". . And how am I to comprehend The bedevilment of
gods and men, I, a stranger and afraid, In a world I never made?"
Over the past several years, we have
watched this attitude seep into one area after another of public and private life. From
international politics and economics to community, family and the basic self, a silent
doubt is creeping. Amid the increasing noise of uncertainty and chaos, a smothering sense
of despair spreads and infects, more every day.
And, because we see too clearly where this MUST lead, we are
fighting it. We are fighting it in the only field where it can be fought effectively, at
the root in education.
Yet we find the same basic doubt and thoughtless noise among educators.
On the one hand we hear advocates of "progressive" education and a
"life-adjustment" philosophy calling for more flexibility or even abolition of
standards in the name of freedom, relevance, or whatever the latest catch-phrase suggests.
On the other hand we hear the traditional educationists extolling their faith in the
"tried and true" curriculum and approach, and defending basic education more
from a fear of what change might bring (is bringing) than a positive understanding and
affirmation of the true goals of education, based on a clear vision of the nature of man's
Newsweek carries an article illustrating the practical results of this
controversy. ("Back to Basics in the Schools", Oct.21, 1974.) The article
documents and illustrates the disintegration of public education, and the public outcry
against teachers and systems which don't teach institutionalized illiteracy. But Newsweek
overlooks basic principles, as does the public, so the "traditional"
education to which they turn has the same basic flaws it had a generation and more ago.
NOBODY THINKS OF THE THIRD ALTERNATIVE.
Here, then, in a nutshell, is our Third Alternative, the
4R's Method philosophy:
FOUNDATIONS OF THE 4R's ACADEMIC METHOD
I. Primary focus on Natural Law.
A. The human is categorically different.
1. Has a more advanced organ of integration.
2. Conceptual by nature.
B. Human is born Tabula Rasa.
1. Knowledge and skills gained contextually.
2. Implies Basic Education philosophy.
b. Philosophy is an essential basic education requirement.
c. Economics is an essential basic education requirement.
d. All generative subjects.
II. 4R's Program - categorically different.
A. Begins with remedial Montessori.
1. The Planned Environment.
2. Adapted to the older student.
B. Create your own order.
1. The Executive functions.
2. The Maintenance requirement.
C. Bringing order out of chaos.
1. Integrated program of generative experiences.
2. Building the Entrepreneurial Personality.
D. Principles of Human Architecture.
1. Human growth follows exact principles.
2. Human education an exact procedure.
3. Skyscraper of Man The Eight Basic Attributes.
4.Measuring growth in these attributes.
III. Individualism vs. Collectivism.
A. Doing vs. Talking.
B. Producer vs. Consumer.
C. Socialism vs. Laissez-Faire Capitalism.
D. Determinism vs. Free Will.
1. Historical, psychological, and economic determinism invalid.
2. Reason, man's only tool of survival and of society's growth.
IV. Modern technological Advances.
A. Enable man to master his physical world.
B. Destroy man if he tails to apply same natural laws to human relations.
C. 4R's Method is the total integration of these basic concepts into
V. Advanced reading list for parents.
A. To enhance your student's education.
B. To enhance your own understanding of the Third Alternative.
Have you wandered why there is a
vagueness and an uneasy confusion in today's events, why school grades mean less this year
than last, why the advanced signs of "intellectual cancer", in the form of
student drugs, pointless destruction, and the "zero" personality have been with
us so long that they now seem almost normal? We long ago noticed the beginnings of these
trends and set about studying their basic causes and solutions. (The Case For Basic
Education, Koerner, ed., Boston, Atlantic, Little, Brown, 1959.)
Your child's school problems result from a primary misunderstanding in the
philosophy of education, one which "sets up" the entire conflict between Basic
Education (3 R's) and "Life Adjustment" emphasis (Driver's Ed., Home Economics,
Golf, Modern Dance, etc.) This conflict is unnecessary.
Even among those who see the issue most clearly, there is deep
confusion. Read! The 4R's Method Explained.
