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It frustrates me when people ask why so many people in society “follow the herd” rather than thinking for themselves when the answer is so glaringly obvious: Our education systems teach people from a young age that this is the correct way to live their lives. From a very young age, people are told that they are “good” for blindly obeying orders.Now, of course children need guidance, as they lack both the life experience and mental development to make certain decisions wisely. However, my problem is with authority figures such as teachers who give orders for the sake of making young people conform to some totally illogical and meaningless standard that does nothing but make the individual issuing the orders feel powerful or significant. I’ve seen children punished for questioning the actions of their teachers, taught that fearing authority figures and feeling inferior to others, along with obeying nonsensical rules with no valid reason to exist, are all positive things. I noticed this happening throughout my time in primary school. Moving on to high school… By then, the damage is done. Anyone who is differs from the majority is rejected. Regardless of whether the difference is harmless or even inherently positive, it is more often than not treated with hostility, mockery and rejection. As a result, it is often the kindest of people who suffer most of all in school. In classes, I’ve noticed that if a question is asked of a group of people, the majority will mindlessly choose one answer simply because everyone else has, and then proceed to laugh at anyone who chooses a different answer in spite of the fact that they have no idea whether or not they are correct. If told that they’re wrong, they’ll laugh together, because apparently being wrong is perfectly fine if those around you are also wrong. It really is pathetic. It’s pretty damn obvious where this intense pressure to conform comes from. I feel fortunate to have become aware of the psychological poison I’ve been subjected to at such an early stage in life. Many only realise years after they’ve left school. Many never do at all. At the moment, this is the main reason why I never want to have a child. I simply wouldn’t want to subject them to a society that enforces mindless conformity from a young age.
It should be obvious now that I thoroughly despise the conventional education system and it's effects on human behaviour and the whole of Western society. See here and here for more information. I have made my moral objections to public education systems very clear, but I must admit that I'm struggling to think of how an alternative in line with my values would work, and the purpose of this thread is to bring together some ideas for an alternative education system that could be applied across all of Western society. It would have to encompass the following: * Respect for individuality * Equality * Two-way respect as opposed to students being forced to feed some asshat's superiority complex * A focus on learning rather than on mindless, unnecessary conformity that is ultimately harmful to society * Justification for the existence of any and all rules * Respect for the rights to free speech and self expression * Teachers would act as guides, rather than tyrants. * Unreasonably aggressive teachers would be given one warning then fired without notice * Far less of a focus on rote memory If you feel we are on the same track, feel free to elaborate on any of the above or suggest your own. I want ideas on how a comprehensive education system could be structured around these values from infancy to sixteen/eighteen. Additionally, ideas on how society as a whole could change to accommodate your/our hypothetical education system are welcome. I am completely open to any ideas you may have on this subject. Don't worry, I am under no illusions that anything like this would ever become mainstream, at least not in my lifetime. I'm just interested to see what we can come up with. I am open to debate about my views, but I would appreciate it if you kept it to this thread rather than derailing this one. Thanks.