Archive for May, 2012

Posted on May 2, 2012 - by

Share Your (Mis)Education Story!

I’ve started a new documentary, PLAY (working title), and want your feed-back!

A couple months after FRESH’s release, I gave birth to Maayan. And two years later, Sasha was born. They have brought unprecedented joy into my life. Maayan and Sasha are perfect, the way, I believe, all children are. They shine, they are self-assured, they are curious, they are happy. So I watch with dread children a little older who have lost some of their spark, some of their confidence. Children who already feel anxious about learning by the time they reach third grade, some already feeling “dumber” than their friends, some having to curb their natural excitement and energy so they can sit for hours on end “learning,” instead of playing and exploring.

As Maayan is getting close to school age, I’ve been researching and learning more and more about our current educational system. It’s become clear to me that our antiquated system of education no longer meets the needs of children or society. We are stuck with an “industrial” system of education that requires all children to learn the same information, at the same time, in the same way, ignoring the incredible diversity of personalities, learning styles, talent and desires that our children exhibit. A system that values some forms of intelligence (logical/academic) over others (emotional, artistic, practical, etc.), leaving so many of us unseen and devalued. My research has lead me to think that our educational system, one that used to be the best in the world, one that built this nation, is now no longer educating our children, but is instead preventing our children from reaching their full potential.

Like our industrial food system, our educational system is broken. In PLAY, I hope to open people’s minds and hearts to the possibility and potential of a radical shift in our thinking about education, the way I did in FRESH for food.

As I develop this new project, I’d like to hear your stories: what is your and/or your child’s experience in school?

Please read below for examples of stories I’m looking for and send me your story by emailing me at

Thank you in advance for your contribution. I look forward to hearing your stories!

Ana Joanes

Here are some questions that might guide you in sharing your story. But please don’t limit yourself, if you feel like my project speaks to you (either because you agree or you don’t), please email me and share your thoughts.

Your (mis-)education story:

  • Were you made to feel stupid? Were you tracked at an early age because you were not “good” in academic subjects? Did you drop out because school didn’t seem to be a good match for you? Were you told that what you want to do is not valuable? Did you learn to fear or dislike math or other subjects (or all things school-related)? I’m looking for stories of people whose talents and strengths were not recognized in school and who, instead, were made to feel bad for not learning how and what is valued in our school system. Would you say that your self-worth is still tied-up with the way your teachers treated you? Are you still looking, or have you given up looking, for a way to express your potential in life? Or have learned since what you are good at and have found your place/ your element.
  • Were you good at school? excelled in all the way you were supposed to? did you end up in the best college and then best graduate school (law school? med school?). Only to end up in a job you don’t really like? are you now stuck — well-paid and with all the status but still unfulfilled? Do you not know what you’d like to do instead, but wish you could find a more meaningful occupation? or perhaps you took a radical turn and are now following your bliss?
  • Did you have a great time at school? how did your school meet your needs? did your teachers see you and help you achieve your potential? in what way? did you develop your love for learning? self-knowledge? communication skills? creative potentials?
  • Do you believe you’ve got no special talent and that you’re not particularly creative? If so, can you trace when you started feeling that way?

Your child’s (mis-)education story:

  • Is your child’s special talent and learning style recognized and nurtured or ignored and dismissed?
  • Is your child excited to go to school or dreading it?
  • Is your child learning about him/her-self, developing his/her confidence, his/her ability to communicate with others?
  • Did you have to take your child out of school? why? what happened since?

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Or, copy and paste the following text into Twitter: Help Ana Joanes with a new documentary: Share your (mis)education story! @FRESHthemovie