The 4R's program is the only educational procedure based upon the correct foundational
understanding of the nature of man, the development of human life, social order, and
freedom. The 4R's Method allows each child to develop greater capabilities, attain greater
academic excellence far more rapidly by plan rather than by accident. Each feature of our
plan follows logically from the basic insight that man by nature aggressively desires to
Read The 4R's Method Explained
All men are identical in their fundamental natures. Hence all humans
must be built (educated) upon the same identical construction principles, just as there
may be an infinite variety of skyscrapers, all built on the same basic principles.
THE 4th R, OUR COURSE IN HUMAN ARCHITECTURE, FOCUSES ON INDIVIDUAL
MOTIVATION, THINKING, DEVELOPING INTELLECTUAL HONESTY, OBJECTIVITY, AND AN INQUIRING MIND.
Each student learns the natural laws of human growth, so that he can build himself
intelligently, to live to the fullest capacity of his human abilities.
The 4th R, (together with the 3 R's and other basic courses) provides
the foundation for a New Renaissance by laying down the concept of the "total
man", fully developed physically, intellectually, philosophically, and fully
integrated as an effective, functioning human.
For a more detailed discussion of our course offerings and program of
generative reality experiences, see Diploma Offerings and our brochures.
An individual's intellectual and emotional capacities are developed
resultant from the experiences of the first 15-20 years. The only reason for an academic
education is to provide a basic method of perceiving, conceptualizing, judging, and filing
a vast number of facts and units of experience, which serve as springboard for the rest of
the student's life.
Thus we are committed to a program of generative subjects, strengthened
where appropriate with "The Constructive Approach" to insight built upon firm
technical mastery. ("The Constructive Approach, A Proposal For the High School
Mathematics Curriculum" in The Mathamatics Teacher, April 1966, and "Why Johnny
Can't Add, by Morris Kline.)
The 4R's Method is completely honest in all ways. This implies a strict
adherence to a code of intellectual honesty. It means passing requires mastery, not
perfunctory 70%. We do not grade on a curve.
NON-GRADED METHOD OF PLACEMENT
The 4R's Method is a
"non-graded" approach to individual education, This implies a developmental
schedule of advancement rather than the usual chronological schedule. We do give grades
in fact, we hold a higher grading standard than most schools - but we place
students ACCORDING TO WHAT THEY DEMONSTRATE that they know, not their age or "grade
level". Hence we can accent complete mastery and formation of the vital success
habit. As a starting point, all foundational skills are first brought up to standard for
all entering Flint School cadets. Each student, exercising his initiative in depth, may
advance just as fast as he masters the material. Hence each student needs to become like a
vacuum cleaner - sucking up knowledge from any source possible rather than sitting and
waiting to be educated. This is no more than the honest truth.
Young people are lied to too much from other quarters. We won't
tell them that it's all right to drift through school only absorbing half of the facts
presented and none of the integrating principles. It's not. BUT IS THAT NOT WHAT THEY ARE
TOLD EVERY TIME THEY RECEIVE A GRADE OR A SOCIAL PROMOTION WHICH IS NOT PRECISELY
DESERVED? Since the non-graded schools place students according to their demonstrated
knowledge, any grade less than straight A is the students own volitional decision, as they
soon come to understand. And when a student demonstrates superior work, we recognize it
with high marks and praise which mean something because they have not been watered down.
With "Grade Inflation" widely accepted, (See "Everything Is Shrinking In
Higher Education," by Mayer in Fortune, September 1974, p 194; The Stanford Observer,
November 1974, pp.1, 7.) we recognize that social promotion destroys inner quality,
ambition, and productive ability in much the same way that fiat money inflation undermined
and destroyed an entire productive economy. Natural laws cannot be broken. They inevitably
destroy the one who attempts it. WHEN BASIC EDUCATION WAS ABANDONED, THE BREAKDOWN OF
DISCIPLINE AND MENTAL COMPETENCE WAS INEVITABLE.
