Based on five centuries of tutorial learning at the ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and adapted to North American conditions in the heat of the Berkeley disturbances of the sixties, the Atlantis Project offers a radically different educational system designed, and proven, to dramatically enhance the effectiveness of all current educational methods.
How effective? Just one instance will illustrate the advantages. Using the Atlantis Method, seven years of college and university work can be accomplished in just three years!
Ah, you say. But such intensive training must be intensively expensive.
Not at all. The Atlantis Method costs less than regular teaching. And then of course there is the enormous financial bonuses to the students, to the university and to society at large of having to support the undergraduates at the college for less than half the normal time. And this great bonus is of course dwarfed by the economic bonus to society of giving the college graduate an extra three of four years of contribution to society before retirement.
Think of some of the academic spin-offs. For instance, the widespread fear that there will shortly be insufficient workers to support our growing retired population. The increased years of both school and college graduate productivity should easily counterbalance the shift in patterns of aging. In fact, it should make earlier rather than later retirement economically feasible. Let alone a shorter work week.
And yet these advantages are themselves almost dwarfed by the psychological advantages to the student in the Atlantis System. As any teacher knows all too well, the greatest drag on the efficiency of our current education system is the widespread and many-faceted student resistance to the whole academic process. Think of the inefficiencies caused by classroom disruption, by truancies, plagiarism, drug abuse, drunken binges, etc, all problems rooted in the unnatural methods of the current system. Think of the wear and tear on our teachers caused by this natural and inevitable resistance to our current practices of education. Think of the effort expense of the enforcers currently required to maintain educational discipline.
And note too that resistance to education is even more in crisis among native peoples and our minority populations, a major cause of some stupendous social problems.
This wide ranging resistance to acquiring the knowledge, the wisdom, even the basic skills required for a productive and successful life is quite unnecessary, as our five hundred year pilot project has amply demonstrated!
Think outside the box for a moment. Imagine visiting a country where the young people are compelled by law and custom take all their meals in large, prison like state dining halls where the menu is rigidly controlled and eating is carried out under strict supervision of nutritional drill instructors. Remember the hapless Charlie Chaplin being force fed by assembly line in ‘Modern Times’ ? Imagine the eating problems! The desire for knowledge is as instinctive as our appetites for food and drink. But as so many parents know, it’s all too easy to frustrate your child’s normal appetites if eating becomes an enforced and strictly supervised duty.
OK, OK, you say. How come if this Atlantis method is so superior why isn’t being practiced all over the world instead of in just a couple of Brit universities that evidently haven’t yet emerged from the Middle Ages?
Just one factor, one reason, stands out.
Imagine trying to persuade a bunch of medieval barons that their serfs might be more productive if they were free laborers, or some Victorian-era politicians that it would not be disastrous to the country if women were allowed to vote, or some of today’s terrorists that their cause is not necessarily best served by random attacks on innocent civilians. It’s easy to see how other people can get caught up in the prejudices of their time, country and culture, even to their own disadvantage. Much more difficult to see it in oneself.
And if you look at those examples again, you’ll note that there happens to be one factor that links those three cases, and countless other similar ones you can think of.
It’s lack of respect for people as people.
Think of what has been lost, is still being lost to societies that, for example, do not treat women with true respect as equals. Countries that refuse to allow women the same privilege as men, that is to make their contributions to society in any way they wish to. Even to vote, even to become prime ministers or bishops.
The Atlantis Project achieves its otherwise unbelievable results by according the same respect to young people.
In education, to accord them the same privileges as adults.
To drop the forced feeding and invite them to participate in the feast, the great intellectual banquet of knowledge and wisdom.
It took sustained intellectual and moral courage for women to get the vote. Or Afro-Americans and countless others to get the respect due to every human being on this planet. Time and patience.
So it’s impossible to say how long it will take for the Atlantis revolution to become a widespread educational reality.
But it will inevitably take place. The advantages, once understood, whether economic, social, moral and even spiritual, are too overwhelming.
The pages that follow will show you how the Atlantis methods, as developed over hundreds of years on both sides of the Atlantic, can be practically applied right now.
Let’s get started.
March 27, 2006