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Back-to-School Round-Robin! Democracy + Education = World Peace

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

How do we teach democracy and world peace instead of assuming we live in one and everything is fine? Changing one geriatric face for another in the Oval Office isn't giving us a chance to apply Round Robin to achieve peace within our lives, our communities, and the world at large. Worl Peace depends on all of us to act responsibly for one another.

The popular instructional strategy, Round Robin, by which everyone in the classroom gets a chance to speak, be heard, and listen to others, Round Robin, is used in computer programming and sports., a leading marketing service for tech companies, says it is "an arrangement of all elements in a group, in other words, " taking turns." That's one way of teaching democracy.

According to Democracy " .... provides for the separation of powers between governmental entities and ensures the protection of natural rights and civil liberties....

Democracy strives to give each an equal chance to make it in life, from the highest to the lowest per capita people and nations across race regardless of geographic location. But there are thieves that take people's natural rights and civil liberties, and silence dissident voices.

Listening to and allowing people to express their side of the story is the only way to effect pressure on the thieves and restore rights, that's how democracy works. Representation, Recognition. Reconcilition. Three words that define democracy working on world Peace.

Smartphones and AI do not make us stronger, voices of Truth do. According to Britannica

The age-old questioning technique called Round Robin gives children the opportunity to express their individual awareness of the same stimuli in a group. In museum education, instructors ask three nonjudgmental, unbiased, open-ended questions to guide a neutral discussion about any subject.

Of equal importance is LISTENING. Oxford Academic Listening for Democary involves Recognition, Representation, and Reconciliation. At any age level, student success in life depends on being recognized, heard, and reconciled.

Reconciliation is the culminating step in the process of peace in which "the kind of relationship at issue in a specific context affects the type of improvement ...that might be necessary" whether in the classroom or in world issues.

Before learning takes place, a child must be reconciled.

Every teacher knows that when a student is angry, hungry, scared, cold, sick, or unmotivated, he/she/they are unable to absorb information, organize it, and apply it at the same rate that a cheerful, well-slept, and fed kid can. Failing to address emotions and feelings in a classroom and in life will lead to subconscious anger retention. Prolonged distress may result in violence or other type of antisocial behavior by the individual or group, including nations.

We can work towards world peace by giving each nation representation, recognition, and reconciliation. Discussing and analyzing situations in the world requires using a nonjudgmental, unbiased approach. We must 'let-go-the-ego' (no one has to be right or wrong) and look at the big picture. That's compassion education, taking turns is the first step in providing the opportunity to become aware and mindful of a need.

VTS Strategy is used by educators in museum education schools in which children "look/see/listen" to a picture/text/sound and express their observation without biased prejudice.

1. What's going on in this picture?

2. What makes you say that?

3. What else do you see?

Take this pic, for example.

A baeball safe on base game action.
Safe! More on Cuba-US relations below.

I see two separate team members engaged in the game of baseball. I say so because they are wearing two different label uniforms. I also see that one player is at a Base, and the other is completing a throw to the base. What makes me say that he has aslready thrown the ball is because his arm is extended forward and his leg is stretched in front.

What is going on in thsi picture? What makes you say so? what else do you see?

Students of any grade level, professionals, and enemies can benefit from applying the VTS 3 questions to start an unbiased discussion based on visual perception. Visual Thinking Strategy (VTS) can help you have a conversation based on facts instead of judgment, "This is good, and that is bad," or "I like this, but I don't like that." by asking: "What is going on i nthis picture? Why do you say so? What else do you see?"

a book about thinking visually
What we look at is intepreted in the brain before we see.

More than ever, it is necessary to learn how to make peace with ourselves and others when these desks are filled this fall.

Are we teaching kids as early as K-5 how to analyze stocks and invest?

The Stock Exchange Game image of board game.
The Stock Exchange Game should be our new Monopoly.

Most importantly, are we teaching our kids Peace? What is peace? How do we get there? How is mindfulness practiced? How can we process our emotions through love? It's never too early or late to teach kindness and acceptance. Check Out SCHOOL OF MINDFULNESS


...peace in the world.

Welcome back to a new season of Memoirs of a "Mad" Teacher Blog encompassing the struggles of overcoming the stigmatizing life of an educator in American schools who dared have a dream, gave up grandfathering into the retirement system, and joined the hordes of freelance artists. It was the 2nd graders who uncorked the bottle and out came an artist.

While most students in Middle School and beyond would say, "What would she know? She' (s) just a teacher!" Can we rephrase that as:

"Better ask a teacher?" Right?

That'll be the day teachers get paid!

The season starting August 2023 includes a monthly newsletter sponsored by Global Learning Connections to create awareness of the need to work towards peace around us, inside us, and in the world; To increase acts of compassion and empathy across cultural expression through dialogue; Inspired by works of literature, film, and other art forms.

August 2023


In his talks, Sadh Guru suggests that Karma never lets us forget our beginnings, but an evolution from the past will liberate us. This makes sense and enlightens my view on liberation from past social strife. As a Cuban-born citizen of the USA, I wrestle with the development and evolution of the USA-Cuba relations that will lead to peace between the two nations.

