Transformation > Indoctrination
Which is more effective? To transform a person or indoctrinate a person? I believe that the process of transformation is one that massively trumps indoctrination, every time. That is why, at Acton Imprimis Salado, we emphasize every single person’s Hero’s Journey during their entire time on our campus including all of our heroes (students), our guides, Headmaster, and everyone else that is associated with our school. The Hero’s Journey is included in all things we do at Acton Imprimis Salado. Let’s see how Merriam Webster online dictionary defines these two terms.
Throughout the years, I have noticed a stark difference between my college students. The majority of those who were home schooled had a huge advantage on those who went to public or even private schools. The home schooled children were much more socially mature, responsible, and had a great sense of who they were and why they believed what they believed about themselves, politics, freedom, religion, etc… The majority of them also had a leg-up academically in their reading, writing, and comprehension skills. They digested material instead of memorizing it. They had an inner drive to answer the question of, “How can my gifts enhance humanity or solve a human problem?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” For fifteen years I witnessed this time and time again during my professorships at both Tarleton State University and Austin Community College. I was very impressed, especially since I had a preconceived idea about home school students that was indoctrinated into my brain at a young age. “They’re weird. They’re not socially mature. They can’t hand public school and their parents can’t afford private school.” So wrong. So very very wrong indeed.
What was the major difference I observed between the home school students and those who went to a public or private school? Transformation. The home schooled students had been through the process of transformation while the other students had been through the process of indoctrination. There’s a difference. When the objective is to transform people instead of instruct people, the following types of questions can be answered specifically instead of with an “I don’t know.”
- Why do you believe what you believe?
- How can you personally apply the knowledge you’ve accumulated this year?
- What does this knowledge tell you about nature? Mankind? Yourself? God?
- In what way can this knowledge help you embrace your God-given gifts, talents, creativity to effectively change the world and alleviate human issues/problems?
- How does this knowledge (Math, Science, English, History, Art, etc..) impact your personal Hero’s Journey?
At Acton Imprimis Salado, we only believe in the idea of transformation. Our heroes are in charge of their individual learning pace, but they are a part of everyone’s transformation. Through the art of Socratic discussions and questioning, each hero will be forced to struggle with his/her default response. Our default responses are not always correct, but our human nature is to believe that we only think what is right because why would we think something wrong? This is especially true when we believe that we know more about a particular topic than another person. Yet, the Socratic discussion is never about proving another person wrong. It’s about what is best for you? What do you truly think? Feel? Believe? You may be thinking to yourself, why is a discussion without a “correct answer” important enough to do every single day? Because, it makes the heroes struggle.
It’s through this internal struggle that we reach our why. It’s through this struggle that we begin asking deeper questions.It’s through asking questions we discover Truth. It’s through the struggle that are beliefs are solidified, because in the fire of internal turmoil all false identities and beliefs are burned up. What we have left is ourselves. Raw. Naked. Exposed. Yet, our true state has been identified and once the garbage of false identities is tossed, we can build upon who we actually are.
That’s a strong foundation to build upon. False identities are just a house of cards. Each card representing something that was indoctrinated into us, yet something that we don’t truly or deeply believe. Being raw, exposed, is being vulnerable and vulnerability is a powerful force to reckon with. It is. Vulnerability helps us develop true intimacy with others, building lasting quality friendships, and love each other without pretenses. Vulnerability is a place that takes a lot of courage to reach. Vulnerability tears down defense mechanisms that isolate us from experiencing true joy, friendship, acceptance. And, vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity. Kids are built for this. (It’s in you too.)