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Learn about the collectivist control of education

Bending children to the needs of the state go back much farther than Common Core. Hear about the failure of public education to teach most of its students — since its inception in Massachusetts in the early 19th century.

What kind of education fosters the habits and virtues needed for in a free society, where independent, active, versatile, and self-responsible citizens are crucial? What would the education market look like in a fully free society, with entirely private education? Hear my answers and the way in which everyone would be served by private interests.

My talk at The Heartland Institute, Wednesday, August 10, 2016. Read Common Ground on Common Core, edited by Kirsten Lombard, for the complete, referenced account.

Great Quote by Arthur Koestler on Education and the Sciences

An excellent quote on education and the sciences from Arthur Koestler’s fascinating book Arrow in the Blue:

“For people who regard mathematics as dry and the sciences as boring, this kind of mentality is difficult to understand. It is a peculiarity of our present civilisation that the average educated person will be ashamed to admit that a work of art is beyond his comprehension although, in the same breath, he will proclaim not without pride his complete ignorance of the laws which make his electric switch work, or govern the heredity of his offspring. He uses his radio set and the countless gadgets surrounding him with no more comprehension of what makes them function than a savage. He lives in an artificial world of cheap, mass-produced mysteries which he is too lazy to penetrate, without any understanding of the objects which he manipulates and is, in consequence, mentally isolated from his immediate environment. Our whole higher educational system is designed to foster this lopsided mentality, to create indifference towards the laws of nature, a deficiency comparable to myopia or colourblindness.

Arthur Koestler

Given these circumstances, and the ways in which science is taught in our schools, it is difficult to convey a child’s delight and excitement in penetrating the mysteries of the Pythagorean triangle, or of Kepler’s laws of planetary movement, or of Planck’s theory of quanta. It is the excitement of the explorer who, even though his goal is limited and specialised, is always driven by an unconscious, childlike hope of stumbling upon the ultimate mystery. The Phoenician galleys journeyed over uncharted seas to find the Pillars of Hercules, and even Captain Scott may have been unknowingly tempted by the hope that perhaps there really was a hole at the South Pole in which the earth’s axis turned on bearings of ice. From the star-gazers of Babylon down to the great artist-scientists of the Renaissance, the urge to explore was one of man’s vital drives, and even in Goethe’s day it would have been as shocking for an educated person to say that he took no interest in science as to declare that he was bored with art. The increasing volume of facts and the specialisation of research have made this interest gradually dry up and become a monopoly of technicians and specialists. From the middle of the nineteenth century onward, physics, chemistry, biology, and astrophysics began to fade out as ingredients of a rounded education. However, in pre-Relativistic days it was still just possible for the non-specialist to keep abreast of general developments in science. I grew up during the closing years of that era, before science became so formalised  and abstract that it was removed from the layman’s grasp. Atoms still moved in three-dimensional space and should be represented to the senses by models—little glass spheres revolving around a nucleus like planets around the sun. Space was still non-curved, the world infinite, the mind a rational clockwork. There was no fourth dimension, and there was no subconscious id—that fourth dimension of the mind which transforms straight lines into crooked lines, and the deductions of reason into a web of self-delusions.”

Renewed and Enlightened: A Parent’s Account of Her Daughter’s Transformation

We were delighted to read this 5-star review on greatnonprofits.org of RIFI’s The Great Connections Seminar from a TGC parent. The student, Jessica, was a shy, quiet girl with a lot of inner ambition and hidden creativity. Watching her blossom throughout the week was a joy, and hearing about her continued transformation from her mother is deeply gratifying. Jessica’s growth is characteristic of what we continue to hear about the transformational experience The Great Connections Seminar has in the lives of young people.

Five Stars

 

“My daughter attended the Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute’s Great Connections Seminar in July, 2013. Her experience was life-altering. Our daughter was a shy, intelligent bookworm who couldn’t care less about politics, civilized debate, logic, or philosophy. Instead, she preferred “practical” knowledge that she could process by herself and put into action. The foundations of this “practical knowledge” was uninteresting to her—before the seminar. I knew she would benefit from reading Alexis de Tocqueville, Francis Bacon, Aristotle. I knew she would benefit from visiting art museums, businesses, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home. I knew she would benefit from the philosophical nature of the seminars and the Socratic-style classroom discussions. What I didn’t anticipate was a completely transformed child coming home—one who spoke with confidence in her opinions and an interest in the “big” questions and their connections to the practical world. In addition to my beautiful daughter emerging from her shell, she now has a firm appreciation for her personal liberties and accepts that her participation is necessary for her to retain her autonomy in society.

And my normally shy daughter made a group of friends in this one week (just seven days!) that she’ll have for a lifetime. As her mom, I couldn’t be more pleased. These kids were all high-achieving, responsible, and intellectually curious… just the kind of kids I love for my children to be around.