Our "non-graded" approach means placement at the
demonstrated level of competence. If a student passes the third grade spelling test but
not the fourth, then he'll enter the fourth grade spelling book. The same student may
place in Algebra II if he demonstrates mastery of Algebra I. Similarly it makes little
difference if a student has "taken" a history course, and perfunctorily learned
a "heedful" of facts and dates. If he lacks a conceptual grasp, he will take our
unique history presentation, (which we learned from Isabel Paterson, Goethe, etc.) on a
level appropriate to his knowledge, to learn the meaning, the "lessons" of
history. This comes only with understanding, which has to be first hand. The first lesson
in any subject is, "Don't believe anything I say, just because I said it." Each
has to understand the reason, for himself, before knowledge is valid. By the same token,
each student advances to more advanced work just as fast as he develops the depth of
insight and skill which it requires, rather than waiting to keep pace with slower students
as is the policy of the "progressive" education philosophy. To avoid hurting the
slower student's ego, if his work is substandard, the progressivist holds to social
promotion. Instead, we place him in a class he will be able to master, hence never
subjecting him to failure in the first place.
The best, most conscientious schools measure the quality of a
student's scholarship by what he accomplishes in a year's time, as if being in the class
for a year were the crucial factor giving value to accomplishments. The essential factor
is the unit of growth.
The amount of time which each step takes a student, shows how
valuable he made that time to himself. SO UNDERSTAND THE DESTRUCTIVENESS OF THIS SUBTLE
INVERSION. The universe does not exist in time; time exists (only as a measurement of
motion) within the universe, So our students learn to measure the value of their time by
how quickly they can "move" along each distinct step of their growth path. Man
gives value to time, not vice versa. Hence we follow a developmental schedule, focusing on
the individual student's accomplishments, not on how many year's he's been in school.
SO, HOW DO FLINT SCHOOL STUDENTS MEASURE UP?
Three short-term measures suggest themselves:
1. STANDARDIZED TESTS
First, of course, the most obvious measure is the
standardized test, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and its companion, the Preliminary
Scholastic Aptitude Test, which all of our high school level students take each October.
THE NATIONWIDE AVERAGE HAS BEEN FALLING DRAMATICALLY FOR
THE PAST DECADE:
Mean Scores On The Scholastic Aptitude Test
Educational Testing Service, quoted by
Human Events, Jan.12, '74, p 12.
Education in general has
thus been deteriorating. This means for example, that an average 11th grade student knows
less 11th grade material than the 11th grade student last year. Obviously, however, his
11th grade score, is still better than his 10th grade score, but the increase 5 less for
each succeeding class.
On the other hand, Flint School students, from one year to the
next, shows twice as much improvement as national averages. Consider the following table,
which also shows the increment necessary to stop scores from falling. One can easily see,
therefore, that the accredited government school system is falling short of the scores
needed to maintain status quo, while Flint School scores are not only improving beyond the
status quo requirements, but are improving more than enough for two years in one.
PSAT One-Year Increases (On Average)
1. College Board Score Reports, 1969-70, pp. 11-15. See
also PSATI / NMSQT Interpretive Manual, 1973, pp.6-7.
2. Calculated from "Overall Drop", Table 1, dividing by 10 to find equivalent
PSAT drop. PSAT / NMSQT Interpretive Manual, 1973, p.9.
That is, from one year to the
next, Flint School students show an increase in academic aptitude 2.8 times that of the
average American student, and 2.5 times the increase required to maintain current national
standards, as measured by the PSAT.
ALL of our high school level students take this test, whereas in
most schools only the better students take it, and Flint School students' average scores
are in the top third of national averages, as shown on the table below. Most college bound
students will show a greater than average score increase. But, THE ENTIRE FLINT SCHOOL'S
PSAT AVERAGE INCREASES OVER TWICE AS MUCH PER YEAR AS THE NATIONAL AVERAGE GAIN.
Another way of looking at this is to note that Flint School
students' mean percentile scores rise from one year to the next by 5.804,ile
points verbal, and 11.30/oile points math. That is, from one year to the next,
Flint School students show an increase in academic aptitude 2.8 times that of the average
American student, as measured by the PSAT.
PSAT Percentile Score Increases Flint School
|Most recent testing
|Increment of increase
millions of students across the nation are they therefore "passing up"?)
Of course, one might say that with national averages declining, a
percentile increase isn't that significant. We agree. Though Flint School students' scores
are improving much faster than nationwide averages are falling, we feel that these data,
impressive as they are, are not so much a credit to us as an indictment against the mass
of other schools, mainly in the accredited public school systems.
But accurate measurement of the essence of academic quality is a
nebulous thing. Exact systems for measurement of genuine in-depth quality have not yet
been developed. In essence, it has been the judgment of the teacher as to how penetrating
is the test or examination; how "hard" is it graded?
