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Learning at its Best

The Kingdom from Within…

The Kingdom of God from Within….

   It is interesting how we are pre-supposed to think about certain things as defined in a specific way.  I’ve grown up in a church where it was preached to me that The Kingdom of God will be an establishment in Jerusalem at the return of Christ, during the end times, and probably over the past few years, I’ve come to understand that their maybe a double meaning to this, that the Kingdom of God can not only be a physical space but one from within ourselves, as well.

 This is quite a transformation to think about, as a physical/natural structure and its connection to the spiritual, to the fact that one must transform themselves, must find peace and paradise within one’s self, if they are to ever achieve that in a physical sense. 

   What does this have to do with education?  With Learning?  Well, take a moment to think, possibly, non-consciously about your first reaction to learning, to education, and where learning/education and knowledge comes from and where it goes?

 As Paulo Freire has rightly pointed out in Pedagogy of the Oppressed,

“Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.”  

   We cannot simply see education/learning/knowledge as the imparting of information, like paints on a blank canvas.  The blank canvas is only turned into beauty because of the space it allows for the artists creativity and imagination.  People learn, not because they are blank, non-descriptive slates, but because their own knowledge, own experience, own learning allows for the practice of freedom, allowing for critical and creative realties to pour out from their soul, from their feelings and from their personal life.  The discovering of what is within them is where the learning begins, and that personal understanding, is how each person can help to transform the world.   

   The fact that we view knowledge as an exterior force, one floating amongst us in an orbit that is disconnected from our bodies and own background, character and inspiration, demonstrates our lack of regard for the intangibles, for the things that change our perspective and our sphere of influence. 

This exclusionary outward grasping, establishes an immediate oppression; one that focuses on the utmost sensitive and personal information possible, our knowledge.  Completely ignoring the serendipity of life, and how we learn and why we learn.  Creating a dominant force such as this, harms the learner in a very distinctive way. 

The control that is forced upon the learner, who is directly moved in one way, one path, and one mindset conforms and becomes part of a pre-determined system.  This not only affects the learner and their life choices, but constrains them in what way and how they, can and do learn, and can and do live.   

In order to break this cycle, we must first recognize that learning/knowledge/education first involves us, as individuals, and second, begins with us, the heart of us, the kingdom that is within us.  Otherwise, the structure, the system, the physical will not be changed or even recognizable.  Without the holism of learning, the shell will continually be the only thing that exists, and will be rotten with the disembodiment of the spirit, of the soul, of the authentic learning and authentic self.

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About caseykcaronna

A 27 year old Master of Arts in Education Degree holder from the progressive, liberal arts school, Goddard College. I am interested in Holistic, Community, Progressive, Democratic and Student-Centered Education. I am currently a part-time employee with the Boy Scouts of America. I am writing my first book on holistic education and looking for full time employment in education, throughout the United States and Canada. I am interested in all things education and hope to make trans-formative changes to the educational system(s) in America and in the process help to improve the lives of the individuals in whom it serves.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “The Kingdom from Within…

  1. It is well stated that eduction-learning-knowledge begins with individuals of whom comprise the people which in systems in which the state represents the society the authorities undertake to represent and in other systems the unwisdom is taken into consideration of necessity to avoid problems, in both cases depending on (among other things and subjuct to varying viewpoints as to the use os ) on resources; but, while it may have its limited (and often temporty) appeal on the face of it, is not Freire’s educational philosophy generally regardes as being applicable in societies that are revolutionary or in a state of civil war (and in Wesern democracies criticised by just about any and all of whom majorly Western society comprises -religion, righ-wing, lef-wing, feminists regarding it sexist and equal rights campainers as ignoring race issues), and even there in educational philosophy of applicability only adult education (for, e.g., no society consider mature enough the student even to vote until the age of eighteen or twenty-one -and educational psychology claims that are not but people continue to mature until the age of about twenty-three), and was it with revolutionary attitude and in that fashion brought about, or not brought about in education-learning-knowledge successfully as desired, when not on the basis of that educational philosophy in may respects and lands, e.g., in respect of special educational needs, as in: http://www.geocities.ws/refiaariwomanoftheyear/ ?

    Posted by eoa | July 26, 2011, 4:23 am
  2. I do not believe that a society needs to necessarily be in a state of civil war, or in the midst of a revolution, in order to positively implement Freire’s ideas. I guess, this is where the war begins, within the classroom, within the self, rather than on a distant battlefield or uprising in the streets. While I believe Freire’s ideas work well within that context, I believe, they can still be implemented, alongside of Dewey’s holism, in Western Societies, to help fundamentally change the way we view learning.

    Again, my point, is not to only look upon the outward influences, i.e. that of religion, right-wing,left-wing, feminists, equal rights,ect, ect. But first, find that passion and learning of self, to then, responsibly bring about a revolution of the mind — one that might not be an overnight anarchistic upheavel, but rather that slowly, not only speaks to the outward issues you mentioned that are in Western Society, but help the learner to discover the way in which they LEARNED their opinions, thoughts and self-determination. If the Kingdom is not from within, the physical structure of it, whether of Western nations, or nations along the perephery, becomes, not irrelevant, but far less long-lasting and thoughtful in action.

    Posted by Casey Caronna | July 26, 2011, 2:35 pm

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