One of the biggest, most massive global problems of today and arguably the one most urgently to be solved is the crisis of education, with heavy focus on elementary and secondary schooling.
A majority of children subjected to schooling , especially in wealthy societies, where (a certain degree of so-called) education comes naturally and/or compulsory, struggle with or right out hate the current common concept of school. But no matter one’s attitude towards the system - with few exceptions, schools are overloaded, bureaucratically bloated factories of normalization, standardization and (sociopolitical) sedation, mere social tools of an oppressive ideology disguised as freedom, leaving few accepted choices and possibilities for life outside the doctrine of economic growth, performance, profit, success, competition and social status in a rigid value system.
Transparent social (praise, access and privilege vs. criticism, opposition, therapy, restriction, punishment) and factual (grades) credit systems start early to push children into obedience to a system of exploitation and egocentrist brutality for the sake of rampant maximization of profits, an “antisocial construction” based on an irreal and imaginary fundament: the Demonic TOOP also known as money.
Especially from an adult’s, even more a parent’s perspective you realize that the actual transfer of knowledge is an absolute secondary matter of especially elementary schooling, contrasted with the dominating focus on systemically adjusting and increasing the grade of social and economic conformity of the generation in development (starting in nursery school already).
It is only natural that an large proportion of children resent, reject and despise the efforts made to alter, compromise and corrupt their personality, character and inner self-experience, their very way of being, by teachers and parents alike, both of course only more or less conscious serfs to a crooked inhumane system created by humans, reigned by a Moloch of incomprehensible complexity, deeply rooted in the less noble instincts of mankind and parasitically growing its tendrils into our minds.
No wonder that the main approach, forcing kids to get used to unquestioningly doing things they have no intrinsic motivation to do, preparing them for their lives at their future workplaces, leads to a generally bad relationship with learning, associating it with pressure and coercion, sense- and meaninglessness (endless hours of dull repetition and transcription), boredom (unchallenging, unappealing conduct and goals) and unworldliness (theoretical abstraction, no connection to practical application), thus further suffocating the natural drive and eagerness to learn and understand entrenched in the human spirit.
The only kind of motivation taught and supported by most school systems today is extrinsic motivation; kids early on learn to understand and act within social and socio-materialistic reward systems, embedding learning and education, the concept of success, and eventually existence, in a framework of performance-related relief and punishment, leading directly into the greater treadmill machinery of neoliberal capitalism and beyond.
To enable a positive development of mankind towards a panhumanist system of equality and mutualism, the education system must be entirely replaced by better concepts, facilitating, supporting and encouraging learning, thereby also providing a general panhumanist perception of life and especially childhood in society experiencing communal support, acceptance and understanding.
The first central key action that needs to be taken is to abolish compulsory schooling and open legislation to alternative forms such as homeschooling or online schools, at least in the sufficiently “advanced”, wealthy areas of the world. In post-agricultural, post-industrial societies, learning should be voluntary and based on commitment and interest. What’s more, in post-capitalist societies, the learning process should suit the individual needs and strengths of each and every student, including circadian rhythm, speed of learning and their ability to concentrate (which is, in most cases, directly linked to their intrinsic interests).
Schools and classrooms may still exist, mainly to provide social and learning infrastructure, materials and guidance where needed; and children may still come to school every day - at least as long as the concept of work in its current form will be artificially sustained - but they will be able to come on their own will; on their own decision. The difference and consequences of this circumstance cannot be overestimated. Classes will function as loose peer groups and learning communities, guided by a teacher relieved of curriculum and bureaucracy, relieved of the necessity to get all children in class to listen at the same time, to do as they say - enabling them to become true mentors and friends to the children trusted in their care.
Schools will become labs for experimentation and first-hand experience, places children will love to go to in order to learn something new, helping them understand the complex world around them, each other and last but not least, themselves. Reading, writing and calculation will come naturally to them as they will need these skills to reach goals they actually WANT to achieve, and solve questions that actually arise within their own minds.
