Category Archives: Education

Education: Key Word List & Glossary

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

This Key Word List and Glossary provides an overview for the subject of Education. Sub-topics in this area shall have their own Key Word Lists and Glossaries.


Key Word List

The video above takes up these Key Words in the given sequence using the definitions from the glossary below:


Education, Literacy, School, Learning, Instruction, Indoctrination, Conditioning


Aim of Education, Epistemic approach, Critical thinking


Learning materials, Curriculum


Compulsory education, Equal opportunity



Aim of Education
Education occurs naturally. Its aim is to help one evolve to their fullest potential. Human society puts systems in place to facilitate education. Such systems should not attempt to control the education of a person. Education must occur naturally.

Compulsory education
Compulsory education refers to a period of education that is required of all people and is imposed by the government. Compulsory schooling means that parents are obliged to send their children to a certain school. If education is not happening then environment should be created for education to occur, but education itself should not be forced. The student should be allowed to follow a curriculum at their own pace. Standardized testing should not be used to categorize the students. 

Conditioning is the process of training or accustoming a person or animal to behave in a certain way or to accept certain circumstances. There is social conditioning in every society. True education resolves existing conditioning.

Critical thinking
Critical thinking is the experience obtained from resolving anomalies. This experience is then applied towards resolving more anomalies. Critical thinking builds up on itself. The educational environment should make effort to facilitate critical thinking.

The student should determine what should be taught to him. The learning materials available should consists of modules arranged in a logical order starting from an overview and the fundamentals of a subject. Controversial subjects that contain “sexual” and “religious” contents are safe to learn when approached in this manner. The whole idea is the preservation of critical thinking to resolve anomalies. This consideration applies also to the education in morals, art and aesthetics.

Origin: “brought up, nurtured, taught”. Education occurs naturally as the transmission of cultural heritage from one generation to the next. The basic aspect of education is literacy through which one acquires knowledge and problem-solving skills. Schools are supposed to facilitate education by assisting young minds in the process of learning.

Epistemic Approach
Education should take the approach of enabling one to see things as they are. On this depend truth, knowledge, and understanding. This approach facilitates the development of rationality and critical thinking. These abilities help one resolve anomalies and evolve.

Equal opportunity
Equal opportunity is a state of fairness in which individuals are treated similarly, unhampered by artificial barriers, prejudices, or preferences. This basically applies to learning materials and laboratory facilities that a person accesses to educate oneself. A person must demonstrate his abilities to an independent body to be qualified and certified.

Origin: “to glean, read, ponder”. Learning is the process of acquiring new knowledge, understanding, and skills. One reads and ponders until one grasps the new concepts and can apply them. Learning cannot be forced if the mind is to grow and become mature. When forced, instructions become indoctrination and learning becomes conditioning of the mind.

Learning Materials
Those materials are safe to learn from, which explain the fundamentals of a subject very simply, and build up logically on those fundamentals on a smooth, comfortable gradient.

Literacy is the ability to read and write. It also refers to a person’s knowledge of a particular subject or field. For example, a person can become literate in another language or subject.

To indoctrinate is to impose a set of beliefs so the person accepts them without examining them critically. There is some degree of indoctrination in every subject. True education resolves existing indoctrination.

To instruct is to provide knowledge in a logical and systematic manner, so that a person can use that knowledge to improve his ability to think.

Origin: “leisure employed in learning”. School is a place where instruction is given to a group of children and young adults under college age. A child learns to speak language at home through imitation. He goes to school to learn to read and write that language. Later he learns other subjects by reading about them in that language. Schools are supposed to facilitate that learning process by teaching how to learn and to provide knowledge that answers questions and clears up confusions.



Nov 2, 2022
I think that in future there are going to be no classes. The student will study the subjects they are most interested in. A subject shall be divided into modules. The earlier modules shall be basic and simple. The subsequent modules shall gradually increase in complexity and difficulty. The student shall follow his selected curriculum of subjects at his own pace. Upon completing a module he will be tested on it for understanding and not for memorization. He must grasp a module 100% before he advances to the next module. This is how he acquires qualifications and skills and gets certified on them.