I should also note that we were given a scholarship to help my daughter attend. Initially, the cost for the seminar was a bit daunting, but the President (Marsha Enright) was eager to work with us to enable my daughter to attend. We are both still very appreciative that the scholarships were available.”

Jessica on her transformation from The Great Connections Seminar

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would…
The only change I would like to see is for the Great Connections Seminar to happen more than once per year. My daughter is already excited to return—but she has to wait a full year.”

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?
“Life-changing.”

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?
“Definitely.”

How well do you feel you were treated by this organization?
“Very well.”

Jessica on her transformation from The Great Connections Seminar

 

If you or  a student you know could benefit from a transformational experience like Jessica’s, please take a look and share The Great Connections Seminar! Scholarships and early registration rates are now available. It’s the opportunity to unleash the inner potential that traditional education leaves dormant. Take control of your education and your future now!

Tutor Lauds Student Transformation from Great Connections Seminar

Last fall we received an email message in response to our Report on The Great Connections 2015 Summer Seminar about Derick Ansah, a spectacular student we had the pleasure of having with us last summer.

Derick Ansah, Great Connections Student

When Derick went back to school that fall, RIFI Founder and President Marsha Familaro Enright received an email from Nawaphon Sittisawassakul at the SUNY/Purchase Economics Department. The kind of growth described in his email about Derick is exactly what we aim to provide for all students at The Great Connections Seminar. It’s a touching message that we wanted to share with you. Transformations like Derick’s make The Great Connections Seminar such a valuable and meaningful experience for young people today.

Hi Marsha!

The update you sent me looked awesome. It’s very cool to see Derick Ansah go through all that along with your other students from around the world. To tell you the truth, when I met him again at the beginning of this fall semester, it was like meeting a completely new person.

Derick had changed mentally and spiritually so much in the short months of the summer break and I think it had to do hugely because of your program. He’s now more critical and analytical of works and ideologies while in the Econ classes lectures, talks, and seminars. His question-asking manner in class has also increased in acuity and form. It’s as if he grew 2 years worth of college prowess in your short 1 week course. A lot of college students don’t get  enough of this critical thinking and these deep analytical skills taught to them at most colleges in America today, which is sad.

He tells me that you dream of making your one week summer course into a full time school one day, I hope that your dream happens because America needs more of this.

George S. Clason, successful businessman and author of The Richest Man in Babylon, once said “Our prosperity as a nation depends upon the personal financial prosperity of each of us as individuals…our acts can be no wiser than our thoughts. Our thinking can be no wiser than our understanding.” Benjamin Franklin also once said that with all our getting, get understanding.

I find that you’re at the forefront of helping our kids understand not just themselves better, but the world, and the inner working of humanity as a whole. This can and will translate itself deeper down the line into a stronger, more prosperous society.

Thank you for all that you do, Marsha!

Sincerely,
Nawaphon

During the seminar, Derick was a natural leader whose affable, inquisitive nature brought TGC students together and helped tremendously to create an open and inviting environment. Throughout the week, it was evident that many of the ideas were new and challenging to him, and he worked hard to improve himself. What was admirable in Derick was that he always aimed to understand things for himself and connect the ideas with other texts and activities throughout the week, especially drawing from his own life experience. His attitude of openness and his enthusiasm to learn and challenge himself encouraged others to push themselves outside of comfort their zones as well.

Not only are other’s noticing Derick’s growth in intellectual prowess, he himself knows how he has grown. The effective methodology of The Great Connections Seminar creates an environment where students can discover within themselves their own powers and abilities. This self-empowerment allows students like Derick to walk away with the confidence that they can be an active leader in their own learning and life.

Derick Ansah on his experience at The Great Connections Seminar

If you know a young person or student aged 16 and up who could benefit from a transformative experience like Derick’s, take a look at what this summer’s Great Connections Seminar has to offer. Scholarships and early registration rates are available now!

 

RIFI Founder Visits Atlanta to Speak About Education Reform

On January 24, 2016, RIFI Founder and President Marsha Familaro Enright presented a guest lecture on “The Collectivist Control of Education and What Education Could Look Like in a Free Society” at the Atlanta Objectivist Society.

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To the packed room of people concerned about the destructive direction of education, Ms. Enright’s presentation generated a stream of great questions and conversation. The audience was particularly interested in the picture of  what education could be like if it were in a free, competitive market.

It’s evident that people are becoming more aware of the continuing control of academia by the left and how education is being used to transform young people into sheepish conformists. Ms. Enright discussed the ways in which the new left has achieved these aims, analyzing the psychology, history, even fashion prom dresses and economic reasons behind our current state of education. As a tonic to that gloomy situation, Ms. Enright provided a surprising picture of what education could be like in a fully free society, with some ideas as to how to get there.