There are many concepts and opportunities for motivating learning that schools can implement, many of those being around for a long time and already practiced by various alternative forms of schooling, having proven their feasibility and efficacy long-term. It is not by accident that these alternatives have not been implemented on a larger scale; by changing this in order to overcome neoliberal capitalism, all children will profit from a reformed education system. These alternatives, however, are not to be discussed here - instead, we will propose additional concepts to transform and revolutionize learning and education.
Starting in pre- or elementary school, simple but carefully developed mini games on mobile devices as well as larger touch screen table systems, can be employed to play- and cheerfully support prioritized analogue interhuman communication and no less play- and cheerful education of fundamental physical, cognitive and social skills. In addition to aiding the learning colours, shapes, words, expressions, feelings, creatures, objects, letters, numbers, motorics and so on, potentially bolstered by employment of VR technology, the use of said devices and games provide children with a similar degree of savviness in navigation and handling within digital environments. However, digital gamification of learning may not be applied to great extent in pre-school, as education before the age of 6 is generally already highly gamified and children will need to experience and orient themselves in the physical realm before engaging with secondary digital worlds.
As children enter elementary school age, they become increasingly susceptive to and interested in abstract representations of reality and projections of human thought (“What if?”). Attracted by the imaginary possibilities outside the laws of physics as well as society, and by then - due to the extreme informational influx induced by parents, media and institutions alike - already beginning to tire of real-world factual information, visualized fiction in motion (be it on TV or computer games) become a source of identification and an environment for cognitive advancement through experimentation (without much real-world consequences).
Gradually more complex games convey more advanced concepts and skills, especially in regards to abstraction, anticipation of events, problem-solving, interaction and cooperation or planning and management. This also reflects in a less direct approach to identification, setting and fulfillment of goals - necessary for multi-tier quests to be completed in groups.
All this precedes the ultimate stage of gamified education: A MMORPG megagame that functions as a school-in-school for learning across all subjects and topics.
Driven by intrinsic motivation, children will unlock quests and achievements, level their characters, gain EXP and summon rare items by accomplishment of challenging tasks like solving "exam-level" riddles involving building complex machinery, alchemistic procedures, assembly of magic tech artifacts. Depending on their complexity, quests can be completed either on one's own or in groups or even clans (=classes) - up to creating corporate entities or research projects, requiring not only creativity and imagination, but diverse expertise and in-depth knowledge of STEM disciplines, arts and humanities as well as general advanced cooperative and problem-solving skills; training children and young adults in grasping structural and dynamic complexity.
The game(s), to be appealing to children in secondary schooling, need to be top-tier AAA level games in terms of gameplay (controls and reaction time, map design, balance, interactivity/agency, interfaces and inventory/crafting architecture, game design etc.), graphics and story development as well as in-game communication/interaction and overall immersiveness. The best minds and talents in the business will be needed to create a game as addictive and extensible as never experienced before, financed by the international community of nations and distributed / made accessible worldwide. More than a game, panhumanist principles and philosophy will be embedded in the core of the games storyline and reward system, so even if you choose to play as an 'evil' character, you will eventually be leaning towards values like compassion, community or collectiveness, equality and responsibility, sufficiency and social and ecological awareness, simply by gaining a greater perspective on your own life and mankind as a species. By following the storylines, quests, dynamics in interaction, along with the significant education provided by the game, the in-game reward system mechanisms will transpire to real-world global social dynamics
Hardware infrastructure provided in schools for inclusion, Raid-At-Home as an option, physical vicinity / comunion-in-raiding preferred / encouraged; at least once a week participation in a Raid-In-Classroom event should be mandatory for opportunity of socializing.
Two points should be emphasized: The limited scope of Gamified Education and its ties to the capitalist system of competition and accumulation.
Firstly, Gamified Education cannot in itself be seen as a holistic concept for / approach to schooling, but as a complementary measure to / within a reformed holistic education system overall characterized by a reduction in obligation, rigidity, restriction, imposed authority and submissiveness; and an increase in choice, flexibility, self-commitment and self-efficacy, involvement and motivation. Humanist and panhumanist social values are playfully internalized in a gradual process.
Secondly, the concept will need to be gradually adjusted to the changes in society brought about by itself. As constructions like competition, materialistic wealth or status as well as violent conflict will continuously drift away from humanity, left behind by an increasingly panhumanist mindset, the game design will shift towards inclusion of peaceful crafting and sustainment tasks, construction of efficient micro- and macroeconomies, conduction of cooperative R&D quests, box experimenting with political and administrative systems as well as biological evolutionary simulations (Gene analysis and editing) and understanding of mutuality - with an appropriate level of complexity for all age groups.
With a high level of skills and understanding as well as a broad knowledge spectrum across all subjects provided by The Game, students, as they feel ready, without necessarily being bound or restricted by a certain age or graduation, can enter the last and infinite form of schooling, which could very well be imagined as some kind of open campus, with experts of all fields residing and working on the campus grounds, leading workshops and coaching or mentoring students on a mutually voluntary basis.
Students will not need to enroll and commit to a certain subject but are free to visit talks, lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops, etc. as they please, just like the experts, professors, instructors and tutors are free to talk about and teach what and as they please. No exams, no grades, no degrees; One can imagine a system, larger in scale but similar to ancient greek education by philosophers on temple-equipped hilltops.
Here, the logic of the free, self-regulating market may prove as useful and functional (even more than already the case with university matriculation logistics): With the lectures of more obvious and popular fields of study too crowded for everyone to attend, students - besides still being able to learn via podcasts, webinars and general e-learning - will swerve to other institutes, where they have the necessary space and attention to learn effectively.
As long as the global system is in transformation and the mechanisms of materialist productivity and work are still intact, people will apply for and work jobs based on their skills and interests, without assessment procedures or contracts, with a universal total income for all jobs to bridge the gap between capitalism and the panhumanist abolition of property and currency.
Lastly, looking at the average daily exposure of the average citizen/netizen to advertising under capitalism, and comparing the immense effort involved in the creation and distribution of said ubiquitous advertising with its intended and actual outcome - including all side and subsequent effects on society - it is easy to imagine that all the space and energy used for these advertising and the tireless work of the employed entire industries could be used for something more beneficiary for humanity.
Instead of contributing to the rapid diametrical increase of the already abysmal wealth divide, capitalism’s most powerful tool (advertising - dragging the executive board’s agenda into the people’s dreams, creating desires we never had) ought to be replaced by educational agents such as short facts (history, science, cultural and social insights), infographics, short animated clips or excerpts from lectures (comparable to TED talks). All our time looking at advertising, even if mostly just accidentally or unconsciously, could - and should - be spent learning or raising our awareness to topics we might already have basic knowledge of. This is especially important when it comes to tackle current challenges: What can we do to help? How can little changes in our everyday routines possibly be of high impact on a global, panhuman scale?
These educational bits and pieces will need to be understandable for a broad audience, designed for accessibility within the attention span supported by the respective medium. [The WHO and other organizations already provide great examples on their social media accounts].
Using capitalist structures as a vehicle to transform the system, we should not stop here. Similar to health warnings on cigarette packs, but certainly more appealing and less accusing, every product packaging can be used as a carrier of education and become a small TOELI. Imagine learning something new, one fact at a time, every time you grab a chocolate bar from the tray or open up a can of soda; up until to the point where you’ll never open up a can of soda ever again.
One step further, the use of TOOPs like certain apps on smartphones or certain content on entertainment platforms can also be combined with mandatory initial screening of educational content - similar to ads before streaming music or videos, but without a skip button. Instead of dull captchas, users could solve puzzles or quizzes providing interesting facts or bolstering panhumanist ideas and values.
All these measures, especially mandatory exposure to basic (panhumanist) knowledge edutainment to unlock TOOPs, can be subsumed under the term Forced Education.
Forced Education could be a crucial tool for a systemic change, directly addressing the consumer, and thereby counteracting the endeavour of our current system to shield consumers from awareness of its corrosive nature. With consumption becoming educating instead of passivating, the very core of capitalism will be subverted and broaden the horizon of all human beings worldwide, securing a good basis for the united effort of transformation.