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Being Human

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Information about Being Human
Education

Published on September 6, 2007

Author: sunwalked

Source: authorstream.com

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: 1 ‘SunWALK’ a new humanistic model as the foundation for holistic education and social development by Dr Roger Prentice email: rogerprentice@bigfoot.com Structure of Presentation: 2 Structure of Presentation Part I – Introduction and a presentation of the model in ‘one sentence’ Part II – 3 Core questions and issues 1) What is the central idea around which to build education? 2) What is the key process? 3) The curriculum and its con-texts? Part III – Video of the process – outstanding teachers in action PowerPoint Presentation: 3 What is the most important question? PowerPoint Presentation: What is it to be human – fully and positively? PowerPoint Presentation: 5 What kind of a mess is education in?: 6 What kind of a mess is education in? Political interference & manipulation, de-professionalization, prevalence of materialistic philosophies, sheer poverty, poor teacher education etc. Between us we could list a 100 problems My model is from a teacher’s-eye-view of learning and teaching. Its perspective focuses on her/his consciousness, decision-making, discourse-management, environment management etc. as s/he conducts the actual process of nurturing others learning. The model presented here as an answer is a radical, but deceptively simple answer to such problems. : 7 The model presented here as an answer is a radical, but deceptively simple answer to such problems. I want to show that in the West, at least, teachers only ever teach (or are prevented from teaching) four things: Caring Creativity and Criticality - in Community all the rest is forms of information and IT PowerPoint Presentation: 8 For me education is about the (reciprocal) nurturing of the human spirit, to A) help each other grow toward our perfection, and B) to contribute positively toward social enrichment & social justice. Together these = the core ethic. PowerPoint Presentation: 9 Perhaps this is what the UK chief Rabbi Jonathan Sachs had in mind when he said that the future is built on memories. He spoke about how today’s children will become the guardians of memory, so that what we invest in them today …. will determine the legacy for tomorrow. He said that children are the big time losers in our consumer –society because what we give them is material affluence and spiritual poverty. “Children grow to fill the space we give them.” BBC 1 12.9.04 In applying my thesis and model to : ’Toward a Global Integrative model of education’ I needed to summarize 12 years work : 10 In applying my thesis and model to : ’Toward a Global Integrative model of education’ I needed to summarize 12 years work What did I get when I reduced 2000+ books & papers & 12 years of classroom ‘experimentation’ to a one sentence version of the model consisting of approx 50 words? This one long sentence! Q. - What is the 50 word version of SunWALK?: 11 Q. - What is the 50 word version of SunWALK? The one sentence version of The SunWALK model of spiritualizing pedagogy (learning & teaching) sees human education as the:- storied development of meaning , constructed, and de-constructed , physically, mentally & spiritually , through Wise & Willing Action, via Loving and Knowing – developed in Community through Dialectical Spiritualization processes (in all 4Cs) – all undertaken in the light of the ‘ Sun’ of (chosen) higher-order values and beliefs , using the best available, appropriate, content. Presented as a list of 14 elements the one sentence version of The SunWALK model of spiritualizing pedagogy looks like this:- : 12 Presented as a list of 14 elements the one sentence version of The SunWALK model of spiritualizing pedagogy looks like this:- 1) storied development of meaning , constructed, and de-constructed , physically, mentally & spiritually , through Wise & 6) Willing 7) Action, via 8) Loving and 9) Knowing – developed in 10) Community through 11) Dialectical Spiritualization processes (in all 4Cs) – all undertaken in 12) the light of the ‘ Sun’ of (chosen) 13) higher-order values and beliefs , using 14) the best available, appropriate, content. 1 - storied development:: 13 1 - storied development: ‘Narrative has been described as a primary act of mind; children construct their world through story. This process should be an active experience, involving questioning, problem solving, hypothesising and imagining.' Cox Report English 5-11, Nov. 1988 ‘It is not enough to get the big story inside the student but we also have to get the student inside the big story.’ Parker Palmer from Courage to Teach Being human, in the world, with others, is the ‘new’ grand narrative for education. Releasing potential requires subjective expression. Stories have mythic powers - to know this … is to know the shaping power of the tale.: 14 Releasing potential requires subjective expression. Stories have mythic powers - to know this … is to know the shaping power of the tale. But how, I wonder, do we see beyond the boundaries of a familiar story and envision a new one? What, in other words, are the connections between texts we read and the lives we live, between composing our stories and composing ourselves? Sondra Perl (1994), (in Laidlaw, Mellett & Whitehead 2003): Autobiography and subjectivity - as the teacher’s inner life: 15 Autobiography and subjectivity - as the teacher’s inner life Parker Palmer in, The Courage to Teach, (1998 p.3), says that his book: explores the teacher’s inner life , but it also raises a question that goes beyond the solitude of the teacher’s soul: How can the teacher’s selfhood become a legitimate topic in education and in our public dialogues on educational reform? 2 - the storied development of MEANING:: 16 2 - the storied development of MEANING : The humanity (or lack of it) of humans lies in the meaning they make. Making meaning is the essential characteristic of being human. Teaching & learning that is rich in meaning making = happiness. By meaning I mean the fulfilling of needs through achieving purpose, significantly in Caring, Creativity, Criticality - in Community We make meaning in teaching & learning through constructing and deconstructing texts – via different forms of dialogue. 3 – constructed, and de-constructed : 17 3 – constructed , and de-constructed Teaching and learning are essentially about reading and creating ever more challenging texts. Texts here include the products of all of scientific and mathematical languages, as well as the products of all of the arts We construct and de-construct in dialogic ways. 4 – physically, mentally and spiritually, : 18 4 – physically, mentally and spiritually , Children are whole, they just atrophy or become disengaged or alienated - because we teach them in un-joined-up, fragmented, ways. Spiritual here = beyond the biological - interiority as unified consciousness. Living spiritually here = living for others Spiritualization here = acquiring virtues or higher-order values 5 - through Wise & Willing Action: 19 5 - through Wise & Willing Action Within SunWALK, by wisdom I mean; the state of maturity in which one can think and feel and act from a ’large picture perspective’, informed by sufficient experience, and by love and knowledge, and other such virtues of heart and mind. 6 - through Wise & Willing Action: 20 6 - through Wise & Willing Action Will is seen as the ability to focus energy on a goal. The goal is (right) action conditioned by Wisdom. The answers to alienation are identity and purpose. Identity and purpose = having satisfactory answers to ‘Who am I’ and to ‘What is my life for’. Identity and purpose generate the will for (right) action. Spirituality is the source of the will to act morally. 7 - through Wise & Willing Action: 21 7 - through Wise & Willing Action Action as experiential learning. Action as service learning The goal is (right) action conditioned by Wisdom. The answers to alienation are identity and purpose. Identity and purpose = having satisfactory answers to ‘Who am I’ and to ‘What is my life for’ – and people to care for as well as vice versa. Identity and purpose generate the will for (right) action. 8 – via Loving and Knowing – : 22 8 – via Loving and Knowing – We are no where without love/loving. Love/loving binds us. Love/loving enables us. Love/loving makes knowing possible. ‘Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe’. (`Abdu'l-Baha: Selections p. 27)‏ Knowledge needs to shift to knowing. 9 – via Loving and Knowing – : 23 9 – via Loving and Knowing – The primary need is still the shift from a narrow, male-dominated view of knowledge and knowing to knowledge and knowing that is legitimised from Caring and Creativity and Community as well as Criticality There is also the need for a shift from knowledge as ‘stuff out there’ to knowing as a state of being and doing 10 – developed in community through : 24 10 – developed in community through Community contexts for learning and teaching are inevitable but still under-used and ethnocentric. 