Human intelligence/Educating the whole person

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Those responsible for educating the young must recognize that if a young person leaves school with a command of three languages, maths and science, but is overweight, unhappy and socially inept, then our educational system has grievously failed them.

Inherent in the open source attitude is a practicality, a faith in the ability of an ordinary person to take on a task and complete it for themselves. But, as Alan Watts said, "Our educational system, in its entirety, does nothing to give us any kind of material competence. In other words, we don't learn how to cook, how to make clothes, how to build houses, how to make love, or to do any of the absolutely fundamental things of life. The whole education that we get for our children in school is entirely in terms of abstractions. It trains you to be an insurance salesman or a bureaucrat, or some kind of cerebral character." This must be remedied.

There is useful scientific knowledge now emerging from positive psychology (and from the scientific study of Buddhist practices) in how to create happiness. This is working its way into the school system, with the UK government recently making a course on Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) a standard feature in British schools.

It seems reasonable to expect people to be educated in the fields of practical psychology (both for controlling their own emotions and behaviours and for optimally dealing with other people), engineering (including the use of a Fab Lab), cookery, computer programming, agriculture (growing their own food), exercise and sport science, music, dance, art and social entrepreneurship as well as the intellectual subjects ordinarily taught. The time saved by more efficient teaching of the abstract subjects will more than make room for such an expansion of the curriculum.