So, apart from Flint School's demonstrated superiority by
national measurement, how do we measure our students?
II. PARENT RECOGNITION OF EXCELLENCE
How else can we measure the effectiveness of a Flint School
education? Since we are an entirely free enterprise operation, our effectiveness may be
measured by the same criterion as any business. We have to satisfy our customers or close
down. And we satisfy.
SATISFACTION! While long-established private schools across the
country are encountering difficulties for want of customers, (Fortune, Sept., '74, p.
122.) we keep expanding! Now in our 8th year, (1974/75) we have annually expanded our
enrollment by an average of 37.5%. We now have 65, and next year will have an
expanded capacity for 80. (Interested parents should send in their registrations for next
year right away so their students won't miss the opportunity of a Flint School education!)
And are they satisfied? Look at the Rave Notices they send us:
". . . Thank you for the tremendous improvement
in Bill. We all think it is a miracle."
". . . It has been a source of amazement and marveling that he has changed so
much! His attitude, his externalizing in his outlook, his control, enthusiasm, and
exuberance is wonderful to behold!"
". . . His 4th R Book he is 'specially proud of and presented it to me with so much
feeling, saying that within the book is the key and answer to survival; it has all the
elements of man's need and in any emergency. What confidence you have given him, and what
a sense of responsibility!"
". . . I really feel that you all deserve a great deal of praise and appreciation . .
. for the ideals which you have striven to implant in her."
While we do not seek out testing services, we
occasionally receive results from such "before" and "after" testing
initiated by parents.
". . . The results of this second Wechsler
Bellevue after two years in the Flint School indicate on increase in his I.Q. of 24
points. (A verbal I.Q. increase of 31 points) . . . I join his parents and himself in our
admiration for the excellent work you and your staff have demonstrated."
". . . From April, 1973 until June, 1974, in Moth on the Wide Range Achievement Test
lie moved "from 6.1 grade level to 8.3 grade level." In spelling "from 9.0
grade level to 11.2 grade level." "The most significant change in scores here
is, of course, on the comprehension section. Keeping in mind that a percentile score of 50
indicates that a student is achieving grade level, we see John advancing from the 5th
percentile to above grade level to the 66th percentile . .
It will save you a lot of
reading time if you will take my word that this is representative of the correspondence we
receive from school parents. With our customers as satisfied as this, who could be
surprised to learn that 2/3 of our non-graduating students return for more and that our
most effective advertising has always been, and is increasingly, word of mouth
recommendation. People see our students and send us more.
We are not accredited.
Nor do we wish to be. Accreditation is largely concerned with physical requirements
hardbound books vs. paperbacks, width of stairways, number of square feet of classroom
space per student, a 32" diameter globe, etc. Two sailing ships would never meet the
physical standards. To accept accreditation standards, we would have to follow government
guidelines on textbooks and teachers, which we find are inferior to our standards. We are,
after all, continually trying to raise our test scores. Teachers on board must enter a
training internship program since Flint School goes far beyond today's normal educational
systems. Some of our teachers have teaching certificates, but they also must complete the
Flint School teacher training program in order to meet our higher standards.
However, our non-accreditation has little to do with the transfer
of credits. Our credits have been accepted without question at government and private
secondary schools (our grading standards are probably higher than most). Colleges seem
eager to accept our recommended students, probably because we submit with our transcripts
a statement of our academic educational philosophy.
III. THE INNER GROWTH THE SOURCE.
After all this is said, what we see most clearly, and appreciate
the most deeply, and what so many parents reflect, albeit subjectively, is the very
significant personality advance. From living closely with them, we see so many subtle
indications every day that there can be no doubt about the real inner growth. ". . .
and her Social Maturity test showed 5.2 years growth after her year with the Flint
For just one example out of so many: One of the lectures in
second year 4th R is about two different personality types and the traits of each, the
producing individualist vs. the consuming collectivist. The lecture suggests that the
sense of life of the latter type is characterized by Housman's line of poetry (found at
the head of this paper.) "A stranger, and afraid, in a world I never made." (Of
course, the Flint School also answers anyone who feels this way, "Why didn't
you?") We discussed the way such a person would look at life. However, where could we
find examples of the contrary positive view? A search through most of today's literature
shows how prevalent is the fatalistic, collectivist, and generally anti-life view. So the
class was then assigned to create a one or two line expression that characterizes the opposite
of a "stranger and afraid"
Kim Duncan: "Productive and strong in a world
where rational beings belong."