The learning materials shall be available online, as in the KHAN ACADEMY. The student shall mostly study on his own either at home or at school. At school he shall have help available in case he doesn’t understand something or has questions. He shall get assistance on individual basis either from other students or from the teachers. The school shall also provide laboratory and equipment facilities.

Understanding can be tested by examining if the person can apply the materials he has learned. For example, can an electrical engineer do electrical engineering? You may verbally quiz the student on how he can apply certain concepts. Give him real world situations and ask him what action he would take based on what concept.


How to Escape Education’s Death Valley

Reference: Subject: Education

You may read the transcript here.

Here are the main points from this talk (May 2013):

(1) The legislation, “No Child Left Behind” is leaving millions of children behind. In some parts of the country, 60 percent of kids drop out of high school. In the Native American communities, it’s 80 percent of kids. If we halved that number, it would create a net gain to the U.S. economy of nearly a trillion dollars over 10 years. It actually costs an enormous amount to mop up the damage from the dropout crisis.

(2) America spends more money on education than most other countries. Class sizes are smaller than in many countries. And there are hundreds of initiatives every year to try and improve education. But most kids in American school are disengaged from education; they don’t enjoy it; they don’t get any real benefit from it. The trouble is, it’s all going in the wrong direction. 

(3) There are three principles on which human life flourishes: the first is this, that human beings are naturally different and diverse. Education under “No Child Left Behind” is based on not diversity but conformity. Its effect has been to narrow the focus onto the so-called STEM disciplines. These disciplines are fine, but they’re not sufficient. A real education has to give equal weight to the arts, the humanities, to physical education. 

(4) Kids prosper best with a broad curriculum that celebrates their various talents. The arts are important because they speak to parts of children’s being which are otherwise untouched. This narrow focus in education is like doing low-grade clerical work. This naturally makes them fidget, which generates various conditions under the broad title of attention deficit disorder, ADHD.

(5) The second principle that drives human life flourishing is curiosity. If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance. Children are natural learners. Teaching is a creative profession. Great teachers mentor, stimulate, provoke, and engage. But one of the effects of the current culture has been to de-professionalize teachers.

(6) The role of a teacher is to facilitate learning. And part of the problem is that the dominant culture of education has come to focus on not teaching and learning, but testing. So in place of curiosity, what we have is a culture of compliance. Testing should be diagnostic. It should support learning and not obstruct it. It should not be the dominant culture of education.

(7) The third principle is that human life is inherently creative. We all create our own lives through this restless process of imagining alternatives and possibilities. It’s why human culture is so interesting and diverse and dynamic. And, one of the roles of education is to awaken and develop these powers of creativity. Instead, what we have is a culture of standardization.

(8) Finland provides an excellent model for education. They have a very broad approach to education, which includes humanities, physical education, the arts. They don’t obsess about STEM disciplines and standardized testing; yet they regularly come out on top in math, science and reading. There are no drop-outs in Finland. If people are in trouble, they get help and support quite quickly.

(9) The high-performing systems in the world individualize teaching and learning. They recognize that it is students who are learning and the system has to engage them, their curiosity, their individuality, and their creativity. That’s how you get them to learn.

(10) The second is that they attribute a very high status to the teaching profession. They recognize that you can’t improve education if you don’t pick great people to teach and keep giving them constant support and professional development. Investing in professional development is not a cost. It’s an investment, and every other country that’s succeeding well knows that.

(11) And the third is, they devolve responsibility to the school level for getting the job done. Central or state governments do not decide, and go into a command and control mode in education. Education happens in classrooms and schools, and the people who do it are the teachers and the students. If you remove their discretion, it stops working. 

(12) Many of the current policies in America are based on mechanistic conceptions of education. It’s like education is an industrial process that can be improved just by having better data. There is this idea that if we fine-tune it well enough, it will all hum along perfectly into the future. It won’t, and it never did because education is not a mechanical system. It’s a human system. 

