Wondering Wednesdays, Baby Floors, Chapter 6 section II: preparing for adulthood, long-term
I have been working on the idea of how to help bring about change to our underlying structures, physical and especially cultural, which cause poverty and abuse in the world. It is obviously not something that can be solved by any one person, but could do with a plan, or set of plans. So, I decided to contribute a possible plan (in 74k words or so).
This post is the rough draft of Chapter 6, section II of that plan, in my attempt at a collaborative non-fiction WiP, Do Better (fka Baby Floors).
Putting a floor on poverty so that each and every baby born can have a safe childhood.
Preparing young people for adulthood, including taking the long term view and setting good habits while young, in preparation for older ages…
Once again, by way of disclaimer, the overall goal is now to explain why we need both equ. + justice, & why in 4 phases. This chapter is part of showing what Phases I-IV could look like as potential roadmap for a fully inclusive society for all of us. This vision is laid out in the hope that All HumanKind will eventually have each person’s basic needs met, without taking anything from anyone, and without violence, intimidation, nor coercion of any kind.
Chapter 6 section I:
( Chapter 6, section I was last week…)
II. : (1168/1k wds) An overview of Getting to Phase II of this project after Phase I:
II. A (268/250 wds).
Setting milestones leading to goals, early and later, to the end of the phase, for Phase II, is a more complicated task than for Phase I, for obvious reasons. Setting the time limit to 20 years, rather than 15, is perhaps less complicated. Chapters 1 and 2 have already discussed reasons for separating this phase from Phase III, or from Phase I, but we have not discussed the timeline for this particular phase, and why we might choose to aim for completion of this phase in 20 years, rather than in 15, or even 5, for example. After all, there are no rail lines to lay, no buildings to restore, plan, or build. But cultural change takes longer to build than trains, libraries, clinics and hospitals. So, from chapter 3, the early stages of this phase could involve setting up groups of volunteers to study this set of ideas in detail. Later stages of this phase, following the suggestions in section II of chapter 3, could implement earlier decisions made as communities get to know the sets of volunteers who are committed to this project for the long term. The milestones showing the path to each goal, mid-way and end of phase, will be set together by these dedicated people in cooperation with each entire community, to the greatest extend possible. From the smallest level of Each One Teach One, the phase can move forward in incremental steps. Those steps, which should be possible for each person of any means to take, can even begin as part of Phase I, provided that earlier phase’s focus remains on physical infrastructure.
Starting with small steps for each milestone includes making certain that tasks agreed upon for moving forward in this phase will be part of a set of smaller sub-projects that can be made larger over time, to scale up as each community agrees upon universally accessible actions that more and more residents can take part in, helping to reach milestones and goals. From 1-1 tutoring, which can lead to private lessons from volunteers and among friends learning to distinguish various types of evidence, to Each One Teach One day camps in parks, libraries, schools, and living rooms, to E1T1 groups, this model easily scales up with little to no monetary expenditure needed. Even 2 people can start a volunteer committee if they are dedicated to this project, talking at the local library, or in the park, while walking to the bus stop, etc. It begins by imagining alternative possible ways of proving oneself and proving ‘grown-up’ness and emotional maturity. From there, 2 dedicated volunteers, or groups can simply debate the idea of how to contribute to society and it continues building, while walking to and from Tai Chi in the park, or to the trolley stop, etc. Once groups have begun meeting, as groups in various areas report what they are deciding on, such as the list of, or even whether, at all, to have required prerequisites for Adulthood candidates, the ideas in use from 3-5 different communities could start the ball rolling on a larger transition into new stages of Phase II. Assuming, of course, that this aspect of the project finds enough favor to warrant inclusion by enough communities.
II. C (315/250wds).
The merit of including The Adulthood Challenge in the overall project will undoubtedly involve showing favorable responses both to the initial objections raised and questions posed about The Challenge, and also to the questions about how to get there. These reponses, to find favor in the eyes of all of the people, participating or not, in this process, must offer both practical and symbolic, in one, actions or tasks that will both help move the overall project forward, while making an immediate difference, to the largest extent possible, in each local community. Some initial responses to reason for why we would want to go there, with this new adulthood rite of passage, include and start with the fact that as a civil and democratic society, we are clearly lacking in many ways. Those ways have already been enumerated by many others, so our focus here will be to seek solutions and ways forward. Some ways to get there may at first glance resemble existing rites of passage, such as High School volunteer hours requirements, or Bar/Bat Mitzvah volunteer projects. Those types of project requirements are indeed a similar start, but they are not at all the same as this project, and they are also not at all enough. Details will be discussed in chapter 8. Let it suffice to say, in this section, that many groups require their students to give an hour or two of their time each week, or even 5 to 10 hours per week, spent volunteering in a food bank, homeless shelter, dog pound, or other charity of their choice. This time spend in giving to a segment of their community is commendable, but does not contribute to solving the actual problem of the lack of critical thinking skills for solving difficult individual and societal problems at the same time. Teaching a person a critical life skill from scratch, does.
II. D (279/250wd).
The difficult part, perhaps the most difficult, of any social science project, is to measure the least tangible aspects of the work being done. In this case, the need to measure our progress, particularly in the very earliest stages of this phase of our project, may induce a strong desire on the part of many to decide to eject this new rite of passage from the overall project, as too difficult to implement at this time. This, very likely, would be a grave error. Measuring progress in this phase will certainly involve creativity, initiative on the part of those dedicated volunteers who elect to take on this task, and persistence in imagining new tasks that can show several skills and ways of thinking at once. Rather than measuring by number or hours put in, another way of discovering and assessing the progression of empathy and critical skill development could be in the accomplishment of verifiable and necessary tasks, mostly on the part of the new learner (be careful, above all, not to base learning progress of the candidate’s pupil on ‘false beginners’ or on extremely quick learners, or the lesson may be lost on the candidate…). This would demonstrate both the candidate’s ability to accomplish the same tasks, and that candidate’s ability to overcome the empathetic and practical obstacles involved in figuring out ways to teach a person a difficult skill, especially or even when that pupil is quite different in preferred learning styles or ways of expression from oneself. The last milestones of Phase II should thus well prepare us for the challenges of building, sharing, and teaching the new tools needed for Phase III, which is discussed next.
— (Next Wednesday: Chapter 6, section III of to how to get there… )
I’m considering this Rough Draft as the block of clay from which my book will eventually emerge, obviously, and some ideas for phases III and IV are still becoming more fixed in my mind as I write, so the final version will likely look pretty different from this Rough Draft, and will need updating once I get to the very end.
And, I may have at least a couple of comps: Walden Two meets The War on Poverty: A Civilian Perspective (by Dr.s Jean and Edgar Cahn, 1964).
As for genre, I’m still wondering: clearly part of Non-fiction.
Maybe also: System Change, Causes, maybe even Inspirational, but I doubt it.
Last week’s installment of this series…
1.) Consider some ideas you may have on how our society can solve homelessness and child abuse, starting right now,
2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please, and
3.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those sources and your thoughts.
Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness, #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?
Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure & #StopSmoking at LEAST for CCOVID-19:
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,
by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to
help build a kinder future: Do Better: a Vision of a Better World
Babylon 5 review posts, from a Minbari Ranger’s perspective: how story inspires learning…
Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free copies at: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.
Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.
Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.
GED lesson 15 of 67 plans…,
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.