Are Here).
to provide ample opportunities for all children to bring order into their own lives and exercise self-control through the presentation of choice, and being allowed, as they grow older, to decide their own curriculum.
learning time – structured but flexible, both indoors and outside;
play time – as and when, within a safe environment;
meal times - a social occasion, using locally produced, wholesome ingredients, sometimes grown, prepared and cooked by the children themselves;
groupings – mostly small, face-to-face and participative but individual and in larger gatherings, if and when appropriate;
upkeep, cleaning and administration – jointly shared by all members, both adults and children, of each Education Club;
dress - free choice; attendance – voluntary.
open - all year round (e.g. four terms with even breaks);
availability - to all (including those with special needs);
coordination of all education facilities within each ‘SMIC’ – via Tutors temporarily appointed for this task.
size - human scale, child-friendly, personal;
appearance - well appointed, comfortable, attractive;
condition - carefully maintained and organised;
position - unfenced, close to home, Community-Owned.
LET FREEDOM REIGN!
Thus, it can be seen that this more suitable and evolved approach is concerned with harnessing children’s and young people’s own motivation; encouraging their all round healthy growth in each of the seven areas of development; and preparing them for a life of ‘Responsible Freedom’, as well adjusted, interdependent, interconnected and interrelated, self-controlled, ‘Communal Individuals.’
The introduction of this self-regulatory method would, of course, not happen overnight but will involve a carefully monitored, step by step transformation of the existing provision. For example, in the early stages, attendance might remain, for a while, compulsory in the mornings but not in the afternoons and, as more and more resources become available, ‘class sizes’ would be progressively reduced so that ‘The Adult’ is no longer placed ‘In Charge of Too Many.’
Thus, the institution of school would, over a period of time, be phased out, as more suitable facilities, possibly called ‘Education Clubs’, take their place. These premises, it is suggested, would be made available within ‘The Catchment Area’ of each ‘SMIC’, i.e. ‘Nursery/Infant Clubs’ for the age group 2/3 to 7/8, in appropriately located, brand new or converted buildings, and ‘Junior Clubs’ for the age group 8/9 to 12/13, probably, in the building currently occupied by a Junior/Primary/Middle/Prep/Elementary School.
AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT
But, wherever they are located, the introduction and establishment of this 'libertarian' system of education will be absolutely crucial to the establishment of ‘A United and Sustainable, More Advanced Society’! (Unity in Practice and, then, Self-Governance )