11 – Dialectical Spiritualization processes all : 25 11 – Dialectical Spiritualization processes all DS is the name I give to the process of multi-level dialogue used to create intensive learning in the context of moral and spiritual development. 12 - all undertaken in the light of the ‘Sun’ of chosen higher-order values and beliefs: 26 12 - all undertaken in the light of the ‘Sun’ of chosen higher-order values and beliefs We all walk the path of our life in the ‘light’ of our ‘Sun’ i.e. of our (chosen) beliefs and values. The ‘Sun’ = the internalization of all of the (positive) influences that influence us. The ‘Sun’ is the composite of internalized values and beliefs that guides us as we walk the journey of our life. 13 - all undertaken in the light of the ‘Sun’ of chosen higher-order values and beliefs: 27 13 - all undertaken in the light of the ‘ Sun’ of chosen higher-order values and beliefs Higher-order values concern deeper, or the deepest, issues of life - including issues of self-sacrifice or ultimate reality c.f. lower-order values which are mere preferences - I prefer vanilla to strawberry flavored ice-cream. 14 - all undertaken in the light of the ‘Sun’ of chosen higher-order values and beliefs: 28 14 - all undertaken in the light of the ‘ Sun’ of chosen higher-order values and beliefs People believe what they will People believe what they are I once asked a class of 12-13 year olds in a Roman Catholic school how many of them believed in reincarnation - it was about 30%! Respect is the key As a single sentence one more - the SunWALK model sees integrative human education as the: : 29 As a single sentence one more - the SunWALK model sees integrative human education as the: storied development of meaning , constructed, and de-constructed , physically, mentally & spiritually , through Wise & Willing Action, via Loving and Knowing – developed in Community through Dialectical Spiritualization processes (in all 4Cs) – all undertaken in the light of the ‘ Sun’ of (chosen) higher-order values and beliefs , using the best available, appropriate, content. : 30 Part II – 3 Core questions and issues 1) What is the central idea around which to build education? Deeper understanding of being human 2) What is the key process? Multi-level dialogue 3) How should we develop the curriculum and its contexts? ‘Inverted Maslow’ Having presented a summary of the model I have worked on for many years I now turn to Part II PowerPoint Presentation: 31 The question, ‘What is the central idea around which to build education? This also suggests the question, ‘In what can we unite?’ I suggest that the answer to both is that we can unite in deeper and deeper understanding of what it is to be human. As a symbolic image perhaps we can unite in the beauty of the human face Photo: Claude Renault: 32 Photo: Claude Renault PowerPoint Presentation: 33 Perhaps then the beauty of the human face should be the over-riding image at the centre of education Beyond the beauty of the human face, in what can we unite and in what can we co-operate?: 34 Beyond the beauty of the human face, in what can we unite and in what can we co-operate? My answer is - in the commonality of being human. We are human, here in the world, together and our needs centre on the same realities. B) A student said, ‘Human rights arise from human needs’. C) These needs and realities the psychologist Abraham Maslow described as 8 levels Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs : 35 Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs 1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.; 2) Safety/security: out of danger; 3) Belonginess and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and 4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition. 5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore; 6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty; 7) Self-actualization : to find self-fulfillment and realize one's potential; & 8) Self-transcendence : to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential. (Source: William Huitt at http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/regsys/maslow.html)‏ PowerPoint Presentation: 36 : 37 Q. - With what medium does the teacher-as-artist work - in the sense that the sculptor works with stone, or the dancer with her body in space? My answer is the human spirit – her own and her pupils Q. - How might we construe that spirit? My answer is as ‘the flow of spirit-as-the-life-force’ (chi?)