100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education

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Our friends at Human Restoration Project released a very important documentary called “100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education“.

In January 2020 – in what now seems like a prophetic forecast for the distressing year to come – the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced to the world that it was “100 Seconds to Midnight”:

“It is 100 seconds to midnight. We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds – not hours, or even minutes. It is the closest to Doomsday we have ever been in the history of the Doomsday Clock. We now face a true emergency – an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay.”

It’s never been enough to “prepare every learner for a lifetime of personal success”, but a pedagogy of normalcy seems particularly maladaptive for the challenges our students will face.

So what does a human-centered education look like 100 seconds from midnight? What is it about the world that is worth preparing students for, and are we dedicated to the work of building that better world alongside them?

100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education (Full Documentary) – YouTube
100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education

We at Stimpunks are very glad to see behaviorism featured in the documentary as one of the great problems in our systems.

Grading is just one of many behaviorist practices our schools are built around, of a lineage that connects Pavlov’s dogs to little Albert’s rats to Skinner’s pigeons. Behaviorism demands that we not only reduce student interactions to a measured cycle of inputs and outputs but build an elaborate scheme of punishments and rewards meant to guide them toward particular academic and behavioral outcomes.

Where behaviorism fails to foster agency, it simultaneously creates a framework for excluding neurodivergent and disabled students while enabling the policing of students from non-dominant cultural linguistic and racial backgrounds.

100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education

We have turned classrooms into a hell for neurodivergence. As we assert in our course, “DIY at the Edges: Surviving the Bipartisanship of Behaviorism by Rolling Our Own“, “Behaviorist education is ableist education.

This documentary understands the importance of that statement and advocates for classrooms and systems compatible with us Stimpunks. Thank you HRP for this very important work.

Chapters:

00:0005:23 – Intro: 100 Seconds to Midnight

05:2306:37 – What is the Human Restoration Project?

06:3713:10 – Cultivate Purpose-Driven Classrooms

13:1019:36 – Demand Social Justice

19:3622:53 – End Dehumanizing Practices

22:5329:58 – Build a Human-Centered World

29:5832:44 – So…What Now?

32:4438:05 – Closing: The Challenge Ahead

100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education (Full Documentary) – YouTube

A humane education is one whose organizing principle is the innate capacity of students to be critical, empathetic agents in their communities and on the global stage.

…programming rooted in critical frameworks is an inoculation against authoritarian attitudes…

100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education

Reimagining education means that we need to understand fundamental elements of the system itself.

It’s up to the humans doing this work to recognize the harmful effects of retrograde policies and do better leveraging their power and privilege to make a change today.

100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education

Behaviorist education is ableist education.

Stimpunks
For nothing is fixed,
forever, forever, forever,
it is not fixed;
the earth is always shifting,
the light is always changing,
the sea does not cease to grind down rock.
Generations do not cease to be born,
and we are responsible to them
because we are the only witnesses they have.
The sea rises, the light fails,
lovers cling to each other,
and children cling to us.
The moment we cease to hold each other,
the moment we break faith with one another,
the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

―James Baldwin
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Published by Ryan Boren

#ActuallyAutistic retired technologist turned wannabe-sociologist. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they

3 thoughts on “100 Seconds to Midnight: The Need for a Human-Centered Education

  1. Hello Ryan:

    I wanted to share with you something I read about education and agency and activism.

    It was written by a Substacker called S. Yun Yang.

    https://syyang.substack.com/p/19-regaining-agency

    And Melinda Wenner Moyer and her friends wrote another thing about neurodivergence and homework.

    https://melindawmoyer.substack.com/p/neurodivergent-kids-and-homework

    I think the people of Stimpunks.org would have a lot to say about this!

    And then there is a piece about potential and agency – again from S. Yun Yang.

    So these are 3 midnight-seconds.

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