All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Joyce Houghton has lots of A-R-C (affinity, reality, communication). So does her school, the ARC School of Progressive Education in Phoenix. It's a happy working-and-recreation place. The visitor becomes aware of what must be a basic agreement between staff and students – that affinity, reality and communication equals understanding – of subjects, their application in daily living, of personal ability and goals.
In talking with Joyce we learned the ARC School functions to allow students to use their own thinkingness and doingness. The responsibility, and rewards, for their own education are theirs, guided by supervisors who are in full communication with them at all times. There are no grade or age barriers; students progress at their own rate of speed. Joyce stresses that permission to go ahead is the prime factor in avoiding boredom and disinterest and that two-way communication vitalizes the learning process instead of the usual "teacher talks, students listen" environment. "Verbal participation makes a subject far more real to students, and is necessary for complete understanding," she says. "Also, the only reason students give up a study or become confused or unable to learn is because they have gone past words that were not understood. We require students to seek exact meanings. Study difficulties stem entirely from student's non comprehension of words and data. In order to USE data, students are sometimes asked to demonstrate a word, rule or idea in clay or other materials. This guarantees students understand the data and can apply it."
Failures are nonexistent at the ARC School. Rapid students go ahead; the slower students simply put in longer hours. All material is eventually learned by all students. No report cards are issued; instead, progress reports are presented at intervals to parents.
The viewpoint at the ARC School is that a person can be successful in anything if he is working toward a goal and has a good reason for wanting to get there. The easier education becomes to digest, the more willing students are to struggle with something difficult. It becomes a challenge instead of a dread.
The "Twin System" is employed in the classroom. Each student studies with a "twin" or fellow student on the same academic level. Twins work together, help each other, and with supervisoral attention, check each other's work. "This system proves more enjoyable – and workable – for students as against "silent study" and is extremely effective in retention of knowledge," comments Joyce. "We provide a safe happy environment for learning for students from age 4 through high school levels. Right now our summer school is in progress, offering a number of subjects, arts and crafts, music, and swimming to young people. In September we go into a full academic year."
All methods used for study are based on the principles of Scientology as set forth by its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. He is well known as a world educator, philosopher, writer, mathematician, physicist and lecturer." Hubbard's methods are the result of over a quarter of a century of study and application. They are thoroughly tested, and uniformly workable, reports Joyce.
The ARC School is the first Hubbard-Method school in our Valley. Others established earlier are located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Copenhagen, Denmark.
[Picture / Caption: A plunge in the A-R-C School pool provides students with a welcome summertime intermission.]