‏ The spirit of the teacher as artist The human spirit as chi – the life force: 38 The human spirit as chi – the life force One analogy for the ‘flow of spirit-as-the-life-force’ is water flowing. PowerPoint Presentation: 39 Another metaphor for ‘the flow of spirit-as-the-life-force’ is that of white light. PowerPoint Presentation: 40 Since I see teachers as ‘raisers of consciousness’ I here am focusing on the idea of the life-force, in a normal person = consciousness, i.e. our interiority. Undifferentiated consciousness I suggest can be metaphorically viewed as white light PowerPoint Presentation: 41 When the light is differentiated I suggest we are concerned not with a full spectrum but with just the ‘primary colours’ The primary colours of the human the life force in its spiritual (not-biological) form: 42 The primary colours of the human the life force in its spiritual (not-biological) form Metaphorically the human spirit can be seen as white light. The main modes can be seen as the 3 ‘primary colours’ which I call Caring Creativity Criticality Caring Creativity Criticality PowerPoint Presentation: 43 The three ‘primary colours’, Caring, Creativity and Criticality are not primarily ways of thinking, they are ways of being (modes), engaging and acting In the West it seems to me that other ways of being are mistaken for different kinds of cognition – this is at the root, to give an example, of the feminist objection to the Kohlberg developmental model of moral development. In a quiet contemplative state our consciousness is, metaphorically, ‘white light’ but we can less diffusely switch into one of the ‘primary colour modes’ of Caring, Creativity or Criticality The 3 ‘primary colours’ are modes of being: Caring, Creativity & Criticality: 44 The 3 ‘primary colours’ are modes of being: Caring, Creativity & Criticality To ground these:- Criticality = is the mode you are in now Caring = would be if out of compassion you jumped up to care for someone who had collapsed Creativity = would be if you took this idea, SunWALK, and danced it as a dance, or developed a series of images to represent it in paint PowerPoint Presentation: 45 We are only ever in one mode, but the other 2 are in the ‘background’ – each supports the others The Human Spirit Metaphorically seen as white light - with 3 modes or ‘primary colours Caring (Yellow?)‏ Creativity (Red?)‏ Criticality (Blue?)‏ PowerPoint Presentation: 46 Criticality = objective engagement, as in doing philosophy, math, Eng Lit criticism etc Creativity = subjective expression, as in engagement via the arts Caring = other-centered engagement, as in moral acts and helping others PowerPoint Presentation: 47 Basing education on the three core modes of the human spirit is not just for moral reasons It is also to simplify the act of teaching - from 210 Attainment Targets (in the UK) to the four of Caring, Creativity and Criticality – in Community (the fourth C)‏ PowerPoint Presentation: 48 In SunWALK the teachers job is to simply teach Caring Creativity Criticality In Community The rest is information, and ‘information processing’ The 3Cs relate to three of the Ancient Greeks’ cardinal virtues: 49 The 3Cs relate to three of the Ancient Greeks’ cardinal virtues Human spirit as the 3 Cs – the 3 voices Caring – (goodness) – the WE voice – Creativity - (beauty)‏ - the I voice Criticality - (truth) - the IT voice PowerPoint Presentation: 50 Each mode or voice needs an exemplary way or programme to enable its development in children. For Criticality my exemplary programme is PFC, Philosophy for Children For Caring it is perennial philosophy For Creativity it is – the ‘arts’ For Community it is PFC + service learning PowerPoint Presentation: 51 Professor Matthew Lipman developed Philosophy for Children, starting in 1969. It is the exemplary programme for the development of criticality in the SunWALK model. PowerPoint Presentation: 52 The exemplary programme for the Creativity mode of being and doing is any art medium - for the expression of the subjective voice. The exemplary programme for the Caring mode of being and doing can be e.g. the ‘perennial philosophy’ the inner core of teachings of the great wisdom traditions The 3Cs relate to three domains: 53 The 3Cs relate to three domains Human spirit as the 3 Cs – the 3 voices Caring – (goodness) – the WE voice – from the moral domain Creativity (beauty)‏ the I voice – from the domain of subjectivity Criticality (truth) the IT voice – from The domain of objectivity Epistemologically the 3Cs provide three forms of knowing – internalized via socialization: 54 Epistemologically the 3Cs provide three forms of knowing – internalized via socialization Human spirit as the 3 Cs – the 3 voices Caring – (goodness) – the WE voice – from the moral domain – Social-knowing (internalized from Relationships)‏ Creativity (beauty)‏ the I voice – from the domain of subjectivity