Curiosity Driven Education

Stephen C. Rose
Feb 20, 2015 · 5 min read

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We arrive at deeper issues as we progress toward the close of this exercise in imagining a viable future. There is nothing that makes cybercommunities more necessary than the parlous — let’s call it the sad — regression of education underway in any locale in the world where schools are grossly unequal, where they are overcrowded, where the prospects that school will lead to a good future for many if not most of its students are dim. Not least because they will not even complete an elementary course of study.

I do not claim the slightest expertise in the field of education. I have taught. That is about it. I have also attended schools. I had a typically mixed experience — some positive some negative. I can only tell you what I have come to believe and invite you, the reader, to say what you would do.

I have come to believe that one reason the schools in the United States are in trouble is that they are almost the main reason we have a hugely polarized, sprawl society. They mirror flight. They mirror polarization. They are symbols of “acceptable injustice”. We have massively-funded schooling in the wealthy communities and disgustingly under-funded schools the poorer we go. But equalizing finding would be absurd at this point. The sheer differential in all other areas creates a virtual guarantee of insolubility. The cybercommunity is the only answer, an intentional form of polity that can accommodate from all areas, classes, races and income levels those willing to accept a local democracy based on good values and committed to a reduction of harm.

I advocate that cybercommunities arrive simultaneously with the time when we arrive at basic income for all. The gap between rich and poor now is so serious that cybercommunities — where we choose to live — will only work if there is an elementary floor of justice made possible by literally eliminating poverty. We need a Fed that bails out people not banks and we can have one over time.

We created sprawl in part to flee the inner city and its problems. We created our prison-industrial complex to imprison those lost in areas we left to die. Today we are just beginning to wake to the clear and doable necessities of the future. It must include a form of reparation for the evils we have perpetuated.

The huge need in education goes deeper, far deeper, than the gigantic problem I have sought to state in a few words. Even if we had a playing field that was level, there is no guarantee that students would be well-served if education itself did not undergo a radical change.

Review for a moment the elements of good design. Virtually all of them have implications for children. The chart alone should be a crystal clear indication that we will not solve our problems with anything less than what I am proposing: a car free alternative to a world that simply collapses from the weight of its bad decisions and the events attending the end of oil due to the expense of obtaining it.

The chart below sketches obtainable objectives —almost all of them designed to enable children to walk freely in a city made to function as an ongoing school for all ages.

The watchword for the education I surmise in the future is curiosity. The objective would be a marriage between the internal impulses within the child and the manifold opportunities of life in a world that is made available literally everywhere one looks.

Each cybercommunity will have kiosks that are educational nodes appropriate to every sort of curiosity. Each cybercommunity will have small squares and circles where all manner of events can be launched.

And what, within such an environment, will be the “educational” component? I cannot imagine that it will not take the shape of focussed areas that are literally the SUBJECTS of an education. Pavilions some to mind. Parks. Public presentations. Lectures. A huge presence for interactive video worldwide. Great Literature. Mega Science. All Math. Acting. Painting. Virtuality. Digital Art. Frogs and Such. Play Your Heart Out, Cookery, Beeswax.

My imagination reaches its limits. Surely there are thousands of thinkers out there who can imagine further. The point is to make the cybercommunity a school for all ages.

My own conclusion for the future, once we solve the hoary economic matter, is that we build a world based on human potential, the universal potential to embody truth and beauty. There will still be work but it will be work that is only minimally sweat work, and that compensated at a high level. The main work will be enabling others on the basis of one’s knowledge, skills and capacities. I am sure there will be persons with multiple skills and occupations, capable of functioning in various ways.

No I do not know where curiosity driven education will lead. All I do know is that when it comes we will have moved to a point where the schools we know have morphed into the resource nodes of cybercommunities.

Perhaps they will have their own campuses. Perhaps they will be responsive to regional and even global resourcing. I do know that they will be free. That is to say, paid for by the costs of subscribing to existence in a cybercommunity.

We shall come to these matters as we proceed. For the moment, consider that for children to have a future beyond today’s polarized and unfair education, there will need to be that basic income we keep mentioning and there will need to be just and fair environments where children can run free without suffering the terrible dangers we have allowed to fester in the environments we now live within. That is among the most revolutionary features of the cybercommunity. It will be built to discourage criminality and ensure mental health at birth.

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