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Life Arts    H4'ed 6/24/14

Steve Jones: President of Antioch University of New England (AUNE) Speaks to Education as an Evolutionary Process

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Steve Jones of Antioch

Western culture in its desire to control and dominate has created educational systems that are standardized and corporatized. Education is a farce in terms of its epistemological roots. The term education is from the French educare, meaning to bring forth. True education is an evolutionary process of unfolding the potential that is within a person.

Instead, what education has become is a systemic means of indoctrination and dumbing down of a population made ready for consumerism and, to use the words of comedian George Carlin, to accept increasingly "shitier" jobs for lower wages and benefits.

Education as practiced in the mainstream is a farce.

Education can be scholarship oriented, familiarizing the brain with the knowledge and wisdom of the culture. It can be body oriented, developing the capabilities of the body through diet, exercise and lifestyle. It can also be mind oriented, in developing the capabilities of the mind to meditate, think through a problem, or learn to garden. These are all evolutionary processes.

Is a teach to the test approach truly about evolving potential in a child? Is education really about getting the population under control? Do we truly want a population of questers or do we want a pile of "do as your told" at worse or "let us mesmerize you in corporate games and campaigns such as 'shop till you drop.' "We'll even make it local and convenient at your nearest shopping mall, or, well shopping malls are not the fad anymore, are they? So we'll meet you in the more modern day, big box store?

How do we begin to change this distortion of education that leads to unfulfilling lives brimming with the horrid stench of a standardized state? Dare we unfold our true selves in such a world?

Is this true education, whose epistemological roots entails an unfolding of potential. "Bring forth that which is within you" is the true calling of education. Returning to this educational objective is a huge task!

One person taking on this task is Steve Jones. Steve is the President of Antioch University of New England (AUNE) whose 10,000 graduate degree recipients since the school's 1964 founding are working towards changing the world.

The primary thrust of education at Antioch is to achieve economic, environmental, and social justice. Having devoted his professional and personal research, education, and passion to sustainability and environmental science, Steve addresses critical issues affecting today and tomorrow.

Steve puts it this way:

Remarkably, AUNE's focus, disciplinary orientation, and aspirational vision align perfectly with my own personal and professional passions" AUNE is like no other university on the planet--a pre-eminent university for educating visionary, pragmatic leaders for a changing world. It's an institution embedded in the venerable Antioch University system--one powerfully integrated university. And it's a university that melds theory and practice, emphasizing our individual and collective obligation to seek a better tomorrow through social, economic, and environmental justice.

Wow! "Educating visionary, pragmatic leaders for a changing world." Are our children being groomed to be visionaries? Or are they being groomed for a "line up, shut up and do as your told" world inherent in the corporate empire.

I made my first revolutionary comment on the status quo of the educational process when I was in second grade. I threw up on my teacher who was badgering me to conform. That probably isn't the way to change the process, but it was the best my body, mind, and spirit could come up with at the time. I am very grateful to have learned more on the subject of education since then--not in the classroom but in the school of life and independent research.

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Burl Hall is a retired counselor who is living in a Senior Citizen Housing apartment. Burl has one book to his credit, titled "Sophia's Web: A Passionate Call to Heal our Wounded Nature." For more information, search the book on Amazon. (more...)
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