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A good friend of mine swore in church! Not only did he swear, but he did so… out loud… in his deep baritone voice, yet!
Obviously, he was upset, so much so that he did not care who heard him. He could not believe that, after having faithfully attended church his entire life, this was the first time anyone had ever given an alternate viewpoint to something he had simply come to accept as being factually true and therefore, trustworthy.
Actually, he was more than upset. He was aghast. How could a critical thinker be so duped, brain washed, directed to believe in something, without supporting evidence, without a mention of potential problems, and most certainly without alternative points of view?
His faith had been built upon the only narrative he had been given, one that had been repeated, seemingly without end and devoid of opportunity to see that it was but one option.
Let me give you another example that will help you understand what happened to my friend. Sally was a bright little girl. She was born in a family of aviators. Her family loved planes. They flew them and knew pretty well all the makes and models. However, no one in the family used the word “airplane,” preferring instead to affectionately describe them as “birds.”
While growing up in this environment, Sally had no reason to question the use of the term “birds” for airplanes. However, she eventually came to discover that those mechanical flying machines were actually called “airplanes.” Now, she could hardly be called stupid, but she had certainly been misinformed.
The perception of truth is often determined by what we believe rather than by objective fact. If we are only provided with a single, often-repeated narrative, we come to believe it is true. If this is societal in scope, any diversion from the established narrative will quickly be met with opposition and derision, as soon as adherents to the narrative discover they have nothing to support their position.
For example, and I do not want to get into a debate about this, but how old is the earth? Have you noticed that whether people believe it is billions or just a few thousand years old, the information is shared as factual, even though most could hardly give you a single scrap of evidence to support their claim? People simply repeat what they have repeatedly heard!
Climate change is another good example; another one that is not worth arguing over, in my opinion. There are people who are so convinced that the earth is imminently going to burn up that they are declaring states of emergency! This is what can happen when the narrative is restricted, repeatedly defended and becomes passionately accepted.
Usually, other arguments, whether legitimate or not, are suppressed, thus leaving us with only one side being presented. It should come as no surprise that so many are convinced of the validity of claims such as climate change, that some even go so far as to call those with opposing views, deniers! Wow! Talk about being zealously religious!
How are these stories and examples applicable to home education, you may ask? Well, they indicate how we come to believe things about pretty well anything, including our perceptions respecting learning, education and school.
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