subjective-creative- mystical knowing Criticality (truth) the IT voice – from The domain of objectivity Objective-reasoning- scientific-knowing Our questions & tasks we give to children help socialize the distinct modes of Caring, Creativity & Criticality: 55 Our questions & tasks we give to children help socialize the distinct modes of Caring, Creativity & Criticality With very young children the task setting might be: “Please offer the candy to everyone.” (Caring - Goodness)‏ “Draw me a picture or dance me a dance.” (Creativity - Beauty)‏ “Is the green doll larger or smaller?” (Criticality - Truth)‏ Part II – 2) Q. What is the key process? Ans. – Multi-level dialogue – i.e. at the 4 levels: 56 Part II – 2) Q. What is the key process? Ans. – Multi-level dialogue – i.e. at the 4 levels Intrapersonally 1 Caring = d. with and in the heart & with & in relationships 2 Creativity = d. with and in materials 3 Criticality = d. with an in texts (math., philosophical, critical)‏ Interpersonally 4 Community = philosophical dialogue or consultation Part II – 3) The Curriculum – Q. What goes inside what?: 57 Part II – 3) The Curriculum – Q. What goes inside what? Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs – inverted hierarchy : 58 Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs – inverted hierarchy 8) Self-transcendence : to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential. 7) Self-actualization : to find self-fulfillment and realize one's potential; & 6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty; 5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore; 4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition. 3) Belonginess and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and 2) Safety/security: out of danger; 1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.; (Source: William Huitt at http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/col/regsys/maslow.html )‏ PowerPoint Presentation: 59 When inverted Maslow’s hierarchy can be seen as a hierarchy of contexts, rather like Ken Wilber’s nests of holons. Consequently development in education becomes the ability to frame the curriculum within higher and higher developmental stages Curricula models – is there a fourth level?: 60 Curricula models – is there a fourth level? John P Miller suggest three forms/levels of curriculum – but is there a fourth? Transmissive - (of information – I related in to Freire’s ‘banking’ model of ed.)‏ Transactional – (exchange of information)‏ Transformational (exchange of information that develops participants and alters the information for the future)‏ Given the transcendental possibilities at all levels of dialogue we can suggest a fourth through experiences of what Wilber calls boundarylessness, or a (temporary) loss of the ego boundaries. We can teach to maximise the Transcendent (here defined as deep engagement in any of the four Cs that can lead to a merging of object and subject) Conclusion (for now) A true foundation for Integrative Education: 61 Conclusion (for now) A true foundation for Integrative Education The focus, foundation, structure and contextualization of integrative education I have presented as: A) being, and becoming, positively, human - in the world with others – this is the context that will enable unity of effort, and will enable the spiritual and moral to be fully integrated in education. B) being in service of others, through working on joint plans for social enrichment and social justice SunWALK is a model for teachers & teacher educators based on the human spirit as Caring, Creativity and Criticality – in Community: 62 SunWALK is a model for teachers & teacher educators based on the human spirit as Caring, Creativity and Criticality – in Community Teachers only, ever teach (or mis-teach) four things: Caring Creativity and Criticality – in Community all the rest is forms of information and IT We (at least in the West) are only ever in one of three modes - Caring, Creativity & Criticality - these 3 modes correspond to 3 ‘voices’ and to the 3 cardinal values of goodness, beauty and truth. PowerPoint Presentation: 63 My intention is to gift all of the work on which this presentation was based to the ‘world’ – for anyone to make of it what they will. However before I do that I an looking for some partner centers who are interested in working at developing the model further. PowerPoint Presentation: 64 I usually like to give the last ‘word’ to a pupil (or future pupil in this case)‏ PowerPoint Presentation: 65 “Hmmmm personally I don’t care a fig for all your philosophy!” End

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