Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 61

Associative Processing Breaking Down
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Jean Healy, in Endangered Minds, described how the associative capacity of children is breaking down. They cannot hold one idea and connect its meaning to another or sequence of ideas, an obvious capacity developed by the brain in response to storytelling. Children are unable to imagine the logical sequence of ideas or consequences. Every event becomes an isolated, now you see it now you don’t affair, not unlike television commercials. This diminished capacity impacts one’s ability to build up a body of knowledge of a particular subject. Recent information can be mimicked. Long term retention does not stick. All of this is the natural and predicted result of fully and appropriately nurturing each stage of development in its proper sequence compounded by technological counterfeits of process the brain is designed to produce internally.

Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 59

Brain Development – Concrete to Abstract
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Researchers found that the ability of college freshman to comprehend semantic meaning, different from concrete meaning, has diminished. Only 50% of college freshman could think in abstract semantic concepts which had historically been assumed to open at age twelve. The rest were stuck back in their early childhood concrete language patterns. This anticipates and predicts an inability of young people to interact with abstract concepts such as the bill of rights, beauty, philosophies, and even more the abstract languages of science and mathematics. This reflects a biological failure to develop the necessary brain-structures needed to produce the internal imagery that give these abstract word-symbols meaning.

There was a study done in the late 1980’s at a big western university, now let’s see what state it was.  At any rate I was there for about a week and they had made a study of their incoming freshmen to see where they stood in what we call the Pieje in stages of development centering around the development of concrete operational thinking which depends on concrete language and interacting with your world in a very viable real way at age 7, which runs from about 7 to 11 when the child is in this state of what we call concrete operational thinking.  Then around 11 or 12 there opens up what we call formal operational thinking which is the ability to comprehend, understand and use Symantec language which is not concrete language, not language designating things and objects but language designating meaning, ideas or concepts.   And the discovery was that only 50% of their incoming freshmen could sent in Symantec language which had always been assumed to open up at age 12, only 50% of the incoming and these are the university students, supposedly the cream of the crop of your whole state, and only 50% of them have arrived at a 12 year old stage of development.  The rest of them were still back in their concrete operational stage which means a word had to have a direct physical correlation in their immediate comprehension or the word was meaningless to them, which meant also that there was no way in the world you would ever be able to explain the meaning of something so abstract as The Bill of Rights or The Constitution or The Sermon on the Mount, or more less getting into how level abstractions such as Science and Chemistry and so on.  They just didn’t have this available.  The neural structures weren’t there.   So now we find that 50 years ago the average American child, high school student, had a working vocabulary of approximately 25,000 words.  Now today that’s been reduced to 10,000 words which means that there has been a serious loss of the scope of what, the language which is what we call descriptive and they’re left only with the concrete images or language, of concrete imagery of tangible physical touchable stuff.  Now unfortunately you can’t touch metaphoric symbolic thinking.  You can’t touch Symantec language.  It isn’t available on the sensory system.  You can’t convert into a concrete language or an image the principles of Chemistry or Physics or any of that, or Mathematics or the higher ethical domains of experience.  None of that is available on a concrete level but only on a Symantec meaning level.  And so we have eliminated the descriptive aspects of the child’s language system and left them only with the concrete immediately physical aspects of language.  And what did this do, it’s thrown them into some very severe boundaries of their own comprehension, their own ability to perceive.

Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 58

Computer Screens & Brain Development
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Researchers looking at children who spend a great deal of time with computer games found using brain imaging that these activities bypassed the prefrontal lobes and the neocortex. The activity is essentially sensory motor. The regions controlling the fingers and thumbs got a lot of activity. Most of the brain however, was silent. The prefrontal regions control all the other brain centers. The implications are profound. Dexterity in the thumbs was drawing developmental resources from the entire higher more evolved and complex brain centers. No activity, no development in these regions. Later when more complex responses are needed there is no biological founding for these functions to express, clearly a de evolutionary pattern.

Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 56

Play, Imagination, Television & Media
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Historically imaginative play involved acting out the story suggested by the Saturday matinee. It wasn’t mimicry, reflexive copying. It was acting out the story line, let’s pretend, which is a vastly different developmental activity. Watching a radiant screen impacts the brain differently than the light reflected off a traditional movie screen. Television-computer screens produce a passive, trance-like state that is extremely difficult for the child to withdraw from. Producers of children’s programing insist on a minimum number of violent acts per minute to insure continued attention. All of this deeply conditions the developing brain in was that are far different from storytelling and imaginative play.

Essential Joseph Chilton Pearce 26

Biology of Transcendence – Education
Joseph Chilton Pearce

True education, leading forth into knowledge, is leading forth into life itself and that includes spirit. What we have is conditioning, conformity, comparison, judgment and obedience training. Waldorf education encompasses culture, is based on the arts, creativity and honors the child’s spirit along with his or her intellect. 

