John Reisman conceived the idea for the TLC/SC/PATH with the advent of the personal computer in the early 80’s. By the early 90’s Dr. Martin Chamberlain (Chancellor, UCSD) requested it be written into a project paper for the University of the World. John had also been discussing the project with Dr. Jonas Salk who had enthusiasm for the concepts involved and designed some of the concepts presented. The major concepts have changed little since inception, but new information has been added over time.
The Learning Center TLC/PATH Project
“The Learning Center” & “The Social Curriculum/PATH Project”
The Learning Center and The Social Curriculum/ PATH project is a multi-interdisciplinary systems approach to education and social understanding. It incorporates facets of the physical, psychological and sociological sciences and the use of existing and developing technologies in the realm of computer applications and networking. The project will employ new and old methodologies that have proven themselves, in isolated and large-scale implementation, in the areas of education, medical treatment, and counseling to aid individuals and families to achieve healthier levels of functioning in all aspects of human interaction. This is aimed at raising the level of individuation, enabling the development of healthy coping mechanisms, raising self-esteem, increasing motivation and critical thinking skills, as well as the more effective education and efficient processes.
Areas of Concern
Areas to address are: family systems, healthy behavioral reinforcement, rites of passage, the methodology of instruction in the public educational system, the content of that instruction, and the technologies used to impart that education.
Specific areas to be addressed include: The relationship between healthy individuation and human value systems; The mythology, fairy tales and universal themes of humankind; systems science; understanding family systems; how to achieve higher levels of individuation; the relationship between healthy behavioral reinforcement, high self-esteem, and high levels of individuation; the development of critical thinking; understanding and experiencing rites of passage; understanding systems and the application of that knowledge in everyday life; understanding the human/social psyche, dynamics and influences in these relationships; behavioral science; and the psychology of the survivor of abuse and the non-victim.
The goals of the project include the development of a K-12 core curriculum which carries the student through the life stages of development with a high degree of understanding of one’s surrounding environment and its systemic socio-psychological influences.
The manner in which these subjects will be addressed will be dynamic and participatory. Individuals utilize life experience in the classroom and analyze behavior and its motivations. By doing so students are involved with pertinent issues that are directly related to their immediate experience. This type of analysis fosters understanding that will diminish the effects of societal neurosis in and beyond the family-of-origin as well as develop critical thinking and judgment skills.
There are many examples of success that exist in various fields of endeavor in education and social reform. It is the goal of this project to actively seek out and identify these successes and homogenize their use into the public educational, social-welfare and health care systems.
The following information is derived from empirical studies, trend analysis, personal interviews, experience, news articles and broadcast media. References are either embedded or omitted as this is not an academic treatment but a conceptual analysis. Much of the analysis is based upon the interrelatedness of the perspectives within this treatment. Hypotheses indicate the need for further study and empirical analysis based in interdisciplinary research and understanding.
Due to the severity of the problems in modern society, time is now a critical factor with regard to resolving the issues of societal dysfunction. It is the purpose of this work to promote action in these areas beyond academic research. The ability to reduce the, now widespread, social conflicts which plague the community of humankind and Earth is of primary concern.
We must pursue long-term solutions and look beyond the obvious, i.e. crime and the general lack of community oriented behavior. The underlying causes are socially, psychologically, and physically derived in an interactive system of processes. There is dire need for the efficient expenditure of energy and resources in the achievement of solutions that will break the chain of Systemic Social Dysfunction in order to alleviate the inheritance of obsessive/compulsive/addictive disorders that infect society.
Social psychology and its interrelationship with our ecosystem must be reexamined. We are at a point of inflection in the evolution of the living system of planet Earth and its relationship with the living human system. This is expected to bring about the decline of old views and the birth of new modalities of coexistence.
The increasing conscious recognition of the birth of a globally oriented human perception is greatly driven by the ability to communicate. According to Jonas Salk, “It now remains for human beings – not merely nature – to decide the course of human evolution.” This is the task at hand for all who recognize the suffering of those who fall victim to the broken natures of humankind. Each day the situation worsens – as child abuse, societal indifference and neurosis further embed in the operation of the community of man. The birth pangs which we are currently undergoing are natural and predictable as are the new and developing values that are expected to dominate in this coming of age. By examining the evolving trends in our maturing human perception we can more accurately predict the possible directions we may achieve. Value systems that do not address the needs of the future will, by natural selection, outgrow their utility. It is a time of pain and fear–discovery and evolution. It is a time of unprecedented change. It is time for humankind to take hold of the reigns and guide its own destiny with wisdom and consideration.
