370. Your Children Are Schooled to Be Factory Workers | Zach Lahn

    Teaching conflict resolution and negotiation skills starting from an early age in a self-motivated and exploratory environment can lead to success in real-life situations. Encouraging learners to voice their opinions can help them reach a better understanding of others.

    enJune 26, 2023

    About this Episode

    Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and Zach Lahn discuss the Wonder School, a Socratic-based education system in Wichita, Kansas. They delve into the value of learner-driven education, the origins of the American school system as a means to create obedient factory workers, and the true role of schools in shaping a child’s character. They also walk through a day in the life of a Wonder Leaner, the curriculum designed to help inspire these students toward their true calling, and exactly why this unconventional approach might be well worth your consideration as a parent.


    Zach Lahn is the co-founder of Wonder, a learner-driven school in Wichita, Kansas, with the mission of helping young people find their calling and preparing them to change the world. His background in business has been as a founder of a search fund focused on acquiring and building small to medium companies. Prior to founding Wonder, Zach managed U.S. Congressional and Senatorial campaigns and raised funds for startup companies and nonprofit organizations. He now spends nearly all of his time at school with his six kids and with his wife, building a regenerative farm on his family’s ancestral homestead in Iowa.


    - Links -


    For Zach Lahn:


    Twitter @ZachLahn https://twitter.com/ZachLahn


    The Wonder School www.daringtowonder.com/

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Students need a more interactive and engaging learning experience that allows them to take ownership of their education. Parents and educators should focus on understanding the mechanics of the educational process to provide the best learning opportunities for children.
    • As parents seek agency for their children, education should focus on skill acquisition, moral character development, and motivation. To create a vision for their lives, individuals can strategize their relationships, career, self-care, and civic responsibility.
    • Education needs to move away from the traditional model towards a more personalized, holistic approach that focuses on character, vision, and experiential learning. A shift towards this approach could lead to better student engagement and success.
    • A deliberate and interactive launch to the school day, like a Socratic discussion, can help students develop public speaking skills, critical thinking, and the ability to consider multiple perspectives.
    • Character education can be taught beyond school, through experiences, stories, and Socratic discussions that emphasize the importance of listening, respectful disagreement, and mutual accountability. Wonder creates a safe environment for young learners to explore right and wrong ways to operate through its immersive journey.
    • Learning from peers promotes social interaction and responsible decision-making, while gamifying education engages learners as they develop cognitively. An environment that promotes collaboration rather than competition is beneficial for all learners, young and old.
    • Wonder Elementary prioritizes social development over academic work and empowers young students to choose their own work and interact with mentors for personal growth.
    • Encouraging children to set achievable goals helps them to replace impulsive motivations with higher-order visions, and adaptive platforms like Khan Academy and Beast Academy have revolutionized math learning for millions of active users.
    • Wonder School offers an affordable education with successful academic results. Their selection process prioritizes parental interest and understanding of the school's goals. Children are allowed to be children, and growth is measured individually, not through constant comparison to others.
    • By creating a troll-free environment and providing kind verbal feedback, learners can take constructive feedback positively and grow. Practicing Socratic dialogue and public exhibitions can also enhance the learning experience. Jordan Peterson and Zach Lahn discuss effective learning methods in this podcast.
    • By instilling respect and order in elementary education and using gamified learning platforms, schools can attract learners who share their ethos and encourage self-direction for successful learning.
    • Incorporating game-like approaches to learning can incentivize younger learners, fostering their natural competitiveness and drive to work harder, while gradually inculcating a focus on actual on-task work and making progress towards goals rewarding and enjoyable.
    • Teaching conflict resolution and negotiation skills starting from an early age in a self-motivated and exploratory environment can lead to success in real-life situations. Encouraging learners to voice their opinions can help them reach a better understanding of others.
    • To cultivate a love of reading in children, allow them to choose what they like to read through a crowd-sourced library and gamify the experience with incentivization. Empowering self-guided learning with graded texts builds crucial reading skills.
    • Foster a love of reading by providing access to self-help books and varied literature. Don't criticize reading preferences. Teach children to read efficiently and promote a voluntary environment to unlock the desire to read.
    • By allowing children to choose their own books and challenging them with interesting stories, we can inspire a love for reading and improve their proficiency without forcing it upon them.
    • Setting realistic goals and receiving constructive feedback from peers, guides, and parents can benefit a child's self-development, laying a foundation for their future success through efficient and structured learning.
    • Middle school curriculum emphasizes apprenticeships for real-world experiences and hands-on learning. Learners are taught to request meetings with local heroes and explore interests through mastery-based learning.
    • Apprenticeships provide young people with mentorship, self-motivation, and career exploration opportunities. Through hands-on experience, they gain valuable skills and learn to properly utilize information to pursue their passions.
    • Students can declare their career choices and develop essential skills such as peer-to-peer accountability, finding mentors, and certification through deliberate work. This fosters a culture of entrepreneurship and allows them to aim towards something in the world.
    • Allow children to succeed and fail, recognize and appreciate their efforts, and give them agency over their own lives to foster independence and confidence for a successful future.
    • True education involves confidently believing in vetted ideas and conveying them clearly, rather than relying on untested novelty. Advanced schools prioritize autonomy and critical thinking, finding confident belief in vetted principles. Visit daringtowonder.com and actonacademy.org for more information.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Shifting from Direct instruction to Hands-on Learning: The Need for Educational Transformation