(13) There are alternative education programs that are designed to get kids back into education. They’re very personalized. They have strong support for the teachers, close links with the community and a broad and diverse curriculum. They often involve students outside school as well as inside school. And they work. If we all did that, there’d be no need for the alternative.

(14) The real role of leadership in education is not and should not be command and control. The real role of leadership is climate control, creating a climate of possibility. We have to recognize that it’s a human system, and there are conditions under which people thrive, and conditions under which they don’t. And if you do that, people will rise to it and achieve things that you completely did not anticipate and couldn’t have expected.


Education Fundamentals

Reference: Subject: Education
Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

There are two parts to teaching: 

  1. Imparting information
  2. Handling confusions

In a school, information is imparted through lectures and supported by textbooks. In the world of technology today, lectures may be replaced by pre-recorded videos; and the textbooks may be simplified through precise definitions and animated examples. Both video lectures and animated textbooks can be made available online through Internet. One may access them anywhere. A good example of this is Khan Academy | Free Online Courses, Lessons & Practice.

There are going to be confusions in student’s mind. These may be handled through interactions with a tutor on line. Simple confusion may be handled on the spot; otherwise, the student may be directed to study the materials that he missed. The better is the quality, and sequencing, of the study materials, the less confusions will be there to be addressed by a tutor.

Schools then become places where one may go to study and engage in laboratory experiments under supervision.


The Ideal Scene

I see the ideal scene for education as follows:

  1. Easy access to well-organized learning materials. 
  2. Active and self-paced learning.
  3. Realization of rational and systematic thinking.
  4. Attainment of a clear mind that can efficiently solve problems.
  5. Full realization of one’s potentials.  


Motivation to Learn

From birth, a child is exploring and learning. He is naturally motivated to learn. That natural motivation is killed when the child is,

  1. Not provided with enough examples to understand something properly
  2. Not given enough time to understand something fully
  3. Pushed past too many things not understood

When the child has been pushed past too many things not understood, he gives up on independent thinking. He then lets the forced schooling condition his mind. This is not a good situation because, as he grows up, he is unable to creatively think his way out of situations. He then becomes subject to a lot of stress in life.

A way out of this situation is Subject Clearing Your Schooling. This application restores the motivation to learn and to think creatively. It can be self-applied to oneself; or two people may pair up and apply it to each other; or a tutor may apply it his or her students individually as needed.

In general, one must never allow one’s motivation to be killed by the reasons listed above.



Once one is motivated to learn, one can self-learn to a great extent in today’s technological environment. Self-learning can be supported greatly by a tutor who is familiar with Subject Clearing.

Self-learning materials have the following characteristics:

  1. They lay out the materials in a logical sequence starting from the fundamentals.
  2. They provide a suitable gradient of learning.
  3. They explain each concept using precise definition and enough illustrative examples.
  4. They allow the student enough time to understand the concepts.
  5. They are written in simple language.
  6. They provide a glossary for the key words used to describe the concepts.

In self-learning it is very important not to go by something one does not understand. One’s mind should always be full of curiosity and eagerness to learn. Whenever, there is a doubt, perplexity or confusion, it should be treated as an ANOMALY.

An anomaly is any violation of the integrity of reality, such as, discontinuity (missing data), inconsistency (contradictory data), or disharmony (arbitrary data).

The moment one becomes aware of an anomaly one must make some effort to resolve it.  He should actually resolve the anomaly; or, at least, add it to a TO DO LIST, that he checks on a regular basis.


Creative Thinking

Self-learning helps a student explore his potentials to the fullest degree. He naturally picks up the subjects that he is most interested in. He would then excel in those subjects because he wants to. Self learning maintains and even enhances a person’s ability to think independently and creatively at all times.

Here are some elementary question to check creative thinking ability: What is Mathematics?

