Future generations will judge us
not by what we say, but what we do.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
For children, the process of learning about life is active and multifaceted. They need to learn how economic, medical and other civic institutions function. By visiting animal farms, crop fields, planetariums and other interesting environments, we discuss how all these elements are interconnected. In this way, concrete and fragmentary impressions of the world can be merged into a single, integral picture that will enable them to develop a broader and more complete perception of it.
By dividing environments into parts, we also build up divided sciences and disciplines such as biology, zoology, botany and geography without establishing correlations between them. Thus, we grow up with a fragmented understanding of the environment which limits our perception and therefore our intervention.
Today, a new generation is developing and it does not want to settle for what there is, and certainly not for what there was. It is a generation that, with the evolution of technology, has information available as easily as the click of a finger. Their standards and expectations are much higher and are growing faster than those of the previous generations, so the education of children must be adapted to meet these demands.
Our method offers new perspectives with online courses designed for children, parents, grand-parents, teachers and educators who wish to broaden their horizons and discover a new form of learning.
HOW DO WE TEACH
LEARNING BY EXPERIENCE OF AN INTEGRAL SOCIETY
For ex., situations where the group cannot succeed if any member fails
LEARNING IN GROUPS, CIRCLES AND ROUND-TABLE DISCUSSIONS
by means of the social environment and peer influence
appreciating individual differences, self-actualization of the individual as an essential part of the integral society
ASSESSMENT AND MOTIVATION THAT IMPARTS INTEGRAL VALUES
VIRTUAL CAPABILITIES AND VIDEO GAMES
They enable global, integral social processes
LEARNING THAT IS FUN
The process is guided by children’s natural wonder and curiosity
TEN KEY PRINCIPLES OF INTEGRAL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. “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.
8. 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.
9. 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).
10. 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.