Monday, June 30, 2008

A "Scientology" School

There seems to be a lot of hullabaloo about the school that Will Smith and his wife Jada are opening. Because the school uses the study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard some news reports are calling it a "Scientology" school.

My guess is they are calling it that for two reasons:
  • Ignorance
  • So they can make it sound "Controversial" to "sell more papers"
Neither reason is forgivable. Both reasons are a betrayal of the public trust given to the media and a threat to freedom of speech. Every inaccurate report in the media gives fuel to those who wish to curb that right.

The school does not teach Scientology. So how can it be called a "Scientology School"?

What these inaccurate and misinformed reports do is merely obscure the most effective study methods developed since a Greek philosopher stood before a group of interested students and began to expound his ideas.

Think about it: Our teaching methods have not changed in thousands of years.

2,500 years ago in the Gold Age of Greece there were four primary teaching methods:
  • Stand in front of a group and tell them stuff
  • Write a book and have others read it
  • Get your students together and have them discuss ideas
  • Show someone by example how to do something
We are still using these four basic methods today. Modern technology has merely expanded on these so you can video the guy who is telling stuff or showing how to do stuff so he doesn't have to stand in front of the group, you can make the book come to life in a video or a Power Point presentation and your students can video conference so they don't have to be in the same physical location to discuss ideas.

These methods are good methods and have helped us produce our current civilization but what about the poor guy who "just can't get it"? The answers of the existing methods are: "you are stupid" or "you are not smart enough" or "get it or you will fail the class" or "if you fail you won't get that well paid job." or "you will end up flipping burgers for a living" or "you have a learning disability, take this drug so you won't worry about it." These are "blame the student" or "threaten the student" type solutions and are not very helpful.

Study Technology has solutions to those things which stop you from understanding and being able to apply what you are studying. The problems of leaning and education have been solved in Study Technology. That is a bold statement to make, but from personal experience I can tell you that it is a true statement.

For more info on Study Technology:
Study Technology Results and Research Papers
A Workable Answer: Study Technology

What do y'all think? I'd like to get some feedback from people who have used Study Technology. How has it worked for you? What has it enabled you to achieve?


Fillard said...

Study Technology? What an odd concept on its surface. We expect our young people to learn this, learn that, but do we ever teach them how to do so? I've used this technology for many years and it's enabled me to learn many things. In fact I can safely say there isn't any subject I would back away from or be unable to master. Yet I was a C student in high school and a dropout in college. L. Ron Hubbard's Study Technology changed all that. I certainly wish I had had it when I was in school.


Tom Sherman

Grahame said...

Thanks for your comment fillard.

I too have found Study Technology to be vital. I am a computer professional and every week it seems there is a new piece of technology or a change to an existing piece. If not for Study Technology I'd be lost.

Grahame said...

scott pilutik left a comment disputing my assertion that Study Technology is secular. He said:

For example, compare:
"Simple Words," HCO Bulletin of 4 September 1971 Issue III
You might suppose at once that it is the BIG words or the technical words which are most misunderstood. This is NOT the case. On actual test, it was English simple words and NOT Dianetics and Scientology words which prevented understanding.


"Understanding Words," chapter 3 of Basic Study Manual, p. 79
You might suppose at once that it is the BIG words or the technical words which are most misunderstood. This is NOT the case. On actual test, it was English simple words and NOT technical words which prevented understanding.

The first one comes from the writings of L. Ron Hubbard that are meant for Scientologists. The second is from a secular text with religious references removed.

Can anyone see anything religious in the second text? I welcome comments.

scott also said While Study Tech obviously doesn't cover the aspects of Scientology that you, as a Scientologist, intuitively think of as religious, such as engrams, thetans, and the like, it doesn't really matter. None of Hubbard's theories were independently tested--on either the tech or admin side--and therefore require the same act of faith--religious faith--to accept them.