    The traditional education system has a direct instruction model where teachers give lectures, and students listen and take notes. Even innovative schools follow the basic model. Educational transformation is required, where students can take ownership of their learning and engage in hands-on learning activities. Wonder, a Socratic based school system K to 12 in Wichita, Kansas, is one such initiative that is providing decentralized, independent schools. Zach Lahn, the co-founder of Wonder, aims to revolutionize education and is taking a leadership role in the Acton program. Schools that cater to vocational training skills are doing well, but socioeconomic divides are still prevalent. Parents and education enthusiasts can understand the educational process mechanics to give their children the best education.

    Rethinking Education for Empowering Children

    Parents want their children to have agency over their life, which is having the power and resources to fulfill their potential. Traditional schools are based on compliance and control, which does not marry with a parent's vision of agency. Education should be more about the acquisition of skills rather than just regurgitating knowledge. Moral character development and motivation should also be a part of education. The public school system was not developed with a vision for the future in mind. To help people create a vision for their lives, an exercise can be done to write out a vision and strategy for their intimate relationship, family, friendship, career, resistance to temptations like alcohol and drug abuse, use of time outside of work, productive and generous use of time outside of work, care for themselves physically and mentally, and civic responsibility.

    Rethinking Education for Modern Times: From Prussian Model to Personal Vision

    The traditional education system is outdated and ineffective in today's rapidly changing world. Based on a Prussian model aimed at producing obedient soldiers and workers, it does not foster the development of moral and character traits essential for becoming active, engaged, and upward-aiming citizens. Jordan Peterson conducted research that showed a 90-minute exercise promoting students' vision for their lives decreased their dropout rate by 50% and increased the grade point averages of current students by 35%. Zach Lahn's school uses a decentralized system where adults do not transmit content knowledge to children. Instead, students are broken up into different ages and varying studios, allowing for a more diverse and natural learning experience.

    Reimagining Education: An Alternative Model to Traditional Schooling

    The traditional education system has largely remained the same since its inception and limits the potential of young people. Alternative models like Montessori and kindergarten were developed during the same time, but did not gain the same traction. The school should be intentional about how it starts the day, and Bell ringing is not an intentional launch. 'Acton Academy' has a Socratic facilitator who initiates a 15-minute long Socratic discussion and debate in which all students participate to launch the day. During the debate, two opposite viewpoints are presented, and students learn how to lay out their argument publicly, speak publicly and understand that there are many sides to an argument.

    Embedding Young People in a Narrative: Character Education through Socratic Discussions in Wonder

    Young people are embedded in a story, a narrative, and as parents and adults we have the privilege to be part of it. The education of character cannot solely rely on schools, but it can be imparted through experiences, relation to others, and stories. Socratic discussions are heavily embedded in stories and narratives, demonstrating to the young learners that they are on an important journey with right and wrong ways to operate. Wonder's Socratic discussions follow the rules of just conduct, focusing on listening with the whole body, and learners hold each other accountable throughout the discussion. The environment created by Wonder encourages learners to disagree politely, respect and listen to each other, regardless of age.

    The Benefits of Mutual Accountability and Peer-to-Peer Learning in Education

    Mutual accountability and peer-to-peer learning in a tribe-like environment help individuals view others as potential allies rather than competitors. By observing and interacting with older learners in discussion forums, younger learners absorb information better and learn to interact in such situations. In a democratic school system, children as young as six years old are encouraged to learn from and emulate their slightly older peers who act as positive role models. Such a system promotes social interaction and encourages children to get elected for leadership positions in their squad. This enables them to participate actively in decision-making and gain a sense of responsibility. As learners grow older and cognitively develop, they move from social to work-focused activities, making gamifying education an effective tool for engaging them.