Chris Butler: "A producer and objective in a
world I made non-collective."
John Averill: "Important and awake in a world I
shall soon make."
Bob Emslie: "A person with ambition in a
world he knows he can make."
Peter Tucker: "Whatever I do, I will be the
best at it."
Caroline Hazard: "When the world is changing,
a man is one who knows his way through the ruins."
Karen Bazemore: "I'm my own power to
recognize, and I'm not willing to let the world socialize."
John Garlock: "Alive and aware in a world I
would like to save."
Where else would you find expressions of life a happy
life but from people who realize that happiness takes work? These glowing lines, and
others like them, add bright notes to our days. (We hope they have to yours.) It's why we
love the school business. Inspiration positive thinking - is alive and growing at the
MEASURING INNER GROWTH
But, impressive as all of the
intimate "subjective" evidence is, we need an objective measure of precisely
this inner growth. To create the most appropriate measure of how well we accomplish the
growth for which we strive, we had to go back to the very foundations of our method, the
basic principle which makes the 4R's Method unique and uniquely effective. We returned to
the basic individualist premise, the knowledge that all men by nature desire -actively,
aggressively desire - to know. We asked ourselves how to uncover and strengthen that trait
- and how to measure it.
You might look at it this way. How do you teach a child who shows
brilliant promise? How do you educate a 250 IQ, if you, yourself are far less. Do you have
to search out a teacher whose IQ is 300? You'd never make it.
You teach him the same way in principle that you'd teach any
child because in basic principle all humans are the same, having the same organ of
learning and all being "tabula rasa" at birth. You'd inspire him, show him his
own tools, help him build his confidence in using them, direct him to the most generative
and fruitful paths to explore - and step out of his way. At root, each mind learns under
its own power. You can't stick a funnel in a child's ear and pour in the knowledge. What
are the most fruitful paths? Well, for starters, see The Case For Basic Education.
Also read again The 4R's Method Explained.
The crucial element, of course is the will, the drive to achieve,
the spirit of desire which you have seen steadily suffocated and buried in the government
accredited schools. Have you ever asked yourself why a certain greyness, mental lethargy,
or lack of spirit characterizes the schools which are supposed to be
paving the way for a better future? Have you wondered why, with so much expenditure on
education, businessmen are crying out that good men are so hard to find? And have you,
too, projected the sort of world which such a generation will build? We did - and we set
about doing something about it.
What is that inner spirit, desire to know, will to excel,
indomitable drive to get on with the job? One could call it many things. We call it
gumption. Webster defines it as, "Courage and initiative; enterprise and
boldness." Gumption. It's basic. Without gumption, the greatest IQ accomplishes
nothing. With it, even the slow individual can accomplish wonders, sometimes running
circles around the brilliant do-nothing. Of course, we're aiming for excellence by both
measures. They are inseparable. As Booker T. Washington pointed out, "The world asks
not what a man knows, but what he can do with what he knows."
The Flint School's whole program is based on natural laws rather
than man-made laws. (A natural law has the same impartial absolutism as the law of
gravity, whether the subject is physics, history, or interpersonal
relations.) From this base we seek intellectual honesty, objectivity, and an
inquiring mind. We seek to inspire self-imposed, self-directed standards of excellence in
We have evolved six different measures of life-oriented
"doingness," combined to form our GQ (Gumption Quotient.) Most people judge
right and wrong by what "they say The Flint School cadet, by contrast, learns to
measure his performance by its objective meaning in action . . . Thus the Flint School's
THE GUMPTION QUOTIENT
Here are the elements of the Gumption Quotient:
The General Awareness Standard: This is the area where
the most serious damage has been done to the minds of today's young people by the
destruction and perversion of the consciousness. This is the truly obscene in our world.
Read "The Comprachicos." (Rand, The New Left, The Anti-Industrial
Revolution, New York, Signet, '71, pp.152-204.) This is where the damage is fatal, and an
area that parents very seldom observe. Read "The Contaminates Of The
Consciousness." Read "Is Anybody In There?" This is an area not even
written about in professional literature - the contaminates of the human consciousness.
