Archive | March 2, 2015

U.K. Free School to Close for Allowing God into the Curriculum*

U.K. Free School to Close for Allowing God into the Curriculum*

By Jamie Campbell

Pupils at Durham Free School were taught creationism during science lessons, according to Schools Week.

The school, which has already been ordered to close by the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has been accused of harbouring “prejudiced views” of children from other faiths that went unchallenged by teachers.

David Hagon, a teacher at the school, apparently asked Year 7 pupils to complete a worksheet as part of their science homework that stated:

“Only the Earth has life on it. God has designed the solar system so that the Earth can support life.”

Any school, academy or free school that is found to teach Creationism as a scientific fact would be in breach of the law and its funding agreement.

Inspectors from education standards watchdog Ofsted also said that they had found evidence of bullying, poor standards in the classroom and financial mismanagement at the free school in investigations last month.

A spokesperson for Durham Free School said:

“It was an isolated incident, which the former head teacher dealt with very promptly, firmly and appropriately.”

Chair of governors John Denning said the school was seeking legal advice after Wednesday’s announcement of its impending closure.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the school have already threatened Ms Morgan with a judicial review if she remained involved in the decision-making process.

Ms Morgan said that:

“The Department of Education operates on the basis that the interests of children must come first and it is clear that the school is not delivering the high standard of education that parents and I expect.

“It is also clear that there is no imminent prospect of improvement and I am not prepared to let any child remain in a failing school.

“I am confident that [closing the school] is the right thing to do.”

Durham Free School is due to close on 27 March.


Related Topics:

War on Faith and Family Continues

Teaching that all Life Came from God Now Banned in the U.K.*

Religious Schools Face Closure if they don’t Promote Homosexuality*

Re-writing European History for the Classroom*

Silencing the Expression of Faith

The Dominant Faith is Materialism*

Blair, Bush and Cameron: Deluded in their Hi-jack of God*

Pedophiles in Power

Why is the Legalization of Gay Marriage so Important to the Queen?*

Ushering in the New ‘god’*

Evolution: God’s Game

Atheists, Whatever They Say to the Contrary, Really Do Believe in God*

Jesus not Allowed in School*

Family that Homeschooled their Children Harassed from Germany to France, the US and Back Again*

The Irreligiosity of IS, ISIS/ISIL*

The Sacred Geometry of Consciousness*

Taxing Religious Belief: German Catholics Must Pay*

The New Pope!

Replace the Gospel of Money*

Replace the Gospel of Money*

By Dean Paton

David Korten began his professional life as a professor at the Harvard Business School on a mission to lift struggling people in Third World nations out of poverty by sharing the secrets of U.S. business success. Yet, after a couple of decades in which he applied his organizational development strategies in places as far-flung as Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and the Philippines, Korten underwent a change of heart. In 1995, he wrote the bestseller When Corporations Rule the World, followed by a series of books that helped birth the movement known as the New Economy, a call to replace transnational corporate domination with local economies, control, ownership, and self-reliance.

This month, Korten, who is also the co-founder and board chair of YES!, publishes a new book challenging readers to rethink their relationship with Earth—indeed, with all creation, from the smallest quantum particle to the whole of the universe. The world needs “a new story,” he says.

The Amazonian Landscape“If most species, including Homo sapiens, are to survive, we must recognize Earth as a living being.” Korten talked about his ongoing metamorphosis with YES! Executive Editor Dean Paton.

Dean Paton: Tell me how somebody who was an organizational management specialist, and then a new-economy thought leader, made this leap into what is as much a spiritual proposition as it is a political one—that Earth is a living organism, that we all are essentially a part of this one big life form.

David Korten: It’s not that hard, actually—once you get into the living-Earth frame—to see that Earth is essentially this organization of living organisms creating and maintaining the conditions essential to life. If you’re an organizational expert, or theorist, that raises a really fascinating question: How do these millions of organisms work in concert to maintain life?

Paton: As if everything has an intelligence and everything has a purpose? How is that relevant to your new book, Change the Story, Change the Future?

