Education's Ecology

Community Development

Community and Economic Development are only egregiously separated from education. We are seriously looking at neighborhoods as a foundation for education for much of what is increasingly needed in our troubled times. Democracy is threatened from multiple directions and it is impossible to ignore the role of market economies lead by multinational corporations. Consolidation of power in oligarchs is emerging worldwide. it is clear enough that those who amass enormous wealth are at least disinterested in the worth and dignity of individuals. Moreover our elected representatives are more than beholden to the oligarchs, they are actively using their positions to join the oligarchs with increasingly authoritarian legislative initiatives and manipulation of elections that preclude a voice for minorities. If there is a democratic way to counter these trends, it may well lie with small groups, which we believe are empowered to act strategically at the neighborhood level at a scale beginning with around 250 individuals of all ages. Neighborhoods are scalable to larger communities of geography and interests.

Community Education

The following was published earlier here.

The foundation for community education is the neighborhoods of connected communities. The power of a neighborhood is its compact and relatively small size of less than ~250 people. Within a neighborhood there exists the power of many small groups that are much like X-Teams and share externally oriented knowledge through distributed leadership. Everyone feels and shares an obligation to advance the goals and vision of not only their groups but also their neighborhood and its communities. An irrevocable element of community education is participation. Individuals may participate in other groupsrecognizing that without participation is education not possible.

It is an assumption that everyone in a neighborhood is both knowledgeable and ignorant or KaI and that anyone may be or become a More Knowledgeable Other or MKO. Everyone in a neighborhood is an Other to all. The Other is the foundation for education because by knowing Other we know or see ourselves as a subject of Other. It may be said that community education depends upon providing spaces for KaI, MKO and Other to flourish or thrive. These spaces are neighborhoods.

All knowledge of Other is a path to understanding who we are and how we fit with the realities of the Universe and our place on Our HomePlanet Earth. This makes us collectively stewards and opens our existential being to the ideas that will become the future. Ideas are communicated through dialogue, which cannot happen without questioning meaning, evidence and difference. Small groups enable dialogue to expand through communication of ideas, meanings, evidence and differences across related groups, neighborhoods and communities. These flows of ideas collectively constitute and firmly center around a Planetary Imperative to live with respectful relations that sustain all life. Accordingly, a Plaentary Imperative can never constitute or adopt a dogma. Everything and everyone is open to questioning.

Our collective Planetary Imperative critically demands respect for diversity which begins with our existence in a neighborhood. Everyone in a neighborhood is afforded worth and dignity, which is fundamental for democracy to flourish. We break bread with everyone and no one is deprived of dignity. The neighborhood provides everyone with the necessities for life; water, food, shelter and safety. This means that everyone understands or has knowledge of the most basic principles or concepts of life.

Evil in a neighborhood is precluded by an egalitarian existence. Every neighborhood is embedded, embraced and exalted in many communities of geography, interest and support for physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well being. Roots of evil are excluded through a compact, covenant or social contract that embraces freedoms bounded by responsibilities. No freedom and no one's freedom is absolute. The freedoms are not guaranteed by any constitution because they are intrinsic to the existence of a neighborhood and can exist only along with responsibilities. It is within and from these responsibilities that moral and ethical behaviors are recognized.

Ethics is central to neighborhoods, emerges from questioning and is surrounded by a powerful triangle of sustainable ecology, economics and equality. Sustaining this fractal triangle requires a community flow of energy, constant age-independent education and collective evolution of ideas, critical thinking and a constantly emerging sense of community that is greater than the sum of its parts. The seven principlesethics, ecology, economics, equity, energy, evolution and educationlead naturally to the emancipation of everyone to become self-actualizing individuals.

Emancipation is a cultural core of values embedded into the fabric of a community and is always much larger than individuals. Emancipation begins with a recognition of the worth and dignity of human existence. Every child deserves a champion and it is the neighborhood that provides or functions, envisions itself, as champions. This provision begins before conception. No child can choose parents or neighborhood but every child must be a choice; never an accident of biology. The complex challenges of parenting are known and respected well before conception and parents know that they are supported by a neighborhood where everyone contributes and everyone is respected.

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