See photos from the event on Facebook here. Like our page to stay up to date on upcoming talks and seminars for students and adults!

Read More

Common Ground on Common Core

 

To read more on this topic, see Ms. Enright’s four-part series of articles on The Savvy Street, starting with University Education As It Might Be And Ought To Be, Part I and Part II.

 

You can also read more about the current push for standardized learning in public education and the opposition from across the political spectrum in Common Ground on Common Core. In the last chapter, “Liberating Education” by Marsha Familaro Enright, she recounts the origins of the American love of education and the history of public education in the U.S. and details what education could be like in a free market.

Hear The Lecture

To hear Marsha Familaro Enright speak on this topic, please join us at the Maryland Objectivist Society on Sunday afternoon, February 28th in Columbia, MD (just outside of Washington, D.C.). To engage her as a speaker, contact Marsha Familaro Enright at menright@rifinst.org.

LECTURE: Feb. 28, What Education Could Be Like in a Free Society

We’re pleased to announce that on Sunday, February 28, 2016, RIFI Founder and President Marsha Familaro Enright will be guest lecturing at The Maryland Objectivist Society on “The Collectivist Control of Education and What Education Could Be Like in a Free Society.”

Her talk coincides with the International Students for Liberty Conference (ISFLC) in Washington, D.C., where RIFI will be exhibiting to promote The Great Connections Seminar in Chicago. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out both events!

Maryland Objectivist Society Lecture: Marsha Familaro Enright

In her talk, Ms. Enright will discuss how public education costs most of us a pretty penny in taxes, yet yields poor outcomes:

  • making many of us pay twice – first in taxes and then in private school tuition;
  • depriving of choice the children of the less well-off, who can’t escape to private schools;
  • failing to provide crucial knowledge, reasoning power, motivation, and work skills.

As technology drives the job market, requiring higher and higher skills, the situation is only getting worse – more and more individuals are being left behind, unable to adequately and honorably support themselves.

In her talk Ms. Enright will address:

  • What’s driving the decline in the quality of education – the historical, economic, psychological and political reasons;
  • The bright spots of hope and the real reasons for optimism in our current educational situation;
  • The surprising picture of what education could be like in a freer society, with some ideas as to how to get there; and
  • What individuals can do to hasten this better future for them and their children.

Come to hear and meet Marsha as well as other concerned parents, taxpayers and civic minded individuals about what can be done to create a better future in education.

About Marsha:

Marsha Familaro Enright is an author and speaker on, among other topics, human development, psychology, and creativity. Many of her interviews are available to watch online.

She is the creator of The Great Connections Summer Seminar, a week-long, liberal arts course for students 16 and up, focuses on classic texts across the ideological spectrum, including those of the philosophy, economics, politics, and history of freedom. Its evidence-based discussion principles significantly increase student reasoning power, as well as collaborative work skills. The program has a transformative effect on most students who attend, radically increasing their autonomy. Learn more at www.thegreatconnections.org.

Check out the event and RSVP on the MDOS (Maryland Objectivist Society) Facebook page here. For further information, visit the Eventbrite page here.

WHEN: Sunday, February 28, 2016 from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

WHERE: PGAMA, Executive Boardroom – 9685 Gerwig Lane Columbia, MD 21046

Jan. 24 EVENT: The Collectivist Control of Education and What Education Would be Like in a Free Society

RIFI Founder and President Marsha Familaro Enright will be speaking on the collectivists’ control of education in the U.S. on Sunday, January 24th in the Atlanta area. We would enjoy having you join us that afternoon! Please let us know if you have any questions. You can contact Marsha at: menright@rifinst.org or call at 773-677-6418.

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“The Collectivist Control of Education and
What Education Would be Like in a Free Society”
Sunday January 24, 2016
4:00-5:30 P.M.
Smyrna, GA

A talk by Marsha Familaro Enright, educational entrepreneur, author of the last chapter, “Liberating Education” in Common Ground on Common Core, editor of Ayn Rand Explained, Lead Developer and Instructor, The Great Connections Seminar for High School and College Students, and Founder and President of Council Oak Montessori School in Chicago for over 26 years.

Many of us are aware of the continuing control of Academia by the collectivists, and how they are using education to transform our young people into sheepish conformists to their agenda. Ms. Enright will discuss the insidious ways in which they achieve these aims, analyzing the psychology of it. As a tonic to that gloomy situation, she will project the surprising picture of what education could be like in a fully free society, with some ideas as to how to get there

Public education costs most of us a pretty penny in taxes, yet yields poor outcomes:

  • For our own children, driving many of us to pay two times; in taxes and private school tuition;
  • Especially for children of the less well-off, who can’t escape to private schools;
  • For too many, in the lack of crucial knowledge, reasoning power, motivation, and work skills.

