EDUCATION: an organized system of perpetuating right-thinking beliefs

Many species have what amounts to an education system whereby the awareness of new individuals is expanded in such a manner that they will fit into and be a benefit to the society. Whales, wolves, pukekos, hyenas and humans all have systems in place to ensure their young learn the rules of the group and the skills of hunting and security. As human society became more complex, various forms of education were set up by sub-groups which had their own aspirations for the young individuals that came under their influence. The agenda of the group organizing the education system was inevitably restricted and narrowly focussed in their objectives, and as a consequence these systems were oppressive and stultifying and emphasised conformity. Whether it is soldiers being hammered into shape for the front line, children being taught how to operate down a mine, or babies being indoctrinated into the fundamentals of a belief system, none of the administrators of the education systems used would be agreeable to the inclusion of information or ideas outside their narrow domain of concern. For a state, such education systems will only only ever produce cramped and inflexible citizens unable to respond to the ever present impetus of evolutionary change.

A state education system needs to be democratic because every citizen should have an equal opportunity to utilise its resources. It needs to be secular, because every citizen should be free of the constraints and impositions of religious absurdities. It needs to be creative, because free-ranging thought and action contributes to knowledge outside of any curriculum and facilitates the intellectual potential of its citizens. It needs to encompass all life's phases from the early environmental guided explorations, thru to the intense training regimes for the acquisition of highly sophisticated skills. It needs to be able to provide access to the natural resources of the local region as well as the full technological capabilities of cochlear and visual implants and direct cerebral linkages to the internet. For many skill acquisition programs... like learning a language, or training to be a pilot, neuro-surgeon, athlete, or actor... the cycloid spiral delivery is a pragmatic and proven strategy. The trajectory of the cycloid moves outwards at some phases to encounter and experience new material, but always regularly returns to revisit the roots. Learn a skill by trial and error correction, move away to a more demanding situation to enhance what you have just learned or acquire an entirely new skill, and then return briefly and regularly to the earlier and more fundamental skills. Every student needs to continually revisit even the most fundamental aspects to consolidate their expanding knowledge base. Education that attempts to deliver its training in a linear fashion, proceeding in a straight line from the simple to the most complex is seriously mistaken.

From a gardener's perspective, once the important questions of life have been adequately resolved... or temporarily shelved... the training for a social role needs to be embarked upon. The education process could be guided by as much pragmatic application as is possible, keeping clearly in mind at all times, that the biological entity being subjected to any one of these awareness expanding systems, was primarily designed by evolution to be a sexual participant... not a certified graduate. Abstract academia is entirely inappropriate for the wielder of a spade, since digging into its esoteric obscurity does nothing to prepare the soil for planting. Any theory, skills and rote learning is significantly enhanced by experience and necessity. In any context, be it engineering, managerial, skill acquisition, or whatever, no knowledge in abstract presentation has any value or relevance until it is tested in situ. One cannot become a proficient arborist without learning to use the ropes. It is a nonsense to suppose that one can construct, manage, nurse, teach, garden or perform surgery in abstract. Even after qualification, skill and knowledge should be regularly updated. Instructors must be required to have significant recent experience in their arena of expertise. Generic education and health administrators need to be directed to find out exactly what students and instructors or patients and doctors are, what they do, and what the reality of their daily lives is actually like.

Education should be one of life's significant journeys. If the individual can survive and benefit from a structured secular state system, then the hope would be that the learning process could be continued until death in whatever direction inclination fancied.