EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN
Today, a new generation is growing just around the corner, and it is unwilling to settle for what there is, and certainly not for what there was. This generation will not let that spark be put out. It is a generation that wants to know, to understand, and to discover what life is for. And they, our children, will not rest until we bring them something real, something to nourish their hearts.
Our method will bring a new light to those whose hearts are keen on education, parents who wish to see a brighter future for their children, teachers and educators who wish to broaden their horizons, and anyone whose heart still feels a tinge of the child within.
Taking Ownership of the Coronavirus-Era Educational Void: Designing a VirtualReal Space for Fun, Learning & Global Unity
There is a void in global education - physical schools are closed, no one knows what will happen in September. There is an opportunity to erect an innovative virtual education system. For the last three months, we have been testing technologies and video games, experimenting with our own kids, and speaking to educators. We have seen that our system works and created a strategic plan for implementation.
IWRI Childhood Education Program in Hebrew held a 3-day proof of concept marathon on July 19-21, 2020. We are analyzing and evaluating the results now. They will be available for everyone soon. We used Virbela, Minecraft, and Zoom platforms to run it on. For now, please take a sneak peek into our integral education process and share your thoughts with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The world we live in is a vast, wondrous, and intricate system. Every part of it is connected to and dependent upon all the other parts. For many decades, this complexity was hidden from us. We would see the world as a collection of elements not necessarily connected to one another and certainly not as interdependent as we are now discovering.
Within the education systems, the perception of reality as separate elements divided into discrete topics is still the predominant paradigm. The new integral view relates to the world as an interconnected system. This perception is the basis of Integral Education and thus defines a new integrated approach to teaching. In doing so, it ushers the students into a unified perception of reality aligning them with today’s integrated reality. In the integral educational method, the student does not learn separate topics in a “linear” fashion. Rather, each topic is presented from the “circular” perspective, illustrating its connection to all the other topics.
The integral education is based on leveraging all media channels to develop a person and to show him/her the correct development of the human, the development of society, and the roundness of this process.
While we have become globally interdependent the mindset of self-centeredness is still the predominant paradigm. Our interdependence has become a fact of life. But we, in our way of thinking and in our values, are still locked in the old paradigm.
Therefore, the path to a viable solution for crises facing humanity today, must start with aligning ourselves with the new emerging conditions. We must educate ourselves to embrace our mutual dependence and responsibility for each other.
Education means informing people of the new era of integral methodology, shared responsibility, and interconnectedness. As Nature shows us unity, reciprocity, and mutual responsibility are all essentials of life. No organism survives unless its cells operate in harmony. Likewise, no ecosystem thrives if one of its elements is removed.
TEN KEY PRINCIPLES OF INTEGRAL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN
The social environment builds the person: The social environment is the principal element affecting children. Therefore, we create among them a “miniature society” where everyone cares for everyone else. A child who grows up in such an environment will not only thrive and succeed in expressing his or her creative potential but will also approach life with a sense of purpose, and with a desire to build a similar society in the “eco-school” environment.
Personal example: Children learn from the examples we provide them, both personally—from educators and parents—and through the media and other public contents to which they are exposed.
Equality: During the learning process, there will not be a teacher, but an educator. Although the educator is older in age, he or she is perceived by the children as “one of them,” a peer. In this way, the educator can gradually “pull up” the children in every aspect of the study—informational, as well as moral and social. Thus, for example, during class, children and educators will sit in a circle and talk, with everyone treated as equals.
Teaching through games: Through games, children grow, learn, and deepen their understanding of how things are connected. A game is a means by which children get to know the world. In fact, children do not learn words by hearing them. Rather, they learn through experience. Therefore, we use games as a primary method in working with children. Our games are built in such a way that children see that they cannot succeed alone, but only with the help of others, that to succeed they must make concessions to others, and that a good social environment can only do them good.
Weekly outings: Every week is a day when the children leave the school and go to a place in the country or some other location, depending on the child’s age. Such places can be parks, factories, farms, movie studios, or theaters. Also, children are taught how the systems that affect our lives operate, such as law enforcement, the post office, hospitals, government offices, old-age homes, and any place where children can learn about the processes that are a part of our lives. Before, during, and following the outing, discussions are held regarding what was seen, how the experience compared with their expectations, their conclusions, and so forth.
Older teaching the younger: The older age groups “adopt” younger groups, while the younger groups tutor those who are younger still. In this way, everyone feels part of the learning process and acquires necessary tools for communicating with others.
“Little court”: As part of the learning process, children act out situations that they encounter in their daily lives: envy, power struggles, deceit, and so on. After acting them out, they try to scrutinize them. Through such experiences, children learn to understand and be sensitive to others. They comprehend that others can be in the right, too, even if they cannot accept their views at the moment. They see that tomorrow they might find themselves in a similar situation, that every person and every view has its place in the world, and that everyone should be treated with tolerance.
Video recording activities: All our activities are recorded for later viewing and analysis together with the children. In this way, children are able to see how they reacted or behaved in certain situations. They are able to analyze the changes they are going through and develop the ability to introspect.
Small groups with several educators: We are aiming to have for each group of 10 students a team of two educators and a supporting professional (a psychologist).
Parent support: The parents must support the educational process unfolding at school. They should talk to the children about the importance of the values inculcated at school, set a personal example of these values in their behavior, and completely avoid instilling other values. To facilitate this, we will also have Integral Education (IE) courses for parents.