As technology drives the job market, requiring higher and higher skills, a very good example is the hair lace front wigs. the situation is only getting worse – more and more individuals are being left behind, unable to adequately and honorably support themselves.

Hear about:

  • What’s driving this decline – the historical, economic, psychological and political reasons;
  • The bright spots of hope and the real reasons for optimism in our current educational situation;
  • The surprising picture of what education could be like in a freer society, with some ideas as to how to get there;
  • What you can do to hasten this better future for you and your children.

Come to hear and meet Marsha as well as other concerned parents, taxpayers and civic minded individuals about what can be done to create a better future in education.

About Marsha:

Marsha Familaro Enright is an author and speaker on, among other topics, human development, psychology, and creativity. Many of her interviews are available to watch online.

She is the creator of The Great Connections Summer Seminar, a week-long, liberal arts course for students 16 and up, focuses on classic texts across the ideological spectrum, including those of the philosophy, economics, politics, and history of freedom. Its evidence-based discussion principles significantly increase student reasoning power, as well as collaborative work skills. The program has a transformative effect on most students who attend, radically increasing their autonomy. Learn more at www.thegreatconnections.org.

Check out the event and RSVP on the ATLOS (Atlanta Objectivist Society) Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/924843764230575/.

For further information, contact: Kelly Elmore kellyelmore79@gmail.com.

The Long Game of the New Left

“After the Vietnam War, a lot of us didn’t just crawl back into our literary cubicles; we stepped into academic positions. With the war over, our visibility was lost, and it seemed for a while–to the unobservant–that we had disappeared. Now we have tenure, and the work of reshaping the universities has begun in earnest.”

So wrote one professor in The Chronicle of Higher Education, quoted by Roger Kimball in The Wall Street Journal last Saturday from his book Tenured Radicals: How Politics Have Corrupted Our Education.

If you’re wondering how we got to a place where college students throw a tantrum over Halloween costumes at Yale–or why the move towards “safe spaces” on campus is all but eliminating free speech–the decades-long take-over of Academia by the New Left is the reason.

But the corruption is much deeper than mere politics: it results from an entire philosophy of thought and life most sharply encapsulated in New Left philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s work.

The professor quoted gives us just one piece of evidence about the New Left’s long game to change the culture. There are plenty of others, such as radical terrorist Weatherman Bill Ayers‘ ascension to Distinguished Professor of Education, overseeing teacher credentialing at the National Education Association.

And Howard Zinn‘s shaping of student minds through his People’s History of the United States (“People’s” anything is New Left code for a collectivist-leftist slant). This book has sold over 2 million copies in 20+ years of use at high schools and colleges–and is the source of the “1 percent/99 percent” grievance ideology.

You see, philosophy has long-term consequences, especially if actively promoted. The New Left’s ideas and agenda were taught to the young in the ’50’s and 60’s in the philosophy of Herbert Marcuse. The students who absorbed and adopted his ideas tried to change the culture towards a radically collectivist/socialist agenda with their violent protests in the ’60’s and ’70’s. But it didn’t take in the U.S., with its deeply embedded individualist culture.

So they changed their strategy, and took over Academia. They knew that, in the long game, shaping the minds of the young from grade school to graduate school was the way to change the culture.

Their molding of young minds into fearful, ignorant, emotion-driven nightmares who can’t reason–who consider reason and objectivity something to be reviled as expressions of the “privileged” classes–is experiencing many victories today. The suppression of free speech, the physical intimidation of those who disagree, and the sacking of administrators and teachers who stand up to them are but a few of the consequences.

They’re similar tactics to the Brown Shirts in 1930’s Europe, and equally chilling.

And yet more evidence for why those who want reason, individualism, and freedom to flourish need to support independent education institutions such as The Great Connections Seminar and our efforts to create a new and independent college. Then, students will be given a real educational alternative, where they can learn the full range of ideas, how to reason well, and make up their own minds.

Events

THE GREAT CONNECTIONS SEMINAR for students 16 and older

Registration for the Great Connections Summer Seminar is open.

The week-long program includes Great Connections-style discussions of classic texts in philosophy, logic and reasoning, science and mathematics, economics, history, psychology, literature and other humanities. Students also study logic, introspection, artwork, architecture, meet accomplished professionals in a variety of fields from finance to physics, medicine to ballet. Also, we visit places such as factories, scientific laboratories, entrepreneurial warehouses/offices, Montessori schools, The Second City Comedy Club, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

To view a description of the program for 2017, click here.

Fees for the seminar cover tuition, entrance fees, room, and some board; in 2017, they are $2,000 for the week. However, there are discounts for early enrollment, and some scholarships available. All scholarship recipients are asked to contribute what they honestly can afford towards the program.

Below is the schedule from last year; for the complete schedule for 2017 go to this link.

Questions?