I am passionate about education, both learning and teaching and I personally agree with Aaron Sorokin that we don’t need little changes, we need gigantic revolutionary changes here. Why? Well, everybody can see it, but Prince Ea pointed it very well in his video:
It looks like there is a lots of work which could be done in the field of education. Fortunately, there are some thinkers such as John Dewy, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Rudolf Steiner, Paulo Freire, John Holt, Ivan Illich, Parker Palmer, Maria Montessori, Jerome Bruner, Jack Mezirow, and Howard Gardner just to name few, who developed alternative pedagogical theories in response to the perceived deficiencies of traditional institutional education, theories of learning, and social knowledge creation modalities. We have also a growing number of educational programs trying to transform education like those in the Integral Studies department at JFKU, Sir Aurobindo New education for a New Future or Sir Ken Robinson activities that are striving to successfully included and apply holistic, progressive or alternative pedagogues and educational approaches.
I do not know, if you – the reader – has at least a passing familiarity with Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory and the AQAL and Spiral Dynamics models, it is not my goal here to introduce this complex approach, but you will find some more about “integral” and what it has to add to education here.
What attracts me most here is that by using the Integral Approach—by using this Integral Map we are able to facilitate and dramatically accelerate cross-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary knowledge, thus creating the world’s first truly integral learning community. The integral view relates to the world as an interconnected system. This perception is the basis of the Integral Education, and thus defines a new integrated approach to teaching.
My attempt to apply Integral Theory to Education resulted among other in the beautiful Train The Trainer Program, which I’d like to introduce briefly here.
First of all, applying Integral Approach to Education means:
- Addressing them to any aspects of human being: body/mind/emotion/spirit;
Including multiple holonic orders: the individual, aspects/parts of the individual, the classroom, the wider community and society;
- Allowing for multiple ways of knowing: in terms of “quadrants”– subjective, objective, intersubjective; and types – multiple intelligences, and so-called masculine and feminine modalities;
- Giving full attention to both internal realities (values, visions, feeling, motivations, relationships) and external realities (measurement, action, physical health, educational infrastructure);
- Seeing knowledge in terms of the coordination of perspectives (including critical approaches to knowledge and power, epistemic or meta-knowledge, and dialogic approaches).
Based on the Integral Model I launched in 2011 an advanced course called: Trainer the Integral Trainer (TIT™) Program. This Program integrates the best components of both conventional and alternative approaches to education into a fuller, wider, deeper, more transformative educational space, honoring each and yet transcending the limits of both. This allows trainers to continually transform themselves, create multidimensional training curriculums, serve their customers and participate compassionately with others, supporting the health and dynamism of global systems.
For growing up, just watch a tree. There is a balance. The higher the tree goes, the deeper the roots will go. – Osho
The growth increases through integration and balance, so we look for certain balance between the development and integrity and promote a conscious, harmonious and steadily developing in the space of ME-WE-SYSTEM. This educational space has at least four irreducible, equally important included in multiple ways dimensions: subjective experience, objective behaviour, intersubjective culture, and interobjective systems. Each of these four dimensions has depth and complexity that develops over time. This involves understanding the complex relationship between the capacity to take multiple perspectives, to interact in meaningful ways with others, and to engage in world-centric ethical action.
In this terms the Train-the-Integral-Trainer Program is a unique training program for educators that brings the experience of instructors and participants together with the modern developments in the field of positive psychology, neuroscience and the most effective methods aimed at learning both cognitive and affective as well as the action-oriented ones. In this way the teacher, the students, and the classroom engage in transformative processes through various practices of awareness, interaction, and organisation.
TIT™ Program is about finding our own passion and mission as an educator, in order to create a unique personal learning style. It is about how to manage ourselves and our resources in the most optimal way, in order to make meaningful contact with the group and build the most favourable conditions for accelerated learning. It is about the most effective formats and effective trainer tools in order to create our own unique learning space. It is a fascinating adventure with ourselves and our positive emotions and motivation, meaningful goals and satisfying work.
The Train-the-Integral-Trainer Program:
- includes approaches to education from biological, neurological, societal, cultural, psychological, and spiritual fields of study;
- involves considering the individual and collective aspects of teachers and students, as well as the interior and exterior modes of experience and reality;
- considers the many developmental lines in a human being – cognitive, emotional, somatic, interpersonal, artistic, moral, spiritual and others;
- understands that these lines evolve in stages, or levels, such as pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional, and that each human being passes through these levels and cannot skip any one;
- also acknowledges the importance for an individual’s development and motivation of states of consciousness;
- Lastly, it considers types, people’s enduring tendencies and inclinations towards, for example, introversion or extroversion; agency or communion; and orderliness or spontaneity.
The Train-The-Integral-Trainer Program is based on the holistic and integrated approach to values education for human development, which recognises the connectedness of mind, body and spirit. It means that we pay attention to the physical, personal, social, emotional and spiritual development of us and of our students as well as of cognitive aspects of learning. We see both our students and ourselves as integrated and interconnected. We recognise learning as a social activity, value collaborative learning and community participation as well as connections to the natural world.
This Program emerges from a commitment to peace, which as a process begins with the development of inner peace in the minds and hearts of individuals engaged in the search for truth, knowledge and understanding of each other’s cultures and the appreciation of shared common values to achieve a better future for all of us.
But it all starts with AQAL simple elements in the contours of your own consciousness…
Dr. Anna Storck