An Education for the 21st Century

education

        A parent approached me who was dissatisfied with main stream education.  She desperately wanted an education for her son that was meaningful, useful and fun.  This was my solution for her.  Although I knew it would be too expensive for almost any family to practically afford, it was such fun dreaming up a beautiful solution to the chronically poor education system we have in this country.

        I wrote this course proposal to scratch my own itch.  It is the education I dream to have had myself.  The purpose of all modules, aside from the two GCSEs, is to provide a knowledge and skill base which will be useful to the student no matter what course their life takes.  This course, if successful, will be mind-blowingly fun!

 

English Language AQA GCSE
  • The purpose of this study is to open doors for further education and to impress people of a traditional mindset.
  • It will teach perseverance and mental disciple for difficult and tedious tasks.
 
Edexcel Maths GCSE
  • The purpose of this study is to open doors for further education and to impress people of a traditional mindset.
  • It will teach perseverance and mental disciple for difficult and tedious tasks.
 
Additional English Training
  • A collection of classic novels will be read to broaden knowledge and create case studies of the best writers in human history (e.g. Hemingway, Orwell, Wilde), and one or two bad authors with classic works will be read too for contrast.
  • A study and practice of email writing.
  • A study of English grammar, and how to use it effectively.
  • A module in marketing writing (including some persuasion strategy and tactics, with study of the great propagandists and marketers of the 21st century e.g. Edward Bernayse)
  • Some Skype sessions with working journalists and authors on the art of beautiful writing.
Assessment
  • Find an English Language forum and ask people to review your work e.g. Reddit
  • Get a freelance journalistic piece published
 
Business
  • A reading of the classic books on income generation (e.g. Good to Great, Rich Dad Poor dad, Intelligent Investor, Four Hour Workweek).
  • A few hour meetings with successful entrepreneurs to discuss their feelings on income generation.
  • Listening to one or more business podcasts (for homework)
Assessment
  • To create a vehicle for generating income – other than paid employment – within a limited weekly time commitment.
  • Manage a real investment portfolio.
 
Personal Development Meta-Skills
  • A study of goal setting and goal achievement.
  • A study of success psychology.
  • A study of the greatest books on personal development (e.g Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy)
  • Listening to audiobooks from the greatest personal development coaches in the world.
  • Skype and real life meetings with personal development coaches.
Assessment
  • Go online and participate in personal development forums.
  • Write a series of goals, then achieve them.
 
Philosophy
  • A reading of some of the most accessible and relevant philosophers and general books on the history of philosophy (e.g. Sophie’s World, Will Durrant’s the history of philosophy)
  • An overview of Stoic philosophy with practical applications in living with it.
  • A study of logic and good persuasive argument with books (e.g. Madsen Pirie’s How to Win Every Argument).
  • Weekly discussion on a variety philosophical issues.
  • Prepared debates with the Tutor on selected subjects.
  • An exploration of religious faith.
  • Discussions with religious figures from a wide variety of different faiths on the merits of their belief systems.
  • Discussions on Skype and in real life with people living philosophically profound lives.
Assessment
  • Make a youtube presentation arguing something you believe to be true which is commonly thought false.
  • Live like a philosopher. Make a change in your life which is in line with Truth.
 
Travel
  • Throughout the course, trips to European locations will be made on weekends, once a month. Each location will be unique in terms of culture and background.  These will always be never before visited locations.
  • A study into using online and offline tools to find fabulous parties and discoveries (e.g. using youth hostels, Trip Advisor, Tinder, speaking to locals).
  • The skills of good travelling will be taught on these trips (e.g. learning a little local language, scam avoidance, food logistics, travel planning and execution, meeting new people).
Assessment
  • Compose Trip Advisor reviews for key locations.
  • Get the phone number of 10 attractive women from Europe.
  • Take one large summer holiday to a new location by oneself.
 
Health
  • A study into optimum nutrition with books, podcasts, online videos and blogs.
  • Cooking lessons for basic healthy foods with professional chefs.
  • A study of physiotherapy and human biology.
  • An overview of western medicine.
  • Visit a collection of health providers to receive treatment and ask advice on optimum health (e.g. acupuncturists, nutritionists, personal trainers, energy body coaches)
  • Skype sessions with physiotherapists, yoga teachers and health enthusiasts on the principles of healthy living.
  • Daily meditation practice.
Assessment
  • To prepare one’s own food for one week.
  • To make and then execute a daily plan for optimum health (this will be continually reviewed and updated as new knowledge is acquired).
 
Other Possible Areas of Study

        The above will make more than a fully packed week of study.  However, depending on personal interest, the following subjects would be of value, and could be included at the loss of some of the above:

  • Yoga
  • Psychology
  • Martial Arts
  • Languages
  • History (I may give the student a podcast to listen to weekly to give an overview)
  • Emotional Intelligence (including communication skills)
 
General Principles
  • This course is entirely flexible. If interest is consistently shown in one area it can be added to the curriculum (eg. art, programming, acting or anything else). Areas with no interest shown can be removed after a solid period of trying out.  Also, the Tutor will grow and learn as the year progresses, and as such find new and better areas to explore (as will the body of human knowledge itself).
  • Much of the knowledge, although familiar to the tutor, will be learned and discussed together. This keeps the relationship ‘real’ and allows a deep empathy for the tutor on the nuances of the material studied.  This also allows a shared excitement for the new discovery of insights.
  • A journal of succinct notes will be taken throughout the course. Key points, breakthroughs, challenges and insights will be written and reviewed regularly.
  • Weekly goals and targets will be written together with the Tutor as an accountability partner.
  • An emphasis in all cases except the two GCSEs will be in learning useful skills. In no other circumstances will time ever be spent on looking academic or looking busy or on insecurity-satisfying exams.
  • Regular meetings with experts in the fields of study take place, so that the student’s knowledge is not limited by their Tutor’s.
  • The course will move at a slow and leisurely pace (except for the GCSEs). This will allow the ideas to sink in and grow and be enjoyed.  In the case of the GCSEs, the rigorous pace will teach discipline and stress management.
  • Much of the learning will be done by discussion. Wherever possible this will be done whilst taking a walk through areas of striking beauty.
  • Although every subject on Earth is somehow useful, the subjects covered by this course are chosen for their maximum usefulness for the broadest number of life paths.
 
Implementation
  • The student and tutor will meet for 3-4 hours Monday to Friday.
  • A further 2-3 hours daily of independent study will be taken by the student.
  • With the exception of Travel (on weekends), there are 7 subjects. Divided evenly between 25-35 hours of study a week, this allows for 3.6-5 hours a week per subject.
  • The tutor will take one hour every day to prepare and learn for the student outside of the session time together.
  • A weekly timetable of study will be made by the Tutor and reviewed. This includes trips, Tutor lessons, meetings with experts and independent study.
  • A monthly trip to Europe will be taken on weekends. Sometimes with the Tutor, sometimes independently.
  • A year outline of the course will be written and reviewed by the Tutor. This includes books to be read, ideas to be explored and goals to be achieved.  Much flexibility will be added to this timetable to account for ideas which need deeper exploration, and as a margin for error.

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