M-T  Co-Founder, Milton K. Siler, Jr.,
Presentation to the Brentwood Board of Education,
and Alvin Toffler Statement

(Recorded 1979)

~ Introductory Text by John Sherin ~

Curriculum Advisory Committee Presentation to the Board of Education

Brentwood School Board President Anthony F. Felicio defers to Dr. Raymond Fournier, District Curriculum Coordinator, who introduces Milton K. Siler, Jr., Co-Founder of the Maslow-Toffler School of Futuristic Education. A brief statement by Milt provides a commentary about the school and its unprecedented success to date. Concluding, he prefaces the showing of a three-minute animation, Joshua in a Box, to the audience as representing a metaphor of the school and a reflection of the individual process by which the “greatness of each person” is recognized and acknowledged.

A second visit to the home of Alvin Toffler in New York City four years after the initial invitation received by students and staff was prompted by their request for a statement of support from the school's namesake. It was their belief that the Board might be moved to re-think any misgivings they entertained about endorsing their school. This was taking place during a period of local school district political rivalry that was contentious to the extreme. Perhaps a different outcome could occur were the entire Board to hear live on television from the author himself what they all so passionately believed. M-T was an achievement in which the Brentwood community could take considerable pride given its trailblazing contribution to education reform and as a model of public education restructuring in the United States. The statement issued by Alvin Toffler to the Brentwood Board of Education was his personal means of showing support for, and belief in, the value of Maslow-Toffler and the accomplishments of its students and staff. His endorsement speaks for itself.

Joshua in a Box

Joshua, a strange little creature with human properties, is puzzled to discover that he is trapped in a box. Frustrated, he begins to push, kick and pound the box in a vain attempt to break out. As he pauses to think about his predicament, he leans against a wall and discovers his finger is sticking out through a small hole. After one futile attempt, he manages to squeeze himself out the tiny opening. Elated, he turns around and gives the box a raspberry. After a brief period of excitation over his freedom, Joshua has some second thoughts. His emotions quickly change and a tear runs down his cheek. He opens his mouth very wide as if to shout until he himself turns into a box with him inside once again. Designed to promote creative and critical thinking, this non-narrated film deals with man’s needs, emotions and values. The symbolic significance of the provocative ending will stimulate many open-ended questions and discussions.


1. People seem to have an instinctual need to rebel against confinement.
2. After overcoming an obstacle, one often feels elated and boastful.
3. Once adversity is removed or a problem is solved, some people feel a sense of disappointment or deflation because they no longer have a goal for which to strive.
4. Complete freedom can create frustrations and tensions for an individual. The security of limits is sometimes necessary for happiness and a sense of well-being.
5. Some people find that it is their own identity they are trying to escape.
6. Man’s own emotional needs and values can inhibit his freedom.

Questions for Discussion:

1. What is Joshua’s predicament? How does he try to solve it?
2. What do you think is the significance of the first box? What are some of the things that it might represent?
3. What are Joshua’s reactions to his freedom? Why isn’t he happy?
4. What new significance might the box have for him? Compare how he might feel before and after his escape.

~ Thanks to: Churchill Films, 662 North Robertson Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90069. A JOHN LANG PRODUCTION ~