Chapter 9: Education (or: Eupsychia, after Abraham Maslow)

IX. Education (or: Eupsychia, after Abraham Maslow)

  1. The assumptions of humanistic psychology, Carl Roger's "facilitator" rather than "teacher": feedback between learners, creativity and curiosity as innate drives.
  2. Learning occurs in stages: phase transitions in the brain/mind [Consciousness as an emergent process]
    1. Sharp distinction between neonate's flat-field perception and later depth perception
    2. Piaget's stages (sensorimotor, concrete, abstract, etc.)
    3. Montessori method
  3. Within genetically-determined stage parameters, individual development is profoundly historical, dependent upon experience. Therefore, academic cirricula should
    be adaptively structured, working around individual students' learning styles.
    1. Carl Roger's "Freedom to Learn"
    2. Open Democratic Schools
  4. From understanding both how learning involves overlapping neural prototypes and also how schizophrenia results from children being placed in cognitive "double-binds", the need for clear and non-conflicting metaphors/analogies should be obvious.
  5. Multimedia as an adaptive technology
    1. moves at child's pace
    2. accommodates different learning styles (reading, hearing, seeing) as well as promoting multi-modal understanding of concepts
    3. danger: develops only cognitive skills, leaving out social interaction and bodily development. Children must be routinely engaged in group activities to prevent atrophying of physical and social skills
  6. Physical education (acquisition of motor skills): avoid temptation to turn physical recreation into an excuse to inculcate young ones into the dominant paradigm (ex.: competition athletics --> unfettered "every-man-for-himself" free-market capitalism). Explore cooperative/non-competitive exercises and activities. (Gandhi's tripartite approach to education: learning crafts will develop fine motor skills beyond whole-body agility.)
  7. Social education (conflict-resolution skills): dialogue should be regarded as one of the most fundamental skills a child is to gain, the ultimate task of education is to produce a clear-thinking and consequently articulate young adult. Again, avoid the temptation to inculcate into the dominant paradigm: learning to negotiate real issues on a student council is a much more adaptive skill than simply learning to argue arbitrary points of view for a debate club. (Cite life-long study: nuns better able to articulate complex thoughts in their teens much less likely to develop Alzheimer's in old age.)