Yet this is where the "game is being played." Where both the content and
methodology of a child's mind are wrong, what are the mental tools and information with
which he will stumble into his future? This is the true horror story.
Our program of group and solo objectives, of many and increasing
direct personal experiences, of facing up to the necessity of first hand judgment, is
aimed at correcting this dangerous corrosion of the human mind.
Our awareness score includes the group and solo objective quiz
scores, daily news report quiz scores, and general background information quiz scores.
(The questions are easy enough that a normally alert individual would have no difficulty
earning perfect scores.)
The Earnings Standard: The spending money
allowed each student for the school year is a very real part of this program and is
treated as a "grubstake", fit t i n g the dictionary definition, "funds
advanced a mining prospector on promise of a share in his discoveries." Students are
able to earn money by working on the ships, their work being graded for quality and their
pay varying accordingly. (See the Flint School Tell-tale, Vol. 8 No. 1) They can further
increase their rate of pay by consistently demonstrating top quality workmanship and job
responsibility, by integrating the guidelines of consistently professional workmanship. In
fact, a vocation skills training program with full time experience plus evening
"night school" classes introduces them to the concept and practice of quality
labor, skilled workmanship, and contractor status.
In this context full of possibilities, some students have built
their $45.00 grubstakes to return home with over $100.00 in their pockets, having spent
and enjoyed from their earnings during the year as well! Others promptly go broke and then
spend the rest of the year earning only enough to meet their immediate desires. The
minimum, or 'break-even" point (000/o) is the amount of earning which
would enable a student who spent nothing to pay back his $45.00 grub-stake at the end of
the nine months with interest and an adjustment for the current rate of inflation. The
ambitious, 100o/~ end of the scale is marked by the average earnings of the most
productive 10o/~ of the students.
The Grade Point Average Standard: The
measure is of course familiar to everyone. It being an axiom of the 4R's Method that we
never subject a child to failure, each class placement is well within the present ability
of the student. Grades less than 100% are therefore a matter of student choice. (Of
course, no sooner had compulsory education laws been passed than children discovered that
they could get around the laws if they wished by "turning off" their minds even
though required to sit in a classroom). Since students learn under their own power only,
the grades they receive are a measure of their inner desire, or gumption
. 100% Straight A's, 00% = Straight F's.
The Maintenance Standard: Invention,
Construction, Maintenance, Refinishing, Maintenance, Refurbishing, Maintenance,
Rebuilding, Maintenance . . . In the midyear vocational training period, Flint School
cadets learn the standards and criteria of different levels of building and repair work.
And they learn that maintenance, taking about 900/o of the time, is the most important,
the biggest labor and money saver. 4th R students learn that personal qualities,
integrity, positive attitude, productiveness, pride, honor, even intelligence, need to be
maintained just as physical condition and language skills must be maintained by constant
use. We measure maintenance at the most foundational level. Cabin inspection and
participation, personal cleanliness and grooming, anchor watch and sailing watch
participation and responsibility, and work crew accomplishment, are each graded regularly
and the scores compiled to reflect the underlying, un-dramatic "tone" of the
student's basic personality. When a person loses that inner will and drive, these everyday
details often reflect it first. When one decides to "come alive", the desire to
improve the quality of life shows here. 100% is perfect. 00% is doing nothing.
The Qua Ten List Standard: The Qua Ten Scale is a
measure of achievement outside of the required class structure, and includes seamanship
rank, craft projects completed, marlinspike, and radio skills mastered, sailor's skills
passed, book reports submitted, progress toward a bo'sun's rating, etc. All are excellent,
generative, highly recommended ways to invest time - but not required. Students learn to
evaluate their progress from slavery upward toward freedom by how much they accomplish on
"their own time" con pared with how much they accomplish when there is a teacher
or supervisor telling them what to do. Further, each grading period the incremet of
current over previous scores is doubled, since the important thing is what you do today an
tomorrow. "You can't live forever on yesterday's laurels" - the effort and
growth have t be maintained. 00% indicates nothing accomplished by independent initiative.
