The behavioral practices shown in Walden Two produce a self reliant and efficient adult. The first topic that I felt strongly about was education. The way education is viewed in Frazier’s utopian world is brilliant. Compared to the Walden Two educational system I find the grade-based school system slightly barbaric. The second topic that interested me is adolescent reproduction, which was encouraged in Walden Two also. It interested me on how Frazier structured the educational system in the minds of adolescents and how they can handle the weight of parenthood. I like how the Walden Two educational system sees the school as being the family. It helps the child to trust the system more, and shine to their best of their own abilities. I feel as though the grade-based system is inadequate in that regard. Most of the students that are raised in a grade based system are groomed for competition, similar skill levels, and reinforcing themselves based on the negative. I agree with Frazier, when he says that all children grow differently. If a child was to learn something based on what intrigued them versus what was forced into their mind, I feel that children would reach their full potential faster.
The children in the grade based system are constantly being put against each other; always striving to do better than someone else. Yes, in our world a little competition can’t hurt, but when you think about how much more can be accomplished when the only person you’re competing against is yourself, it clarifies some things. In Walden Two, I agree with Frazier when he tries to do away with outside reinforcement. He focuses mainly on self- reinforcement and self-utilization. You make yourself better and in turn, better the community. Everyone has their own skill level and is never pressured to be like someone else. If anything it generates a more efficient community, because it provides the means for collaboration and communication. For example, the education system in Texas depends on the passing or failing of standardized test, which leads to the illusion of successful education. In reality it’s just sheer memorization. On the other hand Walden Two creates a safe learning environment where each individual learns at their own pace leading to a more confident and intellectual person.
Frazier also mixes education with real life experiences. I feel that more could be learned if it is compared to something we need and use every day. I feel that the educational system is based on natural reinforcement because children learn according to their own desires instead of the pressures of standardized tests. The kids are reinforced by learning things that they actually find interesting and stimulating. Because the children are learning at their own pace, their own knowledge becomes the reinforcement versus the grade that they will receive on something they may or may not be interested in. I personally feel that the educational system in Walden Two is a safer learning environment because it encourages curiosity and exploration of knowledge. On the other hand, the education system in Texas is a hostile learning system because if the child is not making passing grades they are ridiculed and chastised. It then becomes a slippery slope of failure within the modern education system.
The efficiency of the educational system in Walden Two prepares the adolescents for the adult world at a much younger age. At the age of 13, children are considered adults and Walden Two encourages them to act accordingly. The adolescent reproduction in Walden Two was shocking. It is hard for me to see teen pregnancy as a positive when in my society teen pregnancy is seen as a negative and many who become pregnant as a teen are judged harshly in the eyes of society. Shows like Teen Mom try to give the negative connotation of pregnancy at an early age. The girls on this show are not even remotely prepared to take care of another individual. In Walden Two the teenagers are seen as adults not as older children. The society in which they were raised has taught them how to be mature, dependable adults starting from a very young age. The parents in Walden two also have no burden of being the sole caretaker. They are encouraged to sleep in separate rooms than their spouses, and their babies are raised in the nursery.
This takes away the stress of being a parent all day, every day. This topic is where I didn’t know if I agreed with Frazier. I’m from a home where my parents were both very involved in my life. I could not imagine being raised by someone else and I think that strong parental relationships can create a strong person. Having that support in my early childhood taught me that anything was possible. With this being said, I also see how I could have benefited from a communal type of relationship. Had the mothers in the reality show had this type of system to rely on, they could go on living their lives dedicating the amount of time and effort that they specifically want to give to their child. Frazier’s society also reflects a positive reinforcement atmosphere for the adolescent parents. They don’t have the pressure of being tied down; they are able to live their own lives outside of the lives that they share with their children.
With this liberation the thought of having more children is not a bad thing in their eyes. Frazier’s way of thinking brings up the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”. My problem with this way of thinking is where the responsibility takes place. My society has bred me to believe that you have to take responsibility for the actions that you make, and if not then you are a burden to the community. In Walden Two there are no burdens, just community. Teenagers in my society are very much motivated by materialistic things. The age of reaching maturity has increased, therefore slowing down the rate of true adults within the society. I believe that my society would not mix well with the Walden Two society. We have been taught our way of thinking for so long that this type of change I assume would make us uncomfortable.
Walden Two brings about many different emotions. While comparing Frazier’s society to mine I was able to take a deeper look at the educational system that I have been brought up in and I see many things I wish would change. With Walden Two, I believe that Frazier was correct when he based the educational system on self-reinforcement. We as individuals know our potential and what we need to do to reach that full potential. As I conclude this paper, I will re-enforce that this type of society would not work today. We must all be responsible for the choices we make as well as the children that we bring into this world. Although his utopia is a great concept, there are many flaws that make it an impractical method of living.