Thursday, March 2, 2017

I'm going to break down each sentence in the InnSaei trailer to see how they relate to unschooling. The movie has nothing to do with unschooling, or even with homeschooling. And is unaware of the connection yet illustrates unschooling principles so well. I'm sorry I don't have names to go with these quotes. They are all embedded in the movie for anyone who gets curious.

1) "We have to be really ready to fail. Failure has to be part of the journey."

I just love that this was the first editorial sentiment they want you to hear. We've left the realm of winning and even of success. We're in a separate paradigm where trying, extension, and curiosity are more valuable than demonstrating prowess in the safe comfort of known ideas. Failure is a byproduct of trying, especially of trying new or unknown things, so a high rate of failure correlates with growth and enrichment in an organic and diverse way. If parents can get comfortable with and embrace failure, they'll have a much easier time seeing their children as individuals who are valuable as they are, rather than as they measure against the static system of education. Acceptance of failure allows us to more easily step away from what is easy and expected into what is wild and unknown. We aren't interested in winning. We are interested in exploring.

2) "Modern people in general are really not in touch with intuition. And we've forgotten how to be aware of sensory data of many of the dimensions of life."

Sending little children (often babies) away from home is the first and possibly the most brutal push we give them away from their intuition. Exactly in the moment where we look at them asking to stay close to us and we walk away, we over ride their wisdom (and often our own, as we were so taught) and everything evolution has encoded in human DNA about how to stay safe and happy (foundations of smart growth) as a child. Holding them in the system reinforces this message daily, sometimes hourly, at a time when they have no intellectual way to understand or process why we override their own instinct. Worse, there is almost nothing intrinsically valuable in school. So the payoff of overriding children's judgment is vapid. It's no wonder then, intuition is lacking in our culture. And probably no accident that in our society intuition, famously a strength of motherhood, is devalued as motherhood is devalued, as childhood is devalued. 

Even worse, we put the children in rooms in buildings on fenced property under institutional rules and we drastically limit their sensory input by limiting their access to the world and access to LOVE. I'm convinced all of this causes a form of brain damage. Said another way, institutionalization.

3) "The world today is very different from the world I grew up in. I had a burn out. I just worked and worked without taking a moment to reflect. I reconnected with my Icelandic friend when I was a kid who now lives in London. As most people, we are finding it hard to have work/life balance. And so we listed down names of people who have inspired us who perhaps could help us find answers to our questions."

Institutionalization creates a hollow life based on shallow values and it leads to burnout. Humans find it very difficult to achieve work/life balance living shallow lives -- working for nothing but money and material gain. Even though they have been schooled from a very young age to accept institutionalization and the sensory blindness it causes. Getting together with a friend (love) and brainstorming new ways to live (creativity) and seeking independent expert advice (access to the world) are common and successful unschooling strategies. 

4) "Our world seems like a heap of fragments and it's hard to see how they cohere. Wisdom has been replaced by knowledge and knowledge has been replaced by information, pieces of data, chunks of data." 

Looking deeper into the institutionalization of our minds, the patterns of separation, limitation,  and working for material gain (expressed in school as competition for the best grades) are repeated in the way we attempt to train children to think. Not only are children held apart from their families, their selves, the world, and free time with friends, children are specifically schooled to digest information in tightly controlled blocks of curriculum. Which, by the way, is a form of pedagogy that is not supported by current research on what creates smart human beings. Nor by our empirical experience in school nor by our feelings when we were kids. Or, for that matter, our feelings as adults. Compartmentalization creates isolation and time has shown it to be a false unwise God.

5) "One of the challenges we've had recently in business is that by going to this completely rational side, we have ground out, expunged, creativity from our company."

Speaking of false Gods, we school children to work for nothing but material gain only to discover that compartmentalization inhibits healthy growth and so, as growth is intrinsic to wealth, our system is fundamentally broken.

6) "I give this to my students, I think. Consider this people: you are awake in a scant 2 tablespoons of your brain. What about the rest of it?! Right?

This professor isn't referring to the outdated adage that we only use 10% of our brains as a function of evolution or natural biology. She is saying we've been trained to live only in our rationality, to disregard environmental stimulation and everything in us that is not rational. It's thought that the neurons transmitting our rational thought process equal about 2 tablespoons of tissue. Our brains are roughly 8 pounds. The potential lost connectivity is large -- a lot of potential brain damage.

7) "The prefrontal cortex is a bit of your brain that will help you with your learning. It will help you do the wise decisions that makes your prefrontal cortex the wise owl." (a child speaking)

Science has offered intriguing neurological evidence that most of our teenagers do not have a fully formed prefrontal cortex. We've used this information to suggest that teenagers are just not as smart as adults as a matter of biology. Rather than using this information for what it is -- suggestion of brain damage. Though not covered in this movie, there is emerging neurological evidence that infants register high levels of prefrontal activity. Where is the literal disconnect between infancy and teens -- it's schooled. 

8) "To me, going to non is the absolute number one." 

I'm not certain I have the correct words transcribed. But intuitively, I love this. I think it's a reiteration of the idea that we have to be comfortable with failure in order to grow a healthier society.

9) "Intuition is not just some pink and fluffy feeling."

Unschooling is the opposite of compartmentalization as a way of life and intentionally does not separate children from their innate sense of wonder or intuition or access to reality or ability to proceed. Partly because life is an interconnected phenomenon and not well accounted for by pure rationality. Integration is crucial to health and sustainable growth.

10) "The Polynesians were able to map almost the entire Pacific ocean without a tool because they listened to the ocean. We can't do that anymore."

Polynesian children, as in all indigenous cultures, were purely unschooled. The loss of unschooling has created a loss of aptitude. 

11) "I think another thing that has been lost in our world is a sense of wonder, a sense of awe, a very rational appreciation that we can't know everything."

Obviously, right? They surely aren't teaching awe, a sense of wonder, or the idea that expert knowledge is drastically limited in school.

12) "It's awareness here and now on the world and that's everything." 

Everyone getting this? Is this penetrating the institutionalization of your brain yet? Because it would be a really good idea to start paying attention to what's actually going on in our world right now, before we destroy it.