So, What Are You Saying?

“The Bare Essentials of Education”

The question arises from this most recent illustration I drew, “Are you saying, Mickey, that kids can learn better if they go to school naked?”

No! Are you crazy?

I used to teach middle school students. Can you imagine kids from this current modern culture being given license to come to school starkers if they wish to do it? In the middle school world of half-brained sub-intellectuals passing judgement on everything? Especially judgments about appearance and attractiveness… or non-attractiveness? With brains fueled by hormones and the questionable values taught by TV and movies? Chaos! Fires being lit! Real and metaphorical! Windows being broken! Derisive laughter! Tears and sobbing from the offended! And that would just be the teachers.

But the truth is, if we look at the studies of B.F. Skinner and his recommendations for child-rearing in his Utopian propositions in the book Walden Two, children not taught to be ashamed of their nakedness from early on would develop more peacefully and naturally into perceptive and intelligent learners if allowed to be openly and happily naked.

Skinner, an experimental scientist, believed everything in life should conform to findings from scientific observations and scientific experiments. How loony is that? Why would we do something that is practical, natural, and beneficial just because it might enhance your ability to learn and enjoy your experience of the world?

In my illustration, I was actually intending to convey a notion of the relationship of openness and innocence to learning. The two children sharing the big danged book on the floor are nude because they are willing to approach the material with a sensory receptivity that can only be hampered by the barriers and limits we put on ourselves, like the clothing that we shield and limit our bodies with. So, I would never suggest it was appropriate to learn things while naked. Or even that, with the right training and cultural shifts, that going to school naked would be a good thing.

Even I have nightmares about being naked in school. In my dreams I sometimes dream about forgetting to put on clothes before going in front of a hostile classroom to teach something they all find boring and awful… while I am naked and awful myself. I still have that nightmare even now that I am retired.

No, I would never suggest that. Unless, somehow, you can suggest something by not suggesting it. Surely I am not tricksy enough to try to do anything like that. And remember, I was an actual teacher in an actual classroom for many years where I merely thought of them all as naked, because kids are all transparent about their lives and motivations and can’t keep a secret even if they didn’t want me to know everything about them, even the bad kids, and even things they wanted to hide from the teacher.

Here is a link to B.F. Skinner’s book, Walden Two;

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