Let me address this:

1) There is conflicting data here: You say Study Technology doesn't cover what we think of as religious and then you say that doesn't matter? Wait a minute. If you are saying it is somehow religious then give me an actual example of a secular Study Technology text that mentions something religious.

2) You are incorrect when you say that Study Technology has not been independently tested. Please follow the "Study Technology Results and Research Papers" link above and look at the examples there.

3) There is no faith involved in Study Technology. Any individual can try it and see if it works or not. Just make sure you understand what it is, apply it correctly and then make up your own mind. It either works or it doesn't. No act of faith is required.

Grahame said...

scott pilutik got upset that I didn't just allow his post onto my blog.

Scott, here are my long standing rules about comments I allow onto my blog. Comment Rules.

I haven't had a chance to look at your latest comment other than the first bit. I'll take a look over the weekend and reply as appropriate.

Milla said...

Hey Grahame!

I personally delivered many one-day workshops for training over 2 thousand teachers on the basics of Study Technology. This was some 8 years ago.

I could be telling yoy about these teachers wins and realizations for over a month, talking 24/7!

Some of the most common ones were:

"I wish I knew this technology 20/30/40 years ago!"

"I've been in countless other trainings. No one gave me real applicable answers like this one just have".

"After 10/20/30 years, today I understand for the first time why my students could not learn before and I know what to do".

"I know now for the first time in all my teaching life how to help a student so he/she can learn".....

It was an unbelievable time!

Grahame said...

Thanks Milla,

I have heard similar stories from others who have worked directly with teachers to train them on Study Technology.

I also recall when I first was learning Study Technology how I "wished I'd known this years ago" when I was in High School and University. What a difference it would have made to my education!

Milla said...

Yeah, we all whish so many wishes.... :-) BTW, you can find this article in Spanish here.

Grahame said...

Thanks Milla! That's very cool.

Milla said...

Hi again! Eduardo, from Guatemala, asked me to post his comment in my blog about your article here (because he doesn't have a Google/Blogger acccount, so he can't post directly...

He says that he knew L. Ron Hubbard's Study Technology 24 years ago and that he's able to clearly state that in the fields where he's been most successful have been precisely the fields where he's used this technology. On Eduardo's profession, Medicine, there's a ridiculosuly HUGE amounto of technical words and terms.

He says,

"Believe me, Medicine is a very easy practical, fascinating subject. How can I consider such a "difficult" and "complex" field as Medicine with so many huge heavy books to be studied something "easy and practical? Well, I'm no genius. I just was lucky enough to know L. Ron Hubbard's Study Technology and use it.

Kat said...

Hi! This is a great post. I went to Will Smith's school website (New Village Academy)and read it thoroughly - sounds to me like they want the best for the kids there - a well rounded education, and kids who can use what they get from school to make a difference in the world.

This is from their mission statement " We believe that an individual’s survival and prosperity are inextricably bound to the rise and fall of his or her family, social groups and humankind. As a result, we have created an innovative learning environment that emphasizes the pursuit of personal excellence as the catalyst of both group advancement and individual prosperity."

The use of study technology just simply ensures that people can retain and use what they study. Makes sense to me that a school wanting to produce excellent individuals would employ it.

As a Scientologist, I always think its kinda funny when people refer to any school as a "Scientology School". The schools that use study tech do not teach Scientology. The church does. I go to church nearly every day to study Scientology - now THAT is "Scientology school"!

Mike said...

Hi Grahame,
Well, my experience with Study Technology is fairly extensive; my teachers used it in my schools and I did the Basic Study Manual at an early age. This was very helpful to me and I moved through school extremely rapidly.
The real "clincher", for me, was actually after I did the Student Hat course (the full body of study technology). Now, I had always gotten fairly high percentages on tests, both at school and on Scientology Courses, so it took me a while to really notice this, but:
After I finished my full study of Study Technology, I've gotten 100% on everything I've studied since then. And that was over 3 years ago now!

So, I can personally highly recommend it.