Teachers, let kids learn they can think! or a simple approach to improving education

School for me was a nice place to go and listen to stories, even chemistry and physics and math too, each algorithm a strange story with unexpected end (and a quite dubious purpose). I had a good memory and sharp listening skills so it was simple to get good grades by simply reproducing the stories I’ve consumed earlier. This listening state stayed with me all throughout school until one (late) day. In tenth grade we had an introductory course to logic. I discovered my mind has the power to think by itself, draw inferences based on given premises, anticipate outcomes. Finally, my mind was alive. And this was only the beginning. Eleventh grade brought psychology. I knew I wanted to learn everything currently available about the human mind. However, it was the twelfth grade when I felt most alive. Philosophy. The other kind (intuitive) of knowing. Immediately I felt complete understanding of all philosophers, although their ideas seemed contradictory, at least to the cognitive mind. I knew them all as true for the reason these people journeyed deep in their souls to bring them to light. At that point I knew who I was. I spontaneously started writing essays, something I didn’t know I was allowed to do (having lived under the impression only writers and scientists are allowed to write). You can imagine my grades at psychology and philosophy subjects were not great. I was expressing my own views, not reproducing anything any longer. And so they stayed although admission exams threaten my future. I could not say what it was requested of me to say, not even in admission exams. It was as if my mind had a life of its own. It ought to speak … or write. Later on, not having someone to talk to about my insights, I had to allow them to come to light on paper. I kept writing. I published on blogs. Later on I realized there is more to see and my mind cannot go there. I moved on from dialectical classical philosophy to spiritual philosophy (the kind of truth seeking that rises above the duality of mind and dwells in the light of pure spirit). 

Now, more than twenty years have passed and writing is still my mind’s only faithful companion. However, the study of philosophy freed my mind from the cage of algorithms and natural laws. I could soar the universe, play with gods, and dive to the bottom of the sea and further while changing dippers, cleaning the house, shopping, cooking. I can think a new world for me to inhabit for no reason other than for the fun of it. Sometimes I get to sneak into someone’s life, and that someone has never been touched by any philosophic idea. All I can feel is pain and suffering.

Kids nowadays have even more developed minds than my generation had. I believe introducing kids to basic philosophy ideas (earlier than twelfth grade) might be the small change easy to implement with immediate huge effects in education we can do at this time, anywhere in the world. Let the kids learn through their own seeking how their mind create worlds and how their spirit lifts them out of their creation, back to the innocent pure seeing of their life’s beginning.

by Andreea Garden, December 2016

 P.S. Adults, try not to expect from our children to save our freakish world. They’ve got better things to do with their lives.