A Revolution in Education is Needed
A Revolution in Education is Needed
by Catherine K. Clark, Ph.D.
We know that education is a very vital agent for our evolution, and the developed countries have made great strides in making education available to most of their citizens. This of course is not the situation in developing countries where thousