You can’t talk about G-O-D in school…or can you?

Did you know that there are approximately 30 high schools located in the U.S. whose mission it is to enroll students committed to being abstinent from alcohol and other drugs and working a program of recovery?  These recovery high schools understand that in order to create and sustain long-lasting positive change in these young adults’ lives, their recovery process must be supported by an environment which nurtures those choices and continues to provide ongoing peer mentoring and social acceptance.

Did you know there is an entire educational movement called Unschooling?  According to Allen Ellis, 23, a former Unschooling attendee, “Unschooling is an exciting alternative to contemporary schooling that empowers students to create their own education. Much like homeschooling, families are free to explore opportunities outside of the public school system, and even outside of the curriculums that many homeschoolers use. Unschoolers pursue their interest of the moment, and in the process find their passions of a lifetime.  Conversations with God, Book II talks about a new education system which is based on the values of awareness, honesty, and responsibility; a system that teaches the student to think critically, come to their own conclusions, and gives them a sense of “unlimitedness.” Unschoolers have been doing this for decades in our modern era, and humanity has been doing this in a sense for our entire history. Babies “unschool” themselves in learning how to talk and walk: Unschooling families simply let their children unschool the rest of life, too.”

Did you know that there are approximately 1,000 schools located throughout 60 countries in the world which operate under the Waldorf Education model?   This program is an extraordinarily unique educational experience which, according to their website, “Is based on a profound understanding of human development; provides a detailed, richly artistic curriculum that responds to and enhances the child’s developmental phases, from early childhood through high school; cultivates social and emotional intelligence; connects children to nature; ignites passion for lifelong learning; and is the fastest growing educational movement in the world.  For the Waldorf student, music, dance, and theater, writing, literature, legends and myths are not simply subjects to be read about, ingested and tested. They are experienced. Through these experiences, Waldorf students cultivate a lifelong love of learning as well as the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual capacities to be individuals certain of their paths and to be of service to the world.”

Of course, these three examples are only a handful of some of forward-thinking, mold-breaking, sameness-shattering groups of people on our planet who are no longer accepting status quo as good enough for the youth in our world.  It’s not difficult to follow the dotted lines and grasp the idea that each next generation becomes humanity’s next decision-makers.  So if we want to keep seeing more of what we have now, I guess it makes perfect sense to continue siphoning our children through the same narrow educational funnel that we currently filter them through.  But if we are expecting different results, if we are looking to experience some truly significant changes not only in the way our society functions, but in the way it thrives, isn’t it time to at least consider a different approach to our educational system?

But what does that different approach look like?  What kind of educational system will the masses embrace if it doesn’t sustain itself on a platform of students memorizing dates and achieving 4.00 grade point averages and sitting in overcrowded classrooms and filling their heads with arbitrary facts in order to pass “standardized tests” which are taught by underpaid teachers?

The news is saturated with daunting stories of bullying, teen suicide, school shootings, teen pregnancy, rampant drug use, eating disorders, drinking, depression, and social anxiety.  Aren’t these painful symptoms enough for us to collectively stand up and declare that the way we are currently doing this clearly isn’t working?  How many more bricks do we need to hit us in the head before we are finally willing to try something different?

Will there ever be a day when the God of each individual person’s understanding will be allowed in school?  Will discussions about spirituality ever be as commonplace as saying the Pledge of Allegiance?  Will students ever be able to engage in the kinds of conversations we here on The Global Conversation enjoy, conversations about God, about Life, about Who We Really Are?  Could this be the biggest missing piece of the puzzle, the freedom and opportunity for our children to express their deepest thoughts and to hear, really hear, the deepest thoughts of their peers in an environment which creates the space for them to do so?  Can we imagine a framework which operates not in the spirit of obtaining sameness or achieving conformity, but in the spirit of developing spiritual awareness and experiencing love without conditions, a system which creates real choices and true freedom?

Could this ever work?  

Are we willing to even try?

(Lisa McCormack is a Feature Editor at The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)

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  • This is a huge subject. Thanks for bringing it up Lisa. As CwG offers it’s own brand of education it allows yet another alternative to consider.

    It might be nice to have an article on what’s going on with the CwG educational programs.

    All these shifts & changes seem so slow in coming & hopefully good changes come more rapidly as we progress even as we have embraced fast paced technology for better & less better.

    Perhaps in the nearer future the LOA or Law of Attraction will be part of all school curriculum’s as well? Challenging & exciting us on how life works & plays as well as how we have the power to create the dreams we desire.

    Magically,
    -Marko

  • Contentttt

    Lisa you wrote: “Will there ever be a day when the God of each individual person’s understanding will be allowed in school?”

    There are way to many GOD’s for this to be a valuable topic in school. It confuses young people. It even confuses adults! Spirituality does not have to include any discussion of God! There is no growth in the individual student Self, when God becomes the topic, only disagreement! The topic of God is the most taught and the least understood of any topic out there!

    So are you suggesting the education models you wrote about, should begin to introduce a subject that could destroy what they are created? Do you REALLY realize what you are suggesting or just CWG blind??

    People are killing each other over their interpretation of God!!!!

    Nice article, until you introduced the topic of God and introducing God into a schools conversation!!! YIKES…..SCARY!!

  • Lauren Rourk

    Until the wonderful day comes where our education system can finally transform and transcend its currently limited capacity, we have to make use of the system to its highest potential. Coming from the college freshman perspective, I believe that traditional schooling is all about the purpose we assign to it. If your purpose is to simply memorize facts and receive a 4.00 GPA, then your spiritual evolution will not receive much of a boost. BUT…if we see school as an opportunity to learn about ourselves, aka How We Learn AND How We Adapt, then we certainly can derive some beneficial growth from the system.
    So at least that can be done on the individual level. However, change does need to occur on the collective level for there to implement the system to help others learn these skills about themselves (ex the Unschooling). We can make it happen, if we choose to.

  • Erin

    I Am quite familiar with Waldorf…It would be Amazing if our international public systems simply adjusted & adopted ‘this way’ toward finer education!

    One of the hot-points I loved was that anyone of true passion for teaching need not be of many-yeared, high-papered, huge debted, University education. They seek those of integrity, creativity, honed talents, & imagination, who are put through a year of learning this way, a year of internship as a co-teacher, and then receive a class that they see through from entry to 8th grade…A teacher moves with their class, all evolve together.

    Another great aspect is that these schools run much like a franchise…The teachers are their own board of ed…they, along with the students & guardians, are the maintenance crews, office workers, food committees, & project fund-raisers. All eyes are on the security & well-being of the ‘business’ wholly. Much of their field-tripping is to participate in community efforts, as well.

    Now as far as the ‘God’ thing that contenttt gets so worked up about…Conversations of this type are not only ‘allowed’ of this program, but encouraged to be expressed. It is part of the ‘well-rounding’ and respect for diversity that they strive for of their students & staff. The subject is not as debatable, but knowledge of them is shared for choices to be made of that. Understandably, Waldorf himself, had his own beliefs, which are very much part of the original manifest of his program…this has not way-layed the immense success of the institutions that exist internationally today.

    If, perhaps, the name ‘God’ is upsetting, use a different word(s)…there are sooo many of which to choose! I liken to ‘Life’, ‘Essence of Being’, ‘Great Mystery’, among others…just nicely encompassing…All same difference…one is part of One-ness, no matter. (‘no matter’…pun totally unintended, but it works) 🙂
    We need this inner-connect…It is one of our/Our greatest fuel resources in doing stuff as physical beings. The energy we produce of is what expresses & moves with Nature(s) of where we happen to be.

    Names have little meaning outside of realms…ever tried to pronounce a Tree’s name, or that of a Bird? No, not our Latin versions (tough enough), but their individual names…They are of sounds not human words, & reeeally difficult, at best, to remember, let alone reproduce through lips…ergo, why they also use imagery to communicate outside of their realms. Same with the ‘God’ thing…Can you imagine what a pure energy name would ‘feel’ like? Yep…those inner stirrings, that gut-tingle, those ‘Soul Sounds’, is how We communicate that.

    Communication is Our connect to Everything…Human is just not very skilled in this aspect just yet, but this is changing, too…and allowing children to explore & hone such talents, as in open-schooling, is a fine way to get those changes really rolling.

    Nice bring-up, Lisa! Namaste’ 🙂