Well an education that addresses spirit starts at conception practically.  It’s an automatic part of life itself. We speak of education is leading forth into knowledge.  Knowledge of what? Of life itself.  Everything in the child drives them toward that.  They’re driven by this huge force to interact with the living world and build what Piaget calls the “construction of knowledge,” the neural imprint of that world.  They can interact with it on a relationship, in a relational way, and there’s this enormous force that drives the child to do that.  Just like the same force that drives them to play, the same force that drives them toward imagination, moving into their inner world of creative play and so on.  Why it is they want to play all the time, of course that’s the way they can interact and learn in this world and relate to it and so forth.  All that bubbles up from inside the child expressing outwardly.  That’s education.  

Anything that blocks that, any negative that comes along, is in effect a restraint and I would call it, like William Blake would call it an evil force.  The child comes in assuming, comes into the world assuming, that the world welcomes him or her and that it’s the right place to be and that it’s their possession.  The world is their playground and they move out with this assumption that the world welcomes their interaction with it and learning of it, and so on.  And they’re hit on every hand with obstacles to that.  And being hit by obstacles through it such as the constant negation of the world, everything is out of reach of the child.  You can’t do this, you can’t do that.  No, don’t” every few minutes from everybody. And then the fact that the failure to meet the child’s needs as they move out into the world, what we call the bonding process and so on, the failure to meet those needs is in effect a great negation from the world.  So the world is responding to the child’s great affirmation and embrace with the negation and they’re shutting off.  This in effect kills the spirit of a child eventually.  

So for us to sit around talking about soul in this case, leaves me kind of cold because I don’t know what the soul would be unless you want to relate it to mine, just the awareness of self, but the child coming into the world comes in with the assumption that this whole thing is their playground and they’re driven with this great force.  Again that force that through the green fuse drives the flower, drives that child to embrace the world.And then he hits the great negative force of culture and something in that child dies at that point.  

So education would be not how we can engineer the child’s life or anything like that, not a curriculum that’s going to do that.  The true education would simply be to keep that affirmative state open in the child’s mind at all times and never let them be driven into a negation, into a negative constraint, but to keep them open and moving and embracing their world.

Critical & Creative Thinking

Joseph Chilton Pearce

We hear a lot about self-esteem these days, but few have really give it much thought.  To have self-esteem we must be able to reach inside, see a new possibility and then allow that inner vision to act upon and change the world we live in.  This going within and developing the inner vision and skill to change the outer world, is perhaps the most important lesson we will ever learn.

Learning & Education

Joseph Chilton Pearce

As every child grows they reach out to explore the world in new and expanding ways. What they learn gives meaning to life and changes how they feel about themselves. Here Joe looks at learning and what we call education in completely new ways.

Imagination & Play

Joseph Chilton Pearce

It was Einstein who said that imagination was more important than knowledge.  He understood that our greatest discoveries and most profound works of art have come to us through imagination and play.  Far from being idle day dreaming, the fantasies of childhood, build the foundation for all higher learning. 

Dumb is Good - Dumber is Better

“TV and compulsory schooling do the same thing but differently…” John Taylor Gatto

Bored, reparative, rote, uncritical, uncreative, unimaginative, easily influenced, subservient to authority, behavior modification and obedience trained… the perfect consumer. Herd mentality is the goal of both.

'Form is Content' and when conditioning is the goal content and standards are a hoax, a distraction to hide from view the deeper conditioning agenda. This is no secret. It is in plain view, but he conditioning is so good that few have the capacity, attention or ability to question how the system operates.


Standardized Skooling

lynn stodard education

Lynn has been working with a group of committed educators to get the standardized monkey off our kid's backs.

Also see

How to Increase Graduation Rates
Lynn Stoddard

If School District Superintendents want to increase graduation rates, they should not tighten the screws on teachers to standardize students. A recent study found that teacher’s job satisfaction is at an all-time low. Nearly a third of new teachers say they are very, or fairly likely, to leave the profession. This confirms my perception that teacher morale has never been lower than it is now. I lay the blame on federal government intrusion into education, which the 10th amendment says is a state responsibility. Ever since the “Nation at Risk Report” in 1983, the U.S. Office of Education has applied several “reforms” all based on the idea that it is possible to make students alike in knowledge and skills – and that teachers should try harder to do. Standardized achievement tests are used as a whip to make sure all students know and can do the same things at grade-level check points.

No wonder teachers are demoralized! They know they can’t standardize students like cars or washing machines! The Common Core State Standards are the latest attempt to sell the idea of standardization to teachers and the general public. It is setting teachers and students up for failure on a grand scale. There will be an increase in good teachers leaving the profession, more students dropping out and fewer students graduating than ever before, all because students refuse to be standardized.