Here is an example of addressing the fundamentals of a subject: Numbers

The subject of education is explored here: Subject: Education


The SLC Policies

Reference: Course on Subject Clearing

The following policies apply broadly to all SLCs.

POLICY # 1: The study materials for a subject follow the logical sequence in which the concepts are developed.

This policy is followed in developing the math materials from Level 00 to Level 2 at Course on Mathematics. Later levels provide materials that are selected per this policy.

POLICY # 2: The study materials are presented on a gradient such that they are suitable for a student studying them for the first time. 

These math lessons were developed to address the “holes” in the understanding of High School dropouts, but they are written in a manner that they can be used at earlier levels. The students are encouraged to read and understand these lessons under the supervision of trained supervisors who have already completed these lessons. 

POLICY # 3: Each lesson is accompanied by a large number of exercise problems with answers provided for them.

All lessons of this math curriculum are supported by plenty of exercises with answers provided at the bottom. The student does these exercises to practice the concepts of that lesson, and then checks his or her answer. The correct answers reinforce the students’ confidence. The incorrect answer provides an opportunity to find and correct the error. The errors decline rapidly as the student becomes aware of how he made the error. 

POLICY # 4: The SLC course room provides access to course materials on electronic tablets.

The SLC course room is a single large space with tables and chairs, and a white board with markers and eraser for lecture purposes. All course materials are accessed through individual electronic tablets provided to the students. 

POLICY # 5: The course room may also provide pencil and paper and dictionaries.

Students may also be provided with pencil and paper for doing exercises, and dictionaries to clear up the meaning of words. Students are encouraged to utilize the resources available with care, so that there is enough for everybody.

POLICY # 6: The students teach themselves directly from their course materials, with the use of “Word Clearing”.

The students learn to use the procedure of Word Clearing to self-learn. They apply this procedure to their course materials.

POLICY # 7: The students are assisted in their self-learning by the “Word Clearers”. 

A Word Clearer is fully trained on word clearing, and is familiar with the courses being studied. He ensures that the students understand the procedure of word clearing and are applying it. He assists any student having difficulty in understanding their course materials by helping them find the word they don’t understand and clear up the area of confusion. NOTE: The senior students in the course room may act as “word clearers” for junior students.

POLICY # 8: The SLC course room is run by a “Course Supervisor”. 

The person in charge of the SLC course room is called the Course Supervisor. He (or she) is fully trained on all the courses that are being studied in that Course room. He manages the Course room and its supplies, and ensures that the students are making progress and completing courses.

POLICY # 9: New students are started with introductory lectures on their course and the word clearing procedure.

New students go through a lecture by the Course Supervisor that introduces them to the course room, the supplies, the use of electronic tablets to access their course materials and the word clearing procedure. Additionally, the new student may be given introductory lectures on the subject he is going to study, such as, the two lectures provided at the link for Level 1 Math. There are some Diagnostics too at that link, which the new student may do while waiting for the lectures. After the lectures, the student starts on the course.

POLICY # 10: Throughout the course the student is spot-checked intermittently for his understanding of the study materials.

The discipline of word clearing is vital for a self-learner and it is reinforced on the course. The Word Clearers in the course room randomly spot-check the students on the materials they have already studied. This check is for understanding and not for memory. The student is asked to demonstrate how a concept could be applied in a given situation, or how a word representing a certain concept could be used in a sentence. This gives the student feedback in real time on his comprehension of the materials. He also learns to improve his comprehension if it is lacking.

POLICY # 11: After completing a lesson, the student is examined by the Course Supervisor for his ability to apply its contents.

When the student has completed a lesson he goes to the Course Supervisor to be examined for his skills learned on that lesson.  If the Course Supervisor  finds some minor things missing he tutors the student on the spot and then verbally quizzes him again on the whole lesson. If major understanding is found to be missing, the student is sent back to restudy the lesson under closer supervision of a Word Clearer. The Word Clearer spot checks the student’s skills (especially in math) by giving exercises to do. The student must be able to do three exercises correctly in a row before he is sent to the Course Supervisor to be examined again. Upon passing, the student is recognized for this accomplishment in front of the class. He then moves to the next lesson. 