    Fostering Social Development in Young Students through Freedom and Mentoring

    At Wonder Elementary, young students are given the freedom to work with their peers, choose their own work, and exit the room for a while if they need to be distracted. The school believes that instead of pushing academic work onto children, they should focus on social development. They start their day with Socratic discussions to iron out a complex moral conundrum, followed by a meeting with their mentor, who is elected based on exemplifying some of the traits that it means to be at wonder. The mentors, who are aged 12 to 16, ask questions like what got the students most excited last week, what they were proud of accomplishing, and if there were any social dynamics to discuss

    The Importance of Goal Setting for Kids and Adaptive Learning Platforms

    Goal setting is important for kids, regardless of their age. Setting achievable goals is key in order to keep children interested and invested in their work. Younger kids may have shorter time horizons for their goals, but as they get older, they can accurately plan their year. Encouraging children to accomplish something and setting a vision helps them to replace impulsive motivations with higher-order visions that are integrated across time. In the Elementary studio, the goal is to love learning and learn to work well in a tight-knit tribe with others. Adaptive platforms like Khan Academy and Beast Academy have revolutionized math learning for millions of active users and have been assigned as homework by elite private schools.

    Wonder School: An Affordable and Successful Alternative to Traditional Education

    Wonder School charges a fraction of the cost of the average student's yearly cost in New York state, and their learners typically perform 2.5 grade levels above where they should be. While standardized testing is not the only measure of success, it is difficult to establish performance measures without it. Wonder School's selection process is based more on parental interest in education and their understanding of what the school represents and its goals. Children need to be given time to be children, so they are not just information-absorbing machines. It is also important to compare an individual learner to themselves and their growth, rather than constantly comparing them to others.

    The power of peer ratings and constructive feedback in tribal learning

    Giving and receiving feedback through peer ratings is an effective way of improving tribal learning experience. Creating a troll-free environment where learners are respectful towards each other helps build trust which eventually leads to more honest feedback. Providing kind verbal feedback gives more context than written feedback and helps individuals take constructive feedback positively. Learning to take and incorporate constructive feedback is an important life lesson that helps individuals grow. Practicing Socratic dialogue and providing examples of feedback methods can help learners understand how to give feedback better. Public exhibitions can help build confidence at an early age. Providing a small PA system can help audience feedback. Jordan Peterson and Zach Lahn discuss various methods of teaching and learning in this podcast.

    Teaching Tribal Reinforcement and Encouraging Self-Direction in Schools

    Young children can be taught the importance of tribal reinforcement through elementary education by instilling an ethos of respect and order. It's crucial for a school like theirs to attract learners who share their ethos and beliefs. Antisocial behavior is difficult to rectify after the age of four, and it's one of the most challenging aspects of clinical psychology. But introducing gamified and fun learning platforms like the Khan Academy can inspire learners to complete their work and enjoy learning. Their schools run largely by systems and recipes handed off to learners, and guides don't have the traditional role of telling learners what to do. Learners are capable of self-direction when provided with the right tools.

    Gamification of Work for Effective Learning

    Gamification of work can be an effective way to incentivize learners, especially younger ones. The freedom levels in the school, where learners earn their freedom by the work that they do, is a game-like approach to learning that 80-90% of learners thrive on, with the additional freedom incentivizing them to work hard. While it's critical to prepare students for the real world, it's essential to recognize that elementary, middle and high school are different, and the progressions are different, with the focus towards actual on-task work for three hours a day, gradually inculcating conscientious focus in learners. This approach to learning and work is being adapted and designed to match the motivational structure of learners, making progress towards the goal fun and rewarding.

    Teaching Conflict Resolution and Self-Motivated Learning in Wonder School

    Teaching conflict resolution and negotiation skills starting from an early age can lead to success in real life situations. In Wonder School, learners can call a conflict resolution session and meet with a peacemaker who helps them negotiate and reconcile. By encouraging learners to voice their opinions, we can help them address issues and reach a better understanding of each other. This strategy of negotiation and reconciliation in conflict resolution can be applied in real life situations as well. In addition to this, learning should be self-motivated. At a young age, exploration and love of learning should be encouraged while in elementary school, learners are exposed to deep books and challenge badges.

