Skip to main content

Unschooling the Mind: An Introduction

Welcome to the first post of Unschooling the Mind series of posts. The notion of publishing a series of posts to share with you my experience in a world where education and schooling  has been lingering in my mind for a long time, but I was hindered by two main factors. The first is that my thinking and convictions, as with all people who reflect, are in a ceaseless development, so what I thought of last year and believed in might differ from what I believe now, as I gain more knowledge and endeavor to unravel truth. As Emerson once said, "Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today".  Therefore, this makes it hard for me to share one thing that I might contradict in a year. I soon, however, realized that such development of the intellect is natural, and all I can do is write what I believe now in "hard words", and reflect on what I believed back then. I hope such a clarification at the outset of this series would help you understand my stance if I should mend my convictions down the road. What you will read is the essence of my thinking at this moment in my life. The second, is of course my  life commitments. Work and family have taken the major sections of my daily life. You will later know how  and why I do my best to spend a substantial time with my family (my wife and two kids) because of my convictions. On the other hand, I work really hard  smart to help those who come within the compass of my work. You will later know how I have climbed the ladder of my professional life, and how my thinking about what I do and why I am doing it has been reshaped over and over. 

What Is Unschooling the Mind Exactly about? 

By immersing you in my life experiences (as a child, an adolescent, an educator, a father, and a husband), I will take you through a voyage that tries to answer the overarching question : What education for what world? and all the sub-questions that come with it. You might feel however at the first instance that the question is answerable and if there were any challenges in education, they can be addressed. The problem is, sadly,  too ingrained in us that we do not recognize it. The main culprit,the antagonist, is the mass schooling system that all/most of you and me are a product. 

In the process, I will also use facts, studies, and insights from experts/people that might give a second dimension to the discourse. I will use anecdotes from people I know as well as from people I heard about. I will also use findings from studies in education, cognitive neuroscience, and psychology. I will use insights from educators who knew the truth and tried to change but had little impact for reasons you will know later. 

You will also note that I will walk you through my life experiences chronologically,but will halt at points to offer some insights or commentary on things I feel are important to clarify. You will detect that the discussion become longer as I draw you near my later years, in particular the last 10 years or so, when I chose teaching as my profession. This is because first, reconstructing events from memory is really hard to do if one wants to shed light on all aspects of those events, and second my experiences as an educator are more crystallized in the concept of Unschooling the Mind than before. 

How Can I Follow the Posts as They Are Published?

If you are reading this on a pc you will see that you can subscribe to this blog updates via email. Or you can simply click this link to subscribe. You will also see all posts on Unschooling the Mind on the sidebar. I will also add a special page that aggregates all posts for you convenience. 
I will publish at least one post every week.
 You are  welcome to add your comments on every post. I would love to know what you think!!

Popular posts from this blog

How One Non-profit Foundation Is Trying to Re-shape Education in Northern Lebanon

Lebanon’s long term and concentric sectarian, bureaucratic practices have left the Lebanese people dwelling away from the capital  Beirut and Mount Lebanon with less social, political, economic, and education rights. You can palpate the gradual social inequality as you move from Lebanon’s center towards the inlands. It becomes a clear social schism on the outskirts of Lebanon . This social inequality has only exacerbated as a result of the Syrian crisis with more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees officially living in Lebanon (a country of only 6 million people and an area of only 10,452 km2). Among all sectors, education has suffered the most, in particular North of Lebanon, which although incorporates Tripoli, the second largest city in Lebanon, has had enormous problems with education equity and access to quality education for decades.

The private education market in Lebanon outweighs the public education market by leaps and bounds  (see my earlier post) with 1.5 billion and 0.3 bill…

In Lebanon, a Socio-culturally Fueled Cancer Is on a Steady and Alarming Rise

Last week, we had a visitor from a nearby village in Bekaa, Lebanon. He kept apologizing for  his not paying frequent visits, as the wont with typically Lebanese villagers, because his brother’s wife, Amal, was still undergoing excruciating  larynx cancer treatment in Beirut. Amal is only 19, has a son, and her husband is only 20. The villagers call him ‘walad’, kiddo,  because he got married at a young age. The doctor says that the cancer has spread in most parts of her larynx and that ostracizing the malign cells without killing the healthy ones is getting harder by the day. The doctor says, “ Don’t let your hopes high”.  The listeners hearken at the story of Amal’s ordeals of the invasive, malignant cancer with compassion but not with surprise.In this in-land Lebanese village, and many, many others in Lebanon, cancer incidences are ubiquitous. During  my short summer stay, I incessantly hear about or know of the death of a man, the diagnosis of a woman, or the loss of a child with …

32 Year Satellite images Time-lapse Shows the Immense Change of Tripoli, Lebanon

It is no a secret that the past 50 years have seen a tremendous leap and bounds in technologies and (mega) construction. Although everyone is excited about it, this also raises the question, whereto? The idea that out of the thousand years humans have been in this world, only the past half a century has seen an unparalleled spring in materialism (humanism has deplorably spiraled down, perhaps this shows a reversed correlation?). Using Google Earth Engine Timelapse, I have captured how my hometown, Tripoli, Lebanon, has transformed (amorphously) in the past 32 years (1984 – 2016). Timelapse is a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016. Using Earth Engine, we combined over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades by 5 different satellites. The majority of the images come from Landsat, a joint USGS/NASA Earth observation program that …