Third screening of Documentary “Schooling the World”,
Waldorf School, May 2012
Every film we watch, offers a unique experience. I was interested to find out more about that unique experience of individuals after watching the documentary “Schooling the World”.
Following my curiosity and weaving all together with my final project on a postgraduate course. I organized 6 iterations of “Schooling the World”. First one was at Schumacher College, Second at Kevicc High School.
Third iteration was hosted by Waldorf School in Slovenia (Celje), supported by a very kind and open minded School Principal Bostjan Strajhar. We had some initial technical problems, but with a great deal of patience we managed to get the speakers playing, watched the documentary and spent about an hour discussing about various challenges of education.
There was about 30 participants who came to the screening. Being my third screening, I have learned that I am not able to encourage everybody to verbally express their opinion and join discussion in a limited time. To give everybody a chance to share their experience I decided to create a simple written feedback form…
I would like to invite you to share your experience while watching the documentary:
1. How would you describe it as a:
- emerging thought
- memory you may have had
- emotion that may have been triggered
2. Would you agree there is a connection between the educational system and the current economic situation? (considering many challenges we’re facing today – instability, unemployment rate, longer working hours, pollution)
3. If the answer is YES, where do YOU see the connection?
4. Have you come to any realization after watching this documentary – something you may have forgotten?
5. How many years have you spent studying in educational institutions?
It took us about 10 – 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
I will share a selection of comments I find to be most interesting:
- School should support individuals, teach about life, not indoctrinate
- How do we learn to live and let others live?
- There is a need to go back to the nature.
- Economic progress is not an indicator of a progressive society.
- To impose culture of somebody else, results in destruction of your own culture.
- To live in connection with nature is to learn about life.
- My grandma went to school for 6 years and had more wisdom than I do with more years of education.
- Memories when I went to school, it was much more liberal and human (in ex Yugoslavia).
- Sitting in the classroom when I was a little child, “getting ready for life”, still at the end I didn’t know if I was ready for life or if I learned what I really want to do in my life.
- Nice memories of childhood surrounded by mountains and nature.
- Becoming aware how important it is to teach with love and understanding.
- Children who go to school are getting disconnected from nature. Sadness.
- Each of us is trying to find happiness in his/her own way. Some lead, the other follow.
- What is freedom and what happiness? What is “West” promising, selling, trying to solve? Why is “West” continuously spreading lies?
- Not being able to see the complete picture – we try to help and we think we’re doing good, however what is good? Do we really know?
25 out of 26 people see the connection between educational system and current economic situation.
- People are trying follow some “external goals” to be accepted by society.
- It’s obvious – all is based on priorities of individuals.
- Uniformity, indoctrination, confinement, not being able to live without technological development and products.
- Educational system doesn’t teach us how to take care, how to live fully, how to grow food, how to take care of each other.
- Competition on a local level – “must have as much as possible mentality”
- Uniformed educational system creates a particular mind set, doesn’t allow to see the broad picture
- Plenty of unemployed educated people, incapable of surviving
- Economy and educational system have been co-developing, growing together. Educated people have a different way of being compared to those without education. People are being educated for jobs that don’t exist.
- Materialistic attitude, importance of certain position in society, career – which is being presented as a source of happiness
- Educational system doesn’t support free thinking. If one thinks with his/ her own mind, they are no longer good for the job, which is profit oriented . They are no longer have a need to continuously spend money.
- The very essence of society is being changed, the values are changing.
- Imposing particular ways of thinking, subtle encouragement towards consumerism
- People are being moulded into consumer oriented members of society – this is done through educational system mainly.
- This documentary has confirmed my doubts about educational system, I’m wondering how to avoid it and change it.
- Despite 20 years of education, I still have no ideas how to do manage things – but I’m still leaning
- Need to go back to the roots and learn from our ancestors
- Nobody should interfere in other cultures with their “help and financial aid”
- A need to ask ourselves – what do we want from education and educational system
- How the colonization is still taking place – examples of US and UK influencing destinies of other nations. How they see themselves as superior and their way of doing as being better compared to others. As if they’re the best, as if they know best. It has proven not to be so.
- People start losing connection with themselves when they’re locked within educational system – we need to find alternatives
- It reinforced a wish to live a simple life, to be connected to nature.
- We’ve been brain washed, I’m happy to be able to see this, but not happy to see what is happening.
- Importance of encouraging traditional values and wisdom. Nature and land is the most important wealth to sustain humanity.
- Crisis of value system, isolation, society becoming autistic (society losing emotional intelligence). People becoming egoistic and selfish
- When traveling to so called “less developed” countries, I often said to myself, how lucky they are to be happy with as little as they have – and yet, so much they have, being able to live in a beautiful, natural environment.
- Educational system is not tailored to match the individual. It’s trying to make everybody the same – at least trying to.
- It gave me a clear message that we have to radically change the educational system or even abolish the term education.
Example: 8 participants spent 16 years studying in Educational Institution
Participants of discussion are fully aware of challenges and problems within Educational system. Some of the main problems are disconnection from nature, increased consumerism and production line style of Education. Such system usually leads to a uniformed way of thinking that causes monoculture and changes the fabric of Society. This causing concerns; questions about alternative ways of education have been raised; such as home schooling and Waldorf type of Education.
There are two main pillars contributing to Education of our Society – Schools and Parents; however it has been mentioned that parents no longer play a role as important as it has been in the past. The value system has changed, people are turning more towards materialism. Unhealthy competition, trying to have best grades, choosing University because it “would” bring a Job which pays more money than some other – all such attitudes and values are being promoted through the modern educational system. Goal has become more important than its purpose.
However, there are still people within the system who are doing and trying their best.
(Slovenia has been increasingly exposed to the influence of the “Industrialized, Western way of thinking” since the collapse of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1990; 22 years ago. Before 1990 Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia, which had a self-managed economic system – mainly self-sufficient and self- sustaining)
The event was a pleasant experience and a real joy to see people engaging in meaningful discussion.
A GLIMPSE OF THE EVENT :