Friday, November 23, 2012

Dreaming With Children in 2020

I’m happy to have met an amazing young man of 14 who came to our Robert Moss/ Gore Mt. dreaming retreat early this month with his mom, a wonderful dreamer participating in a Dream Practice Intensive training I’m leading.  He is so cool, sweet and true.  It’s very obvious that he liked what he experienced because he wants to come to some dream classes with his mom. 

I think young people and children like Active Dreaming because it stimulates imagination and reveals the fun it is to play with your dreams in a group of creative dreamers.  Our young mountain dreamer shared one of his dreams with our group and then directed us in Dream Theater, a game where the dreamer casts people to play out his or her dream. I got to play his cat, a part I enjoyed immensely, as I love cat companions and he has a really cool one.

Every time I share Active Dreaming with children and young people, I see how much they really appreciate innovative, imaginative ways to learn.  I’ll paraphrase what I heard renowned child psychologist and author, Dr. James Garbarino, say in a keynote to educators; ‘it’s a challenge for children to “survive the crashing bore” that is our conventional public and private educational system in this country.’  It’s a system that’s economically impoverished, yes, but the real poverty is in the curriculum and the structure, (not the teachers, with some exceptions). In other words, it’s the Spirit of education that in 2012 is impoverished.

As a teacher, I’ve always dreamed of unleashing, not harnessing and curving, our children’s curiosity and energy.  My vision of primary education is a lot of outdoor, nature based running and playing with very little time spent sitting and listening to adult blah, blah, blah.  Yes, they’d be guided in learning about many things in which they show an interest and the skills of reading and writing would be encouraged in them in creative ways, but learning will always be experiential, not rote and mechanical.

Young adults will be out in the community learning from gifted people in the fields of interest they choose. Dream explorers teach wonderful programs for children of all ages, including adults, to initiate and develop the art of dreaming.  Musicians, dancers, poets, actors, scientists and experienced spiritual healers, all of them dreamers, staff our educational programs.

I’ll add an idea proposed by a young mother in our Gore Mt. Group to my 2020 vision for education; our communities have created cyber classrooms in a central location we might call a “school” where through our amazing technologies, youngsters connect with others from all around the world and learn about each other’s cultures and life.

Dreaming the future to the year 2020, I see that our educational system is diverse and creative; its aim is to open the doors of imagination and to dreaming so that each child finds an authentic life path. Art programs will flourish as children manifest their dreams creatively and science will be based on developing the now revered powers of imagination. We all understand that consideration for all living things and the planet can drive our technology; we value strong dreamers in all fields and promote all creative activities. Einstein, of course, was way ahead of us;  “Logic will get you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.” 

Right now, while dreaming this future, the best way to open dream gates for children is for their parents to open their own, first.  When parents know how powerful, wonderful and energizing it is to be connected to dreaming, they’re the very best teachers for their children.  As for dreaming itself, children are the experts, many spiritual teachers say it’s because they are newly transitioned from dreaming dimensions.  The most important practices for adults to learn are: to listen, not judge, not analyze, respect the dreamer and the dream, and offer only what might delight or truly help the child, like back up to face anything scary and to create something positive out of the fear.

Here are some great articles from Robert Moss’s DreamGates blog and two of my own posts on this topic:

Here’s a story about my own experience-teaching children about dreaming:

What does your dream of future education look like?  What can we do now to make our children's future brighter and deeper?


  1. I love your ideas about dreaming the future for education. As a former teacher (Spanish, english) I tried to make my classes interesting. To keep interest high, we used to dedicate one class a week to the exploration of the paranormal. It was a private school, so I was able to get away with it! The kids - hormonal 7th graders - loved it.

  2. Bless you for teaching 7th! And the paranormal would be a perfect hook for all sorts of mind expanding pondering.

    When I was a teacher in the system, I preferred 10-12th because that junior high energy level was a challenge to orchestrate within 4 walls. I taught at a private school, a Catholic one, back in the day when the RC church rocked with theological teachings like Matthew Fox's and the social justice agenda of the Berrigan brothers, et al, was still the cornerstone of Christianity. In that wonderfully sisterhood led progressive school, I used Pink Floyd's, "the Wall" as an example of a modern day morality play, (the principal did ask me to turn it down one day) and I would change the curriculum to suit the group of young people I was working with. No two of my theology classes were ever exactly the same from year to year. I wanted them to open the door into their own spiritual quests, not stuff their heads with dogma. Those were the days; I could be wrong, but now there seems little room in teaching for creativity. Standardized nationwide rote left brain learning ensures no child ever really gets the point of learning, so in a sense, even the brightest and richest get left behind.

    I believe we should at least try and envision something else. I look forward to what you, Rob, Megan and your community of thinkers might come up with.

  3. I should ask Megan how she would change education She is closer to it - ha, much closer - than I am. I also taught high school, whew.

  4. So now one must ask, How can I give my child a different and more positive experience?

  5. Here's something interesting on this, Trish: