MISTICA: Creating a World of Learning Communities

From: Alfredo Aguirre (
Date: Wed Jan 31 2001 - 17:18:30 AST

To: <>
No soy muy amigo de hacer posteos en ingles, pero por su poder de sintesis
este me me parece que vale la pena hacerlo.
Alfredo Armando Aguirre
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill Ellis" <>
Cc: "CCL-LLCs" <>;>
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 10:06 AM
Subject: [LearningCommunities] <no subject>

Envisioning a World Without Schools
Creating a World of Learning Communities
TCL Panel, For Nov. 1-3, 2001 in Toronto
Coordinated by 'A Coalition for Self-Learning'

  In the 1870s America was still an agrarian society. The West had been
opened by chains of Conastoga wagons delivering pioneers and settlers to
build their homesteads on the praries. New England and most of the East
Coast was still composed primrily of small nillahge and big families.. But a
few visionaries saw more for America. They saw the American future in the
mills and factories that were springing up along Eastern rivers, the
railroads that were connecting all of American as a potential unit of
manufacturing, and steam powered vessels connecting this ountry to the rest
of the world.. The bottleneck in making America the manufacturing capital
of the world, was the people. They lacked the skills, the knowledge and the
lifestyles to develop this American potential.
  Horace Mann and a few other visionaries set out in one of the greatest
exercises in social engineering evr known to transform America from an
agrarian society to an industrial one.
  The key to this great transformation was a school sytem. People¹s lives
were governed by the seasons and weather. Their knowledge and skills were
largely learned in the home and the fields.. For and industrial society
Ameerica needed a mass of willing workers who rose at 5:00:AM left their
homes to labor for 12 hours or more in factories and mills, obeyed the
authority of industry, and had the skills and knowledge required to earn a
  The school system Horace Mann pushed through Congress and every, state and
municple government of the Untied States, was an amazing success. Community
schools across the continent changed people¹s lifestyles. Normal schools
and teachers¹ colleges trained a cadre of social change professionals. The
results are well recognized. America is today the greatest economic system
ever known, as well as the only military/industrial superpower of the world.

  Today we are on the edge of another great transformation. The
corporate/factory/industrial age has passed. Today no more than 3 or 4% of
the working force is on assembly lines.. Workers can no longer be graduated
from schools and universities with the skills and knowledge they need for a
life in industry. Laborers are no longer satisfied to be cogs on the wheels
of manufacturing. Social needs demand a different learning system. At the
same time brain research and knowledge of the way we learn has changed. New
Techniques and technologies are emerging that will transform the learning
  The age ahead demands a deep fundamental transformatione the learning sytem
to match and lead the transformation of society.. It is not enough to ³fix
the schools.² We need to rethink WHY we learn, HOW we learn, and WHAT we
learn. OA Coalition for Self Learning¹ has been wrestling with this deeper
analysis on the Internet for a couple of years. It has published a book
³Creating Learning Communities.² It will open it deliberations to the
public with this panel.


  Bill Ellis, the moderator of this panel. is not an educator. He is a
physicist, futurist and farmer whose career in science policy was spent in
The National Science Foundtion, the staff of Congress, UNESCO, the World
Bank and other science organizations. He came to recognize the key
importance of the learning system in his 1998 E.F.SChumacher Lecture in
which he used homeschooling as one example of the relevance of chaos,
complexity, and Gaian theores to the social sphere. He noted that cells of
homeschoolers were emerging at a phenominal rate -- a factor of x10 each of
the last three decades. He noted that these cells of homeschoolers and
other self-learners were linking to form local organizations. He speculated
that these organizations were linking to produce a radically different
learning system as a foundtion for radically different cultures .

Bill Ellis, POBox 567, Rangeley, ME 04970 USA; (207)864-3786;
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