Wednesday, September 4, 2013

House of God's Children, Madrasat az-Zahra

House of God's Children
Madrasat az-Zahra (School of Flower)
My dream:
An alternative system proposition to modern schooling

----First draft----

Links are provided below for these subtitles:
-The facility
-Activity examples
-A typical day
-Project examples

The House of God's Children is a facility located on a farm where orphans 3 years old or younger are adopted by single mothers all living in the facility initially formed of a single complex housing five apartments and common living and educational grounds surrounding an inner yard with a swimming pool. All mothers are bilingual and professionals in various areas. While the mothers upkeep the facility, they also garden, farm chicken and goats and help with teaching. Non-boarding students attend all day time activities together with the boarding students, such as sports; learning and practicing menial tasks, mathematics and literature; participating in creative scientific&artistic projects; farming; napping; field trips; breakfast &lunch; fishing; prayers; Qur'an and poetry memorization and classes outside the facility. One complex is intended to have the capacity to teach 20 boarding and 20 to 30 day-time students.  Parents of non-boarding students are strongly encouraged to participate in all activities as much as they can, especially when younger children are getting acclimated.

No individual examination
Education based on oral&hands-on&written learning with independent cooperative group projects.
Cooperation, sharing and helping will be rewarded, individual assessment and especially comparisons will be strongly discouraged. NO to racing, yes to harmony.
holistic approach disciplines should be merged
teachers should expect the students to exceed their knowledge, not stay within the limits of.

parents should be included. children belong with their parents, not strangers most of the time, especially when younger. learning&education starts the day we're born ( or conceived), O Divine Teacher!
"(...) وَعَلَّمَكَ مَا لَمْ تَكُنْ تَعْلَمُ (...)"
4:113 (Asad) (...)and has imparted unto thee the knowledge of what thou didst not know (...)
4:113 (?) (...)and He taught you that which you used not to know (...)

The history of ancient cultures should be studied in their own languages as much as possible. This is one reason we will strictly look for bilingual mothers, fluent in English and at least one other. Mothers will be asked to speak in a language other than English on a daily basis with their own children. Thus different sets of children will have as their native tongues different languages and the entire complex will be a multilingual environment where children of different mothers teach each other various languages. The more variety of languages, the better, this will help expand their paradigms.

I can teach them:
1. Turkish
2. English
3. French
4. Some Arabic which I could guide them in surpassing me.
One complex has capacity for 5 mothers and initially when we have only one complex, I will be looking for mothers preferentially fluent in the following 5 languages:
5. Spanish
6. An indian language
7. A chinese language
8. Persian
9. Russian
10. Latin ;)
Our children could thus easily be fluent in 9 languages-if, of course we can find such qualified single mothers willing to participate with a long-term commitment. Mothers adopt children for life (just like biological children). Because they're mothers (and aunties), not just teachers, even if they marry they will have to continue living on or at least near facility (but always with the children) w/ their new husbands for the project to be applicable on a long term basis, at least until the children complete their basic education and are ready to make a living or to attend college, or, better yet, directly grad school by way of skipping college (unless they get an amazing college scholarship w/ no loans or strings attached).
(Watch the youtube vid titled the "college conspiracy" abt the scam called college, if you don't know why I'm saying "better yet" although (or should I say, "because") I myself, and most family and people around me have a college education or higher)

emphasize art&creativity in every activity.

be open to the children's ideas and suggestions

don't have preset schedules for every single thing.
for ex: Kids! What do you want to do after swimming? Math in the garden (counting apples 3 by 3 in the orchard) or reading by the pool (Arabian tales in Arabic)? Include them in the decision making process.

Try to stay away from government borders except when studying modern history. The world should not be perceived as an inherently politically divided space. It is the earth, the globe we all live on, a gift of God. We shouldn't promote a nationalistic or patriotic approach. Instead, a global multilingual and multicultural aspect in every field should have key emphasis.

Instead of feeding information down the kids' throats, we should teach them how to learn and research whatever fancies their abilities best. This will give them freedom of knowledge and ability to pursue their education by being able to teach themselves as an adult. It will also teach them not to take for granted what others say without at least attempting to verify it for yourself through logic and experiment and research.

Learning to think critically is more important than learning any piece of information. It is an important tool in the path of searching for the Truth.

Being able to chose what to concentrate their interests on will better help them figure out their preferences early on making it possible to focus on certain skills early on. for ex: playing instruments, advanced math, sewing & fashion design, farming & gardening, etc. Thus, one who has no mathematical, philosophical or artistic aspirations further than the basic but loves working with earth, could focus on the intricacies of gardening.

Every field should be presented with its due importance, survival skills (ex: fishing, growing food, making simple tools) are among the most important as they're a precious tool in ensuring our freedom from the shackles of cruel civilizations. Morality and spirituality are also among the most important as being human precedes being knowledgeable or talented.
Sport participation, especially for younger children is very important for health reasons.
Many other menial tasks are secondarily important as they support the survival skills, the day-to-day necessary chores.
Math is also secondarily important as it is the description of the mechanism of the universe's design and many mammals and even birds have a basic understanding of math (counting and simple addition, subtraction.) Sufficient math to survive in the financial world with practical application of how to pay your bills and cards without being involved in (evil) interest, fees and penalties should the kids later choose and end up living in an economic system similar to ours, as well as other practical applications of math mentioned below, should satisfy kids who are not otherwise interested or talented in math. Not everyone needs to know differential equations. Those who are particularly interested in math, such as myself, can be guided into teaching themselves higher levels of math with the teacher available as a tutor whenever the student is stuck or has difficulty comprehending a concept. I can personally help with up to 3rd or 4th year college math depending on specific subjects.
Philosophy, theology, literature and art are also secondarily important because they help us explore our purpose in life and help us understand others critically, communicate with those of different backgrounds and be more expressive of our thoughts and emotions.
Other sciences and disciplines (such as physics and astronomy) are of tertiary importance unless a particular student is particularly interested in them.

A global holistic view should be one of the emphases.

If you would like to know more about this project, here are links for the following subtitles:

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