Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday forum - how would you introduce Gaia worship into schools?

It seems that Nauru has deported its sole magistrate, while also refusing its part time Chief Justice a visa to enter the country.

Meantime, Minister Pyne has defended his curriculum review, while Liberal MP Craig Kelly has used his public Facebook page to announce (and here) his discovery that the national history curriculum mandates Gaia worship in schools. ''This ideology, this neo-pagan religion is set to be indoctrinated into all Australian children,'' Mr Kelly warned.

''With the business community expressing concerns about the inadequate literacy & numeracy skills of school leavers, and with Australia falling down the international rankings for educational standards - it's great to know that the new Rudd/Gillard/Greens NATIONAL CURRICULUM ensures that GAIA worship is preached to all Australian children.''

I first came across the Gaia concept some years ago via science fiction. Yes, SF has indeed had an influence on me! Perhaps reflecting that influence, Mr Kelly's statement created very strange visions in my mind, of students in kaftans sitting cross-legged in a heavily incense laden atmosphere facing an Indian image. Okay, certain aspects of my past may be coming out.

Still and just for fun, how would you teach Gaia worship? Feel free to go in any direction you like. Word pictures would be good.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't. I would however pay respect to the Earth by education on how best protect it from thoughtless destruction.

Anonymous said...

Start with a ritual sacrifice of Pyne, Kelly and Donnelly. Explain that nourishing the Earth with blood is another facet of ancient Greek ritual, oh, actually, ancient Jewish ritual as well, so we could also get in a bit of the 'judeo-christian' non-concept they are always banging on about.
BTW, Why in the name of Gaia, would anyone ever suggest that Dorothea McKellar be studied in any curriculum or syllabus, and as what? It's hardly History, and that crap pome is hardly Literature. Did she do anything important? Have any lasting significance? And it's not even April 1!

Rod said...

Step 1 - introduce education of the using "popular science"... e.g. Environmentalism and String Theory.

Step 2 - make the "hard sciences" unpopular by creating a "geek" stereotype.

Step 3 - Since so few people study the "hard sciences" stop teaching these because they are now uneconomical or;

Step 4 - replace "hard sciences" with "popular sciences" to keep the number of science students (and teachers artificially higher).

Step 5 - Find that "science" teachers now can't understand "hard science" and therefore dumb down maths, physics, chemistry etc to home finance, welding, and pollution studies respectively.

Step 6 - come to the realisation that we are no longer teaching science but philosophy and therefore include concepts such as Gaia as integral to the learning experience

Step 7 - Science is now destroyed since "science" is now dominated by un-disprovable philosophical hypotheses.

Science education is bit of a sore spot.

Evan said...

1. History of the movement.
Origins in Lovelock and science.
Uptake by the new age crowd.

2. Similarities and differences with tribal and agrarian religions.

3. Rituals and ethical assessment.

4. Assessment. What changes would this mean for you as an individual and Australia as a nation? Do you think these changes would be good or bad or a mix. Provide reasons for your answer.

Jim Belshaw said...

I wasn't quite sure how this was going to go, but the results have possibilities.

AC, the challenge was not whether or not you would, but how to do it if you would! The more absurd the better. Still, I do understand your point.

So, anon, we introduce some traditional rituals using a few of your favorite subjects. I'm glad that you didn't bring in studying the entrails for the purpose of divination.

On Dorothea Mackellar, I have a soft spot because of the poem and the New England connection.

Rod, I can see that it is. I will bring those steps up in a main post.

Evan, that is a logical response and would actually be a very modern way of doing it.

Anonymous said...

Thus, without exception, people wander about in Nature's garden; they think they know almost everything, and yet, with few exceptions, they walk blindly by one of the most outstanding principles of Nature's working: the inner seclusion of the species of all living beings on earth.

From "Mein Kampf", with apologies to Neil :)

ps: and never a mention of koalas or Uluru

Rod said...

Now I've had time to calm down about science education I thought about another Gaia education route: Sex Education

Gaia ended up having children with one of her other children... maybe we can introduce incest as part of the "natural order of things" by including it in sex education?

The first step therefore may be to look at Gaia worship in the investigations to child abuse... Sounds like a good excuse?


I'm sure I have now gone too far.

Jim Belshaw said...

Rod, I very much fear that that route (sex education with a dash of incest)would indeed get us into serious trouble!

I am going to run your comment on science education as the centre of a post in its own right because it does raise some interesting issues.