An Address by Dr. Bertil Persson
Bertil Persson is a retired principal. His list of merits expands across several fields. Besides being a principal for approximately 30 years, his repertoire includes pedagogue of dyslexia, Ambassador for Peace connected to UNESCO (International Association of Educators for World peace, University for Peace) and ECOSOC (Universal Peace Federation), hymnologist, historian of churches and ideas, introducing into Scandinavia the language of Jesus, Aramaic, consultant for Scandinavia for Near Eastern Churches, author of text books in religion, ordained minister in The Anglican Communion, expert of religions in The Swedish Government and in Swedish and Foreign organizations, and Dr. of Theology. Since the 1980’s he has applied the Study Technology of L. Ron Hubbard, among other cases in the execution of breakthrough pedagogic projects. For his works of humanitarian, pedagogical and religious-historical achievement and for his works as a scientific author he has been awarded a number of honorable doctorates and distinctions, one of them Top 100 Educators 2005 and Top 100 Educators 2006 awarded by Cambridge Biographical Centre, England. His experience of Applied Scholastics is published in the essay Applied Scholastics. The Key to Efficient Education, Stockholm 2006.
Below is an address to Applied Scholastics with reference to its celebrating 35 years of creating excellence in education, given in St. Louis, MO, USA on July 29, 2007 by Dr. Bertil Persson.
“On this special day, let me express my congratulations to Applied Scholastics on this 35th anniversary. Applied Scholastics came about through Mr. L. Ron Hubbard’s educational philosophy and study technology and I want to honor his legacy tonight and point out why his way is unique.
Contrary to the traditional education, his approach is from the student, not from the teacher. The history of education can prove that this is the only way to successful and joyful studies. Here Mr. Hubbard follows the traditions of past great educational pioneers like Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1670), whose work became the foundation of the first arrangement of the school system in Europe and North America in the mid 1650’s.
However, with my 25 years of experience with Applied Scholastics and Mr. Hubbard’s approach, having observed its use in schools in several European countries as well as in the United States, I can categorically state that this goes much further than past systems. In fact, the key concept is Innovative Education.
Let me explain what I mean and I give you some brief quotes of Mr. Hubbard’s to demonstrate this. There are five parts to Innovative Education through which Mr. Hubbard’s educational philosophy and study technology generates competence.
1. Holistic Pedagogy
This is where Mr. Hubbard’s approach considers the whole person. It considers the mind, the soul and the spirit in harmony; each with the other, generating an integrated unity. It is not enough in education to just push knowledge into the theoretical side of the brain. One has to involve the whole person. The word education comes from the Latin word educare meaning to lead and train. Mr. Hubbard was not one to teach a student to merely parrot facts. He stated that “In every man we place the sum of our own knowledge and thinking power.” (1)
2. Communicative Pedagogy
A successful education starts with mutual understanding through communication. It is necessary to have the key concepts and words defined. We must know that today many concepts have many meanings. With a clear and unambiguous definition of a concept and word in a conversation or discussion, a disagreement and misunderstanding will be avoided.
And this impacts our future. Here, Mr. Hubbard stated that “Words are not just a dry academic subject. They carry the tide of progressing civilization. They are for use in your livingness. They capsule the knowledge and content of the world.” (2)
3. Democratic Pedagogy
There is only one mankind. Every human being is a member of this global family. Everyone must have an equal chance of receiving an effective education. I have seen people of different races coming together in one Applied Scholastics classroom and each gaining mutual respect for each other’s culture through mutual understanding.
Part of Mr. Hubbard’s work that demonstrates this was to make the subject of grammar easily understood by anyone and used toward mutual understanding. He stated in his book on grammar: “The aim of this book is to make a person expert in the use and construction of words and language so that he can convey his concepts and thoughts clearly and lucidly and that he can understand the thoughts and concepts of others.”
4. Problem-related Pedagogy
From real life problems one goes back to the underlying theory and the individual translates this theory into solutions.
Mr. Hubbard said: “… if we would let the children of man lead happier lives, then we must teach them in such a way that any normal problem can be readily solved by them.”
5. Promoting Life and Peace
Applied Scholastics is about the application of one’s schooling to life. It is creating mutual understanding of others and accordingly tolerance. It can prevent conflict, thus promoting Life and Peace.
Here Mr. Hubbard says: “In the interests of preventing ‘wars’ or arguments with audiences and individuals, one should seek to minimize the potential misunderstandings.”
In honor of Mr. Hubbard’s work and legacy and the 35 years of dedication by the good people involved with Applied Scholastics in the 68 countries around the world, I have been instrumental in helping to establish a new high school and training center for Applied Scholastics in Europe, located in Sweden. The Swedish Castle, due to open this fall, will be the new European training center for Applied Scholastics bringing innovative education to many languages and cultures in Europe, promoting peace and understanding among its people.
Finally, I think this next quote from Mr. Hubbard’s sums innovative education up with these words: “The end and goal of any society, as it addresses the problem of education, is to raise the ability, the initiative and the cultural level, and with all these the survival level of that society.”
Thank you to the Chief Executive Officer, Executives and Staff of Applied Scholastics International and thank you Mr. L. Ron Hubbard.
(1) All quotations are from L. Ron Hubbard: Education, Literacy & Civilization, L. Ron Hubbard Library, 1996.
(2) Mr. Hubbard puts into practice the fundamental guiding principles worked out by the American lexicographer Noah Webster (1758-1843) and which are the basis for all the dictionaries and grammars in his name. Ref. Hubbard, L. Ron, Basic Study Manual 1992 published by Effective Education Publishing.