Can We Follow the Lead of the CCC: the Civilian Conservation Corps?

As the rethinking process about American education continues, an over-arching concept has begun to emerge, namely, the construction of a project that prepares our worn down and hollowed out next generation for the American workforce, particularly those living with their parents.

This particular segment of our next generation has been affected confinement in the parental home, unemployed, or not fully employed, and having experienced steady cognitive, emotional and psychological disorientation from being interrupted in the natural maturation of their minds.  What is called for is a “detoxification” and a catch-up mental and physical revitalization.  During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the FDR Administration launched a stabilizing national service for a portion of America’s next generation referred to as the CCC, or Civilian Conservation Corps.

Formed in March 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps, CCC, was one of the first New Deal programs. It was a public works project intended to promote environmental conservation and to build good citizens through vigorous, disciplined outdoor labor. Close to the heart of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the CCC combined his interests in conservation and universal service for youth. He believed that this civilian “tree army” would relieve the rural unemployed and keep youth “off the city street corners.”

The situation with our next generation is more problematic, as described on the Page in the menu above titled A Crisis: The Extraordinary Deterioration of Our Next Generation.  To send them back into the traditional classroom won’t do the job by a long stretch.  Accordingly, the new educational model must be developed based on lessons learned about how education of our youth was carried out in indigenous societies.

What would be called for would be a CCC-style national service referred to as the AMERICAN NATIONAL SERVICE, which would provide a two-year program for next generation volunteers with the following characteristics:

1. Bring our next generation volunteers into out into “field bases” to be “detoxified” from the endless barrage of mindless mainstream media and “entertainment,” fashion, corporate mass advertising, political tensions, and “trend-setting” nonsense.

2. Reconnect them with the natural processes of our Earth, as portrayed by the four prospective field bases listed in the top menu above.

3.  Surrounded our next generation volunteers with very experienced older men and women who fit within the perspective described below:

 

4.  Have those experienced older men and women, in the role of mentors, engage our next generation volunteers in an atmosphere of creative collaboration to work toward a “great narrative” as described below:

It starts with rethinking the fundamental purpose of education.  In certain indigenous societies, the belief was that the institutions of education, in the best cases, become the inner compass of those societies; the repository of their ideals, their core beliefs that provide vital direction, and their sense of solidarity to sustain themselves under the most adverse conditions.  And this inner compass must have a shared “great narrative” as its cornerstone.

Neil Postman, in his The End of Education, provides an excellent insight into the importance of a “great narrative” as a fundamental necessity of any group, community, or nation, big or small.  All such narratives, according to Postman:

“…….tell of origins and envision a future, a story that constructs ideals, prescribes rules of conduct, provides a source of authority, and, above all, gives a sense of continuity and purpose…..one that has sufficient credibility, complexity, and symbolic power to enable one to organize one’s life around it…….one that provides people with a sense of personal identity, a sense of a community life…..Our genius lies in our capacity to make meaning through the creation of narratives that give point to our labors, exalt our history, elucidate the present, and give direction to our future.”

A sad commentary about the American school system is the earlier debate about character education.  Some claim that character, ethics, morality, and the like, are missing in much of today’s youth and must be taught in the schools as if these concepts can be transformed into academic subject matter. Following conventional logic, character education can then, in accordance with principles of  scientific inquiry, be broken down into its “elements” and defined accordingly,  in the hope of personal internalization. But, Postman would say that students have to be moved first by a shared narrative—from religion, from parents, from mentors, from somewhere—–to provide the foundation for good character. And, absent a compelling narrative, no series of classroom presentations is going to suffice as a substitute. Why?  Because only by developing his or her own narrative can each student acquire the resolve and resilience  to move forward through the inevitable obstacles to a well-conceived  set of goals and objectives based on a belief system reflecting a high social consciousness.

With no shared narrative to act as an inner compass, is it any wonder that some of our next generation gravitate to alternative narratives provided by:  (i) the MTV culture, (ii) the TMZ celebrity focus, (iii) the exploitive fashion industry, (iv) the massively-funded corporate advertising campaigns that attempt to shape false narratives for profit, (v) secret societies; (vi) the ever-present gang culture, and (vii) among many other distractions, the globalist machinations to condition our next generations to a return to a feudal model of one-world government, which an increasing number of the global public believe is, in fact, a concealed and highly deceptive global criminal enterprise.

5.  Incorporate into the next generation volunteers’ learning environment the ideas offered by a 13-student thought community at Evergreen State College that presented vital learning goals that they believe are not effectively addressed in their undergraduate education, as follows:

a. Construct field studies that reconnect our next generation volunteers to the natural world and indigenous cultures in order to internalize the urgency for safeguarding a sustainable future and have an undisturbed time to carry on the vital process of self-reflection to consider one’s personal worldview and one’s identity in this context.

c. Discover and expand one’s unique creative spirit and range of creative expression.

d. Broaden one’s perspective about real world interactivity, maintain a sense of responsibility to others, and participate in the achievement of a just society.

e. Consider a variety of realistic life-pursuits that can make a difference in the world by immersion in real world work environments and by interfacing with men and women who bring intuitive understanding and good judgment from long experience in their life-pursuits.

f. Develop a frame of mind and coping ability that allows one to address the realities of life with equanimity and good judgment, rather than succumb to uncertainty, anxiety and depression.

This student commentary was insightful because the learning goals enumerated above, which the students believe are missing in their current education, in fact, constitute the crucially important learning that prepares students for creative, productive and responsible participation in our global society.  The thrust of their commentary was unmistakable:  they were working toward the creation of a new paradigm of education that envisioned a fresh worldview and a shared great narrative.

6.  Introduce our next generation volunteers to sophisticated workplace simulators operated by very experienced older women and men that inculcate the values of real world of responsibility, teamwork, leadership, discipline, work ethic, and serious of purpose to our next generation in a manner that stimulates their creative spirits and their authentic regard for one another in a manner leading to the formation of thought communities in which:

“….humans come into being and mature in relation to others, (and that) new skills are acquired, participants develop previously unknown aspects of themselves, and they increase their repertory of cognitive and emotional expression.”

7.  Develop a permanent personal practice of physical exercise and food preparation/consumption that eliminates toxic elements, builds physical and mental stamina, clears the mind, and promotes life extension.

8.  Insert our next generation volunteers into public works projects in regions that surround their field bases.

Upon completion of the two-year service, our next generation volunteers would be inserted into “on-the-job” training environments with business organizations, trade organizations, medical facilities, law firms, accounting firms, investment firms, small businesses, retail organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, foundations, non-government organizations (NGOs), and the like.

The AMERICAN NATIONAL SERVICE  would then provide a job-placement function to continually watch over its graduates to steer them to their preferred job sector for employment opportunities.  A core objective of this two-year program would be to produce transformed members of our next generation who, because of their training and good reputation, would be strongly sought after by U.S. and overseas employers.