Just as the physical sciences are striving to achieve a grand unified theory to explain the nature of the universe, so are the psychological and social sciences endeavoring to achieve such an understanding of the evolving human condition. The reason we can see so far is not just that we have stood upon the shoulders of giants, as Albert Einstein said, but that it is time to see that far. Our vision is as much a product of evolution, as evolution is a product of our vision.
Our global society is in an unprecedented state of flux. The transition from the agrarian to the industrial age greatly accelerated mankind’s evolution. We now must continually reassess the dynamic interaction between the changes in technology and our socio-ecosystem. Communication technology has opened many doors and is diminishing the boundaries between cultures and regions. This enables greater understanding of the evolving paradigms we experience today. “A comprehensive view will be needed in the coming years. There is indication of a need for consideration of details in the continuum from the molecular level to the ecological [World Population & Human Values, Jonas Salk & Jonathan Salk].”
The Learning Center and The Social Curriculum are centered around this philosophy: Efficiently teach individuals the working/evolving dynamics of human nature and interaction in an environment that prepares them for life in the communication age.
By opening the door to the world via computer networks, and providing greater interaction between students and teachers, we are empowering our society to understand and grow with this evolution. Until recently the concept of power and competition has been advantageous to survival. As we enter into our future, the concepts of consensus and collaboration by virtue of required interdependence for survival should increasingly become the rule. By employing The Social Curriculum we wish to expedite the progression into this new mode of being in our now globally interdependent society.
“Over a period of time, as values change, so will relationships and, with them, institutions. The challenge that we presently face in adapting to the future is to allow new values to emerge and to modify institutions appropriately [World Population & Human Values, Jonas Salk & Jonathan Salk]”.
According to Sir Isaac Newton “A body at rest will tend to stay at rest”. It is difficult to alter one’s train of thought when much time has been invested on that train – it is in motion with great inertia. Turning the train takes considerable energy – changing tracks takes even more. We unwittingly struggle against the natural evolution of humankind. During our most recent growth, coming out of the agrarian age, we witnessed great leaps forward in the science of humankind. Concurrently we have witnessed a detrimental effect on the matrix of modern society’s mode of operation. It is an aspect of low-functional-level [Scale of Differentiation, Dr. Murray Bowen] to have an unhealthy need to feel secure, in one’s belief, living condition, vocation, point of view, and in relationships. Of all the dynamics that dictate perception, understanding the conditions that empower this basic human desire to stand on solid ground, and its significance, is key to our developing a mature social system that has as its core, understanding and growth. In achieving this we are laying a strong foundation for the future in our rapidly changing world.
Since the inception of the industrial age we have witnessed an increase in the deterioration of human value systems and human rights in physically and psychologically violent forms. The transformation which we are undergoing is tied to these shifting patterns of living as much as it is tied to the increase in industrial technology and the metropolitanization of society. The effect on societal attitudes and modes of operation is that of insecurity and change breeding uncertainty and anxiety. Beyond relativistic points of view, with regard to right and wrong, as we come to understand the individual, we further define our personal and societal rights. By teaching what we have learned, we empower the ability to understand and overcome anxiety. Understanding what influences decisions enables us to determine how a given choice is prejudiced and thereby governed by the bias of our perspective.
Our way of life is undergoing change. Expediting our conscious recognition of the forces behind these changes will enable us to curtail the inevitable increase in disorder. If not recognized, the turbulence will increase before the new matrix is able to take hold – more casualties will fall victim to the sweeping tide of this evolution. There is a light at the end of the tunnel – it is called communication. It is logical that as humankind evolved and created new problems that humankind would create new solutions. The increase in communications technology is a direct result of the massive surge in population. Our new found abilities to communicate by increasingly more efficient means is a direct result of our necessity to communicate in order to survive. With increased complexity we have invented the means of adapting to new circumstance. The continuing growth in knowledge, understanding and our communication ability are the natural result of our evolution and, used properly, will counter the negative aspects i.e. the anxiety caused by the shifting of paradigms in this dynamic period of change.