Monday, May 20, 2013 offers a view inside Pandora's Box: The writings of Raymond Hartjen, Ph.D.

Some quotes by Dr. Raymond Hartjen's book

From Empowering the Child
by Dr. Raymond Hartjen

An Intense Caring Community
“….. a micro-model of a caring community: an extended family in which children, practicing good social skills on a daily basis, are removed of their sharp edges and honed to a high degree of habitual and compassionate behavior. Children learn to cooperate with each other on projects of mutual interest. Older students help the younger ones learn to share resources and work out their differences. The school begins to fill a void in the lives of many children who, living in single-parent or two-earner households, are left without adult guidance for a good part of the day. The variety of people in this community becomes a resource in itself. When children are given a safe place to practice self-expression and try out ideas, shyness gives way to self-confidence. All are encouraged to find their own ways to excel.


Book Quote II
Once you have equipped students with skills of inquiry, problem-solving, decision-making, forecasting, they are freed from dependency on their teachers in order to learn. They become free-thinking human beings, capable of looking at issues from all perspectives, aware of their biases, able to present arguments objectively, with clear logic and reasoning. After twelve years spent practicing these skills in a model social environment, they grow into mature, self-confident, socially responsible human beings ready to make significant contributions to the world in which they live.


Book Quote III
Teachers need to know more about the minds of their students before they can begin to nurture them. It is here, at the very beginning, that this form of education splits from the traditional form. Traditionalists already know what they are going to do for these students before they ever meet them. Nurturing teachers can only devise their plans for guiding the children after they have met them and come to know their interests. Only then can the teacher/guide begin to help the children explore those interests.


Book Quote IV
The rule-based classroom is designed to help children retain their skills as natural inquirers in a more formal scholarly setting. Many authors have pointed out that preschool children have an insatiable appetite for learning. If you were to step back for some time and observe them at play, you would begin to see how they try on new roles and explore their environment. We as professional educators have to learn much more about how to recognize these natural inquiry skills and help children hone them. A child's quest for knowledge is a natural gift. We must respect it and nurture it.


Book Quote V 
The defining difference in these schools lies in the creation of a learning environment in which a community/culture focuses on human development and personal growth, in which the individual students are ultimately responsible for their own education. When each student is a responsible party in a small-scale caring community, the spirit of personal freedom prevails.

It is not an easy task to set up and maintain such a learning environment. It is like living on the edge of chaos. It involves risk-taking. But there are those who contend that we only really learn when risks are taken. Keeping within safe bounds limits our experiences and, consequently, limits what we learn.


Book Quote VI

Look again at the influences:
if computer-generated birds can learn to fly and avoid objects,
if social interaction is the basis for intellectual growth,
if freedom is the basis for human dignity,
if creativity is the cure for destructiveness,
if the other rules of self-motivation, thinking, and focus prove valid,
don't we hold the keys to empowering the child of the twenty-first century through such a highly-charged educational experience?


Book Quote VII
In 1400, our youth was a poor peasant without identity, working the fields by day and sleeping on a flea-infested bed of straw at night. In 1900, our youth had just left the farm for a career in the big city and found himself instead performing a highly-repetitive job on a production line, ten hours a day, six days a week. In 1994, almost the twenty-first century, our youth is an independent consultant at age fifteen, making $95 an hour with two hundred clients clamoring for his expertise in computer programming and networking.

Scientists refer to the complex adaptive nature of man as a form of emergence. Certainly, it is clear from the brief six-hundred-year history of mankind above, that mans behavior has emerged from mere existence to a higher level of actuality. Emergence is the force that drives us to evolve, and our youth are out there at the edge, leading the way. If our schools are to empower them, if our schools are to contain them at all, then it is time for a dramatic change in the way we enable our youth to become educated.

Selected by Dr. Raymond Hartjens

This is Dr. Hartjen's
book from 1994 (he has it
on an ebook now)

What you can do

a) find a used copy

b) visit Dr. Hartjen's website
Read his "Fearless" web page

c)  write to him and ask about his ebook.

d)  click on his youtube channels

e)  find his Facebook page

What is Your Net Impact?

I sent the following message to a young fellow:

happy b day

do you have a wish about what youtube video or charity my students should click?   send your birthday wish for 30 clicks to   and I'll get my students to click wherever you request   MVI_1633.MOV Steam bending a stem for a Herreshoff 12 1/2 using fres  that's my wish today for an old man in Long Island...

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