Korten: The new book sets up the juxtaposition between the old “Sacred Money and Markets” story and an emerging “Sacred Life and Living Earth” story. They’re two totally different frames that lead to two totally different ways of thinking about organizing society. You either see life as a means to make money, or you see money as simply a number useful for keeping accounts in service to life, but of no value in itself. Buying into the “Sacred Money and Markets” story that money is wealth and the key to happiness locks us into indentured servitude to corporate rule.

Paton: You’re saying it’s the traditional development model, or transnational capitalism, that damages Earth as a living community, including not just humans but all life forms. Yet we all depend on money, on the market economy. Do you really think we can just stop that dependence?

food industryKorten: We will still use money and markets, but strip away Wall Street’s control of money’s creation and allocation. There was a time in the United States when most of our financial institutions were local. Which essentially meant that local communities were able to create their own credit, or their own money, in response to their own needs. We still depended on banks, but it was a much more democratic process.

Paton: Like George Bailey’s building and loan in It’s a Wonderful Life.

Korten: Exactly. If more of our money circulated in our communities rather than the Wall Street casino, it would facilitate people organizing locally to meet more of their economic needs with local resources. Control of money is the ultimate mechanism of social control in a society in which most every person depends on money for the basic means of living—food, water, shelter, heat, transportation, entertainment. This leads us into the voluntary simplicity movement: The less I’m dependent on money, the freer I am. Realize that the only legitimate purpose of the economy is to serve life, is to serve us as living beings making our living in co-productive partnership with living Earth.

Paton: How does that translate into actions? If we get a thousand people to say, “I’m a living being born of and nurtured by a living Earth,” how does that stop fracking? How does that stop the Russians from pumping all the oil out of Kazakhstan and selling it around the world?

Korten: It makes very clear that destroying the natural living systems on which our existence depends, in order to get a quick energy fix or a quick profit, is literally insane.

Paton: So if we’re all living beings “born of a living Earth,” as you say, where does that start to show up in our lives?

Korten: A big piece of it has to do with recognizing the implications of our dependence on money. This goes back to development as a process of separating people from their means of subsistence production. The more people become alienated from their self-production, the more they become dependent on money—and the more they become dependent on the people who control the creation and allocation of money.

Protests U.S.Paton: You mean when I’m dependent, I accept fracking.

Korten: Yeah, you say, “I need that money. They’re going to pay me to frack my property.”

Paton: Do you really think Americans are going to be able to cast off the belief that money is king?

Korten: I’d say a lot of people are casting it off.

Paton: Most of us respond to a 10-dollar bill. Or a bonus at work. Or a new car.

Korten: But we respond to that because we accept the “Sacred Money and Markets” story that money is wealth, a fabrication that is literally killing us.

Paton: So you say that our choice is between working with Earth and working against her?

Korten: It comes back to this: Are we a part of nature? Or apart from nature?

Paton: Why do you insist we adopt this “Living Earth” story?

Korten: Because we humans live by stories.

Paton: And that means…?

Korten: It means that to organize as ordered societies, we need a shared framework—basic values and assumptions—so that when I relate to you, I’ve got some idea of how you’re going to respond, because we share our basic story.

Paton: Do we have a choice?

Korten: Yeah, change or die. Quite literally. You really can’t grasp the new story—as a society—and continue to live the way we live. First you begin to move toward more voluntary simplicity, which is, literally, reducing your dependence on money. You start doing more things yourself. You pay much more attention to your relationships, to the gift economy. You perhaps get a deeper sense of being part of and a contributor to a living universe evolving toward ever greater complexity, beauty, awareness, and possibility. What would that mean for society, and then what does it mean for how I live? What is my contribution to the change society needs? I have a responsibility to be part of this change—which begins by changing the story.


Related Topics:

The American Dream…

True Wealth

The 12-yr-old Who Rocked the Earth Summit

Reflection on Islamic Work Ethics V

A River Runs Through Us

Another World is Possible!

The Banquet of the Spirits Come to an End

To Stand With Pride and Compassion

The Right to Life and Mother Earth

What Did You Plant Today?

Between Power to Choose or the Choice of Power?

The Greatest Story of Our Generation

Change the Story, Change the World*

Food Revolution: Bolivia’s National Model for Food Sovereignty!

Not in the West: Bolivian Economy Grew $34 Billion in 2014*

Capitalist Democracy

The Food Deserts of America