    Gamify Reading for Kids with Self-Guided Learning

    Forcing children to read things they don't like is not an effective way to develop a love of reading. Crowd-sourcing a library of books and allowing children to choose what they like to read is a better approach. This incentivizes reading and turns it into a game where the reward is the joy of reading. Incentivization is crucial for gamification, which is a microenvironment structured optimally for voluntary engagement. Teaching children how to read and allowing them to progress at their own pace, with graded texts of increasing difficulty, is empowering and builds reading skills. Self-guided learning is highly effective and helps children to engage with the reading material.

    Encouraging a Love of Reading in Individuals through Self-Help Books and Varied Literature Choices

    Instilling a love of reading is crucial, and allowing individuals to discover great books on their own is optimal. Self-help books are a great way to introduce people to basic moral philosophy and theology. Criticism of someone's reading preferences is counterproductive and discouraging. Teaching children to read effortlessly and efficiently is vital in developing a genuine love for reading. Reading should not be limited to traditional literature, but can also include comic books and graphic novels. Providing individuals with the tools to unlock their desire to read is essential. A voluntary environment is vital, as it creates a moral rule that ensures the environment is not pathological, which could lead to either tyranny or chaos.

    Encouraging Reading through Self-Selection Process

    Developing a love for reading can be achieved by engaging kids with interesting stories via a self-selecting process. Students can pick badge books which are interesting and challenging for them to read. They can then write a review on the book which is discussed in a Socratic circle or peer reviewed. The process of selecting books that are more difficult, yet engaging, and setting their own goals for the year encourages a progression of excellence in reading proficiency at a young age. A system that doesn't force reading but aims to make it fun can motivate students to voluntarily choose to read deep stories that inspire them.

    Using SMART Goals and Feedback to Foster Child Development

    Setting SMART goals and receiving feedback from peers, guides, and parents can help children develop a more accurate understanding of themselves and their capabilities, and foster their own development. This process is inculcated at a young age through the use of a badge plan with SMART goals and a contract that the child, guide, and parents sign. In middle school, students are encouraged to work hard for at least three hours a day in flow, while high school students should have a tested and vetted idea of what they'd like to do with their lives. This approach allows children to approach learning in a more structured and efficient manner and lays the foundation for their future success.

    Apprenticeship-based Middle School Curriculum

    The middle school curriculum focuses on apprenticeship process where learners are encouraged to identify their interests and find local heroes in the respective field. They are taught to write a persuasive email, requesting for a five-minute phone call followed by a ten-minute in-person meeting, and then a six-week apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is aimed at providing real-world experiences and hands-on learning opportunities to the learners outside the confinement of classrooms. The school believes that young people today are capable of achieving real-world experience at an early age. The schools' focus on mastery rather than a fixed time frame for completion of tasks provides ample opportunity for apprenticeships and exploration of interests.

    The benefits of apprenticeships for young people in exploring career interests and gaining skills.

    Apprenticeships can be a powerful way for young people to explore their interests and passions while gaining valuable skills and experience. By opting into mentorship relationships, students can learn how to work well with others and become self-motivated, while also discovering what they do and don't want to do in their future careers. This can include participating in jury selections, depositions, and other work normally reserved for college graduates. By starting apprenticeships at a younger age, students can also learn how to properly utilize the information at their fingertips and find motivation in pursuing their passions, even if they don't fit into traditional academic molds.

    Developing Agency and Entrepreneurial Culture through Deliberate Work in High School

    Deliberate work is important to students declaring their career choices after apprenticing in high school. It involves finding mentors in the industry, asking tough questions, and engaging in deliberate practices such as getting third-party certifications. Peer-to-peer accountability and working together are critical, with students being accountable to each other rather than relying on adults. The model helps students develop agency, allowing them to aim towards something in the world. It also fosters a culture of entrepreneurship, with students likely to set up their own systems with a willingness to stray away from traditional environments, which rely more on fake work.

    Empowering Children through Agency and Recognition

    Setting up your own school or business allows you to create a journey for parents and learners that helps them develop agency. It's important to let children succeed and fail to foster independence. Children have something unique to offer that needs to be brought forward, and society should utilize their full potential. Demoralizing children by not recognizing their efforts can hinder their growth and development. Parents need to understand the deep extent of this. The appropriate response is to appreciate their effort and help them improve, not just point out their mistakes. Giving children agency over their lives at a young age and having mentors can help them be ready to launch into the world with independence and confidence.

