Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Writing of Ron Miller

I've just found a new website full of articles that seem to express what I'm trying to figure out about why I'm keeping my children out of school. I mean, it has to be more than just because I'm trying to protect them from being bored or bullied or from becoming part of the competitive world of children.

The website is called Paths of Learning and it holds the writing of Ron Miller whose work I first read in Natural Life Magazine. Miller writes about 'holistic education' and he delves into how a person needs to strive for authenticity in order to reach her full potential. His writing is deeper than what I normally scan while seated at the computer. I would prefer to have his essays published in a book so that I can read them more slowly and try to fully understand his theories.

Anyway, I was particularly struck by this excerpt from an article called Holistic Education, A Response to the Crisis of our Times:

We need to be free from external constraints and cultural conditioning,
so that we can be free for expressing who we most essentially are.

So the question then becomes, how do we as educators help young people discover the wisdom within themselves? First we clear away the falsehoods, the seductions, and the cheap satisfactions of the modernist worldview. This step is absolutely
vital, and it is what all the holistic alternatives can agree upon. Whether you
observe a Montessori or Waldorf school, a Deweyan progressive school, or a
Krishnamurti or yogic or other spiritually based school where self-reflection is
practiced, or a family engaged in unschooling, you are seeing an effort to help
young people withdraw from the corrosive and corrupting influence of our
technocratic, competitive, consumerist, materialist and insanely violent
civilization. But then what? Well, I will not give you the answer, for if you
are the holistic educator I hope you are striving to be, then you will need to
find the answer within your own inner wisdom. You will need to respond, with a
clear mind and an open heart, to the young people in front of you, and to the
community and society and ecosystem within which you and they live. You will
need to find within yourself, in each moment, how much freedom and how much
guidance to provide, or what needs to be studied more seriously, or how to
facilitate a caring community of learners. If your goal is to help each student
connect with their own inherent wisdom, you need to connect with yours, for
that, and no technique or method, is the only reliable gateway to ... what is absolutely real and true and good.

Wow. I think this paragraph is a start in helping me to figure out how
my little family is going to live an authentic lifestyle. I do not
want to try to copy to lifestyle of Leandre Bergeron and
his three daughters. I want to live the best life for me and
Partner-Guy and our children and go in whatever direction
moves us all towards our individual potentials.

I don't know yet what that looks like.

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