George Leonard's Education and Ecstacy
I haven't finished this one but I'm going to remove it from the top of the stack. George's message has largely filtered down to me through other sources.
Notes on George Leonard’s Education and Ecstasy
Leonard wrote this book in 1968, yet its stinging criticism of the practice of schools fits today’s situation 33 years later, a demonstration of how hard it is to change something as ingrained as education.
“It is as cruel to bore a child as to beat him.”
Learning eventually involves interaction between learner and environment, and its effectiveness relates to the frequency, quality, variety and intensity of the interaction.
A visitor from another planet might conclude that our schools are hell-bent on creating—in a society that offers leisure and demands creativity—a generation of joyless drudges.
Ways can be worked out to help average students learn whatever is needed of present-day subject matter in a third or less of the present time, pleasurably rather than painfully, with almost certain success. Better yet, the whole superstructure of rational-symbolic knowledge can be rearranged so that these aspects of life’s possibilities can be perceived and learned as unity and diversity within change rather than fragmentation within an illusory permanence.
Ways can be worked out to provide a new apprenticeship for living, appropriate to a technological age of constant change.
Ways can be worked out so that almost every day will be a “teachable day,” so that almost every educator can share with his students the inspired moments of learning now enjoyed by only the most rare and remarkable.
To learn is to change. Education is a process that changes the learner.
Education is, at best, ecstatic.
THE HUMAN POTENTIAL
Neurologists, psychologists, educators, philosophers, and others agree that people now are using less than ten percent of their potential abilities; some put the figure at less than one percent.
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