    Prioritizing Confidence and Vetted Ideas in Education

    True education is to believe something so confidently, to know so confidently that it's true that you would dare to tell it to a child. This principle should guide parents and educators to prioritize the oldest and most vetted ideas rather than the newest ones. One of the biggest problems in education today is that new ideas are being taught to the youngest people without being properly vetted. Acton Academy and other advanced schools prioritize autonomy and critical thinking skills in students while also teaching them the importance of believing in something with confidence. Parents interested in this approach should check out daringtowonder.com and actonacademy.org for more information.

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    On X https://twitter.com/MosabHasanYOSEF?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor


    “Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue, and Unthinkable Choices” (book) https://www.amazon.com/Son-of-Hamas-Mosab-Hassan-Yousef-audiobook/dp/B006PJC4H2/?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=PheAV&content-id=amzn1.sym.cf86ec3a-68a6-43e9-8115-04171136930a&pf_rd_p=cf86ec3a-68a6-43e9-8115-04171136930a&pf_rd_r=138-3764402-1287437&pd_rd_wg=fLHUm&pd_rd_r=8445617a-f7bd-45ef-bcff-98e77e6b26f5&ref_=aufs_ap_sc_dsk 

    442. BILL C-63 - Everything You Need to Know | Bruce Pardy & Konstantin Kisin

    442. BILL C-63 - Everything You Need to Know | Bruce Pardy & Konstantin Kisin

    Dr. Jordan B. Peterson sits down in-person with Canadian lawyer Bruce Pardy and podcaster Konstantin Kisin. They discuss Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Bill C-63 (aka The Online Harms Act), what powers it gives to the government, what rights it strips from citizens, and why even Americans should be concerned.

    Bruce Pardy is executive director of Rights Probe, a law and liberty thinktank, and professor of law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is a lawyer, academic, columnist, and outspoken critic of the illiberal managerial state, fighting at the front lines of the culture war inside the law. Bruce writes for the National Post, Epoch Times, and the Brownstone Institute, among others, and serves as senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. He has taught at law schools in Canada, the United States and New Zealand, practiced civil litigation in Toronto, and served as adjudicator and mediator on the Ontario Environmental Tribunal. The legal ground, Bruce has written, is shifting beneath our feet. The individual is losing to the collective. An ever-expanding bureaucracy regulates life from cradle to grave, including private behavior and speech, in the name of common good. The law has become discretionary, arbitrary, and unequal. The end of Western liberal civilization, as we have known it, is conceivable.

    Konstantin Kisin is a Russian-British satirist, social commentator, and co-host of the TRIGGERnometry Youtube show. He is also the author of “An Immigrant's Love Letter to the West,” a Sunday Times bestseller. He has written for several publications, including Quillette, The Spectator, The Daily Telegraph, and Standpoint, on issues relating to tech censorship, woke culture, comedy, and other topics, but he currently publishes articles on his popular Substack. Kisin made headlines in 2018 when he refused to sign a "safe space contract" to perform comedy at a British college and again in 2023 when he participated in an Oxford Union debate on the motion of "This House Believes Woke Culture Has Gone Too Far." His speech at the debate received viral attention and has been seen by over 100 million people around the world.



    - Links -

    2024 tour details can be found here https://jordanbpeterson.com/events   

    Peterson Academy https://petersonacademy.com/  


    For Bruce Pardy:

    On X https://twitter.com/pardybruce?lang=en

    Rights Probe: https://www.rightsprobe.org/

    For Konstantin Kisin:

    TRIGGERnometry Podcast    / @triggerpod  

    Substack https://konstantinkisin.substack.com/

    Twitter https://twitter.com/KonstantinKisin?r...

    441. TBD | Tor Nørretranders

    441. TBD | Tor Nørretranders

    Dr. Jordan B. Peterson sits down with author and speaker Tor Nørretranders. They discuss the entropy of emotion, the nature of pointlessness, the over-civilization of societal structures, how relationships shape perception, and why play might be the antithesis to tyranny.


    Tor Nørretranders is an independent author, thinker and speaker based in Denmark, serving an international audience. He has published over 30 books on topics ranging from society to human consciousness.



    - Links -


    2024 tour details can be found here https://jordanbpeterson.com/events  


    Peterson Academy https://petersonacademy.com/  



    For Tor Nørretranders:


    The User Illusion:



    The Generous Man:



    Wild food and agriculture:





    Website https://www.tor.dk/


    Article “We Are Waking Up” : https://www.tor.dk/2019/05/06/we-are-waking-up/