The Popularization of Transhumanism in School Education
Children going to school nowadays are the transhumans of the future. The schools are superb areas for the popularization of transhumanism. This article gives some inspiration on how you can acquaint children at school with ideas of transhumanism. If you are a teacher, you can do a lot for the youth to help them believe in a more beautiful, fearless future.
The Popularization of Transhumanism in School Education
Arousing students’ interest in futurism, developing “future awareness” in thinking, and acquanting students with transhumanist principles (and it’s important to emphasize: it is all about communicating knowledge and arousing interest not indoctrinating!), should be essential tasks of school education. In practice, teachers often neglect questions pertaining to the future. The field of environmental protection and certain ethical issues may be exceptions, but even in these cases there might be considerable differences among different schools and teachers. However, if a transhumanist teacher teaches in a school, he or she can do a lot to change this situation. A brief overview of possibilities follows:
1. Linking Transhumanism to the Curriculum
Probably it is the simplest possibility but still suitable for arousing interest: the fundamental principles of transhumanism are included in a certain part of the curriculum.
Here are some concrete ideas (the structure of subjects may be different in each country or school so I shall link the ideas to general fields of science):
IT, Computer Science
In these subjects the issue of artificial intelligence can be easily brought up. There are only a few steps between discussing the consequences and introducing singularitanism. The means of interaction between humans and machines (from the keyboard and the mouse to the means of virtual reality) provide great opportunity to outline the trends of the future and the concept of the fusion of human body and machines.
The issue of space research can be easily linked to astronomy. In connection with space research, the notion of space colonization, terraformation, and long-distance space-travel can also be discussed. In addition, transhumanism may provide creative solutions to these problems.
This subject offers several possibilities. The basic techniques of transhumanism (stem cells, gene technology, aging processes and their slowing down) could be introduced and possible fears could be relieved. In connection with environmental protection, the latest environment-friendly technologies and the issue of high-tech supported environmental protection could be considered. With reference to genetics and the theory of evolution, one could talk about the future of the human body (Transhumanism!). In the field of healthy lifestyle, the teacher might mention the radical alternatives (Transhumanism!).
However, the science subjects are not only suitable for spreading the memekomplex of transhumanism, but the humanities as well.
Transhumanism could be linked to the history of religion (immortality is an ancient desire of mankind and today even science does not protest against it), the industrial revolution (from the beginnings to our time and further on), and the history of ideas (20th century and present schools of thought).
Literature & Grammar
Transhumanist issues could be integrated into modern literature classes by discussing sci-fi works. The students may write essays entitled “My Life in 30 Years’ Time” or “The World in 100 Years’ Time”. Consequently, different scientific visions could be discussed. One could use a transhumanist text for reading comprehension, or one could use transhumanist definitions for sentence analysis.
The relation between succession and environment is an important subject in the formation of the personality. Transhumanism could be introduced as a radical solution: a posthuman being leaves biological determination behind.
The technology of the transhuman era could be outlined relating to the treatment of psychological and mental problems. It would be critical to mention social determinants of education. Current issues have to be mentioned, as well: globalization, postmodern and of course posthuman issues!
Art, Visual Representation
Modern transhumanist art could be mentioned, as well, accompanied by the interpretation of basic transhumanist principles. As for practical tasks, the students could design a new body for themselves, one that could thrive on Mars. Students might also illustrate a short story influenced by transhumanism.
2. Building Tranhumanism Directly into the System of Subjects
In many democratic countries it is possible to create new (e.g. optional) subjects. In this case, a subject could be introduced when there is a distinct connection to transhumanism. E.g.: futurology, modern/postmodern philosophy, artificial intelligence, etc.
Extracurricular activities are also an important factor. One can give lectures at school or invite lecturers, announce a competition in the school magazine, organize a quiz show, facilitate a debate or panel discussion, set up a study group connected to transhumanism, or organize an exhibition for transhumanist works.
Additionally, distant programs could be used for the aim of spreading the means of transhumanity. E.g.: a study group developing creativity.
4. Write and Speak!
A teacher could have several opportunities for acquainting students with an issue which he or she finds important. One can write an article for the school magazine, make a program for the school radio, or write a course book. Such activities would allow one to communicate with the wider public (including students and other teachers).
Conferences would be excellent opportunities to speak to a larger audience. The broadness of transhumanism provides many opportunities to integrate the topic into the theme of a conference.
5. Gifted Development at Schools
The different methods of gifted development at schools provide great opportunities for introducing transhumanist ideas. Transhumanism can easily be incorporated into the talented students’ curriculum, which often contains tasks demanding more creativity than usual. The teacher’s task could be to find not only traditional/ordinary competitions but also those connected to future orientation, transhumanist approach: e.g. competitions in literature and arts connected to sci-fi or quizzes connected to modern technologies.
WTA and other transhumanist societies have fantastic opportunities for announcing these kinds of competitions, quizzes, and scholarships!
6. Not to Forget Those Interested
Once the teacher has students interested in matters of transhumanism, one should suggest related websites, books, and films. One should persuade the librarian to order such materials. Teachers themselves could offer scientific literature, copyrighted films, or other works to the school library.
In conclusion, if one works in a school, dormitory or other educational institution (including adult education), one has many opportunities to spread transhumanist concepts among students, parents and colleagues. Let us take the opportunity!
Previous entry: Are transhumanists cranks?