America’s future is at risk if schools do not improve, says a recently published report by the Council on Foreign Relations, a research and policy organization. This warning, in my opinion, can be rendered more precisely to include the dangers to the nation and the world if psychological education does not improve.
Superior education teaches self-knowledge. Such teaching penetrates into the psyche or unconscious mind, making conscious what has previously been unconscious. This self-knowledge is needed to break through the thick clouds of unknowing and self-doubt that trouble so many children. It’s what we all need to navigate through complex, perilous times.
Higher learning is fundamentally developmental, write Richard P. Keeling and Richard H. Hersh in We’re Losing Our Minds: Rethinking American Higher Education (Palgrave Macmillan, New York. 2011). Such learning, say the authors, “inspires, reinforces, and reflects the growth and maturation of the learner as a whole human being.” This learning is not limited to the acquisition of new information. Rather, “it is centered in the potential for change in the learner as a result of engagement with new knowledge and experiences.”
Keeling and Hersh are writing about education at the college and university levels. Yet children at elementary levels can also experience learning as a transformative process. That will certainly be true if they are taught the basics of how emotional suffering and self-sabotage are created and held in place in our psyche. [Read more…]