When our family left Cuba, we were displaced and adapted, adopted, and assimilated into US culture according to our ability. Like most immigrants, we've kept our cuisine, music, and family dynamics and traditions almost intact. Likewise, some of our principles and judgments evolve but others won't, as we find our place in the world.

Upon our arrival in 1970, thanks to the state of Massachusetts, we received a plenitude of social services. But throughout the decades, the Cuban diaspora has held on to Cuba's former grandeur and freedom and has never reconciled with Castro's Cuba.

Neighborhoods like "Little Havana's Calle Ocho" exemplify a displaced society's melancholy. Many visit to feel the warmth of the homeland calling their name in music, art, food, and hang out every third Friday of the month on balmy nights in Miami.

A very dear friend of mine, Carmelo Luis Prado, "El Artista de la Calle Ocho" (The Calle Ocho Artist), never tired of condemning the oppressive rule of an imposed communist society that unjustly took 27 years of his freedom. His side of the story has become the only truth about Cuba mostly heard on this side of the puddle. On the other side, we don't really know unless we can listen without prejudice.

Full of cheer, every day of the week, Carmelo was at his corner on Calle 8 and 6th exhibiting his art to passersby. But with expletives and condemnation, you would face his wrath if you mentioned his nemesis' name. He'd say, "Sin comerla y sin beberla." Best translation of this shibboleth may be "without guilt."

A painting of a woman sitting on the ocean waves
"Un nuevo renacer" de Carmelo Luis Prado, representa a Cuba hoy, segun el artista.

Intransigence between the Cuban diaspora and the "communists" on the island is such that the topic of Cuban-US relations is not open to dialogue but only to negative criticism. Clearly, that's not the way to make peace happen and benefit families here and there.

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9 KJV

In my opinion, after looking at the big picture, Voting for tougher economic sanctions denies all Cubans their right to equal opportunity to trade in the world. Doing so will continue to prolong the people's suffering. After 60+ years, can't there be peace between close neighbors?

Cuba deserves to be free from a financially oppressive reality caused by a 64-year-long embargo (the longest in history) on up to 70 percent of its potential world trade, including trade with its closest neighbor, the USA, and its allies.

"The ruling class takes it all and leaves nothing for the people," is no justification.

"El embargo es cuento," (The embargo is a telltale.), is not evidence.

While that may be true, is it not the right of nationals to exploit their natural and human resources in spite of their government's low human rights rank?

When you look at the big picture, a story changes perspective (POV). "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change, Wayne Dyer liked to say.

Let's look at another picture and compare.

Take Congo's Cobalt mining horrific exploitation, for example. Thousands of Congolese men, children, and women scratch the soil under infrahuman conditions at Chinese-owned Cobalt mines. However, without this precious mineral, Silicon Valley cannot do without, and we would not be able to run our precious smartphones and electric cars. The exploitation of cobalt under inhumane conditions is unacceptable human rights violations.

To name one corporation benefiting from the Congolese despair, Apple shares keep rising while Chinese factories keep assembling their devices, allowing the Congo government to look away from taking care of their people. How can we help the Congolese cobalt miners?

Who has the power to demand dignity for the Congolese? The world does, consumers do, the people who care do. But how? Education + Democracy =Wworld Peace

We can start with awareness.

Consumers have the power "To Buy or Not to Buy." The need for digital devices should not degrade our humanism. At the start of its life, every Apple phone touches the lives of the Congolese deprived of human rights in Cobalt mines to supply the high demand of digital devices, making corporations billions of billions.

The Congolese have the right to demand a living wage and education for their children. What if it was you in that situation? Think bout that every time you glance at your digital device.

What happened to fairness in labor and trade? Isn't that what democracy should extract from capitalism?

Carmelo's hate for Castro's regime was blind, and he died happily in exile, always creating art and as cheerful as a Buddha on the corner of Calle Ocho and 6th on any given day of the week.

Historically, both sides of a conflict unjustly kill, repress, and torture the opposing side and destroy and take private property. People run for their freedom. But humanity keeps on "making a killing" with war, If not for war, the Stock Market may have collapsed ten times more than it has in the 21st Century.

I believe we can learn to make peace instead of war among the nations of the world. But it begins WITH DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION. The first step is to see the bigger picture. Reconciliation among neighbors with common history, like Cuba and the US, requires discussion and proposing solutions instead of demanding conditions.

Give peace a chance. Talk peace!!

Peace in the world depends on how aware and mindful we are and what we do on a daily basis affects and impacts the world. Take, for instance, the case of the Cobalt Mining Communities where infrahuman conditions prevail for children and mothers exposed to toxins in a hellish existence which we here taking selfies on our cell phones cannot even imagine.

To buy or not to buy, to pressure the corporations instead of blindly consuming goods from inhuman exploitation. Listen to Siddharth as he narrates wht he saw: Congo "millions of trees downed, water and air polluted, the clock has gone back centuries ... on any given day, the dollar they earn makes the difference between whether they eat or not ....our world economic order has failed these people in the position of having to scrounge up for a dollar without proper protection, food or water, without sanitary conditions, where children as young as newborn are exposed to high toxicity found in cobalt as we turn on our apple phones and the top honchos bathe in gold.

Do these children deserve to enter that ready-made classroom above in the introduction to this blog? Imagine having them in our classroom for a day. I bet you'll say they do, so why don't we do something about it?


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