POLICY # 12: After completing a course, the student must pass a written examination 100%.

The written exam must be objective in testing the concepts and skills taught in that course. Basically, the student is being examined in his ability to think critically in that subject. All questions asked are on contents covered in that course. None of the questions should fall outside the course. If the student scores less than 100%, he must restudy what he missed and sit for another written exam. Upon passing the written exam, the student is awarded a certificate for course completion. The course completion is announced in the course room. 

POLICY # 13: The study materials for a subject may exist in the form of simple to complex  modules for different levels.

The study materials of a subject may be developed as a series of modules starting from introduction to fundamentals to advanced levels in a subject. Each module is then delivered as a course. Before one can start on a course module, he must have completed all earlier modules in that subject. The lower skills must be mastered before the student moves to learning higher skills. When a student has completed all available course modules in a subject, he may learn the tool of Subject Clearing to make further progress in that subject on his own using the data available on Internet and elsewhere.

POLICY # 14: The SLC’s focus is on High School dropouts, but anybody able to follow the discipline of word clearing may be enrolled.

If middle and primary school students want to enroll on SLC courses, they may do so if they can at least follow the discipline of word clearing. They all share the same space. Pre-K and Kindergarten level children may not be enrolled. Instead their parents may enroll themselves on Course Modules for Pre-K and Kindergarten levels so they can teach their young children on those levels at home.

POLICY # 15: There is no competition among students in the course room. The only contest is against ignorance.

The whole focus in the SLC course room is on overcoming one’s lack of knowledge. Students are not segregated by their age or level. The students on a course may be of any age. If a ten year old can handle calculus then so be it. And if an eighteen year old still needs to complete the course module on fractions, then he stays on that module until complete. There can be students studying different subjects in the same course room. Even on the same subject, the students may be on different modules. The students progress at their own pace. They are spot-checked, quizzed and examined individually for their understanding. The progress is strictly based on their knowledge and skill.

POLICY # 16: The product of an SLC is a student who is able to learn from materials by himself.

The student is encouraged at every step to apply word clearing. He is helped with troubleshooting his difficulties. When a hole becomes visible it is traced back to earlier holes in understanding until it is handled completely. The result of all this effort is that the student starts to get a first-hand experience of what it takes to be a self-learner. On top of this, if the student does the course on Subject Clearing, he is certified as a self-learner.


Black and White Thinking

There is no absolute black, or absolute white. Between black and white there exists a gradient scale of gray.

When we look at the duality of HOT-COLD, it is best viewed as a temperature scale which refers to temperature changing in infinitesimal gradients. At one end of this scale the temperature may be viewed as gradually getting hotter. At the other end of the same scale the temperature may be viewed as gradually getting cooler.

The mathematical duality of infinite-zero is applied to the idea od something and nothing. Infinity is not a number but it represents continuously increasing quantities that are very large. Similarly, zero is not a number but it represents continuously decreasing quantities that are very small.

The “zero” on a scale simply represent an arbitrary reference point called “origin”.

On this mathematical scale of numbers, the integers may appear to be discrete, but between two integers we have fractions, and between two fractions we have irrational numbers. So, the mathematical scale of numbers is really a continuum without any gaps even at the infinitesimal level.

In reality there is a single scale with two ends that extend endlessly on either side.

Any duality like Good-Evil, Right-Wrong, True-False, I am-I am not is, therefore, a continuum of infinitesimally varying values with no gaps in between anywhere. Dualism looks at these dualities as having a wide gap between two opposite ideas. Non-dualism looks at the two opposite ideas as just an illusion. But both these considerations are fixations in the mind.

The fixation of dualism and non-dualism are alike the result of black and white thinking. The truth is that there is a gradient scale that extends endlessly in either direction. This realization settles the confusion between dualism and non-dualism.

The black and white thinking may be looked upon as the result of fixations in the mind.