The 100% point is found by averaging the scores of the to 10% students, thus providing
each student an objective, ambitious standard of self-expectation for accomplishment on
The Seamanship Standard: Nothing builds
character like command at sea. Since no one is there to help you if your motor stops, you
learn to rely on yourself and to demand that excellence a yourself which enables you to do
so success fully. The seamanship program is a series a ranks to be earned as sailing and
navigational skills are learned. Each new rank requires a higher degree of demonstrated
responsibility, accord mg to the performance that is expected of the rank. The
demonstrated responsibility and dependability must be recognized by the seaman ship rank
vote and periodic revote for maintenance by other cadets. This evolves from judgement of
simple good sportsmanship for Apprentice Seaman to the standard for Captain, stated
one word at a time "Demonstrate consistently the assumption of responsibility,
and behavior, becoming an officer." 00% means landlubber. 100% indicates the rank
which is required to receive an A in seamanship that quarter, a progressive scale.
These six areas are measured routinely and averaged to make your
student's GQ score, expressed each quarter on the report card. It reveals an additional
dimension of your student, not conceptualized by most educators. It is vital to all
honest, productive humans, but unknown to the unproductive moochers or
collective-minded. Your student knows the difference; ask him to explain it to you.
We find the GQ a highly revealing measure of the inner strength
of each student. Advance to a higher GQ score through the year, or regression to a lower
one, corresponds very well to clearly observable strengthening or weakening of spirit,
drive for self-improvement gumption.
We wish it were possible to compare Flint School students' GQ
growth with that of all other students in the nation. We would see something truly
phenomenal, for the "school scene" in government accredited schools is
increasingly one of protests, disturbances, drugs, intimidation, etc. And in the
classroom, along with all-pervasive socialist bias in texts and too often teachers as
well, we wonder what happened to objective standards curriculum. And what of
"old-fashioned" respect for one's teachers? Can anyone be surprised, in such a
setting, that out of 23 million youths from 12 to 17 years old in 1970, 4.80/0 couldn't
read at the 4th grade level? (1,104,000 people). (Sarasota Herald Tribune, 4, May, '74,
p.1) (I wish you could all read the article; the test by which literacy was determined was
ridiculously easy.) The widespread proliferation of little private schools run by
parents is one result of the advanced cancer infecting public education, as people with
gumption and insight move to protect themselves and their children. How can students learn
anything in the usual public school environment anymore? How can they avoid feeling like
the "stranger and afraid, in a world I never made"? The wonder is those students
who still manage! More power to them!
What makes the difference in the Flint School? Everything. The
whole, carefully integrated program. But in a nutshell, experiences.' Lots and lots of
first-hand, life generating experiences lead students to see themselves as active
"doers," real people. And they like this image of themselves so much that they
catch fire and rediscover their basic natures as active seekers of knowledge, on the way
to creating for themselves the lives they wish, and the strengths those lives will
require. We hold the ideal of ACCELERATED ADOLESCENCE. We help our students to grow up
just as fast as they can, always assuming more and more responsibility just as much
as they can safely handle. And then we urge them on for more. By contrast, most schools
operate on a delayed adolescence theory: "They'll grow up and have to shoulder the
burdens of adulthood too soon anyway -let them play while they can." Observe what a
profound difference this reveals in one's basic view of the nature of man and of life. If
one doesn't actively pursue the best in life, he winds up seeking to avoid it or
escape it, thus undermining his comprehension of the world he has created for himself, and
in which he feels "a stranger, and afraid."
What are the life-oriented experiences we provide for our
students? Everything we can find which builds basic skills and traits, which opens up new
horizons, which builds confidence and happy self-esteem. Everything, in a word, which is
generative. We offer big ship sailing and navigation, small boat sailing and powerboat
seamanship, water-skiing, swimming and lifesaving, snorkeling, scuba, marlinspike, work
crew, vocational training, earning opportunities, money husbandry, foreign travel,
currency conversion, group and solo objectives . . . The list goes on and on, and all this
in addition to academics. Our ships form a very realistic and complete little society of
our own. Every experience gives insight about the needs of world society from
technological needs to human influences. We make every detail an opportunity to expand
awareness and ability.
How could you better invest your abilities than by providing this
experience for your child at the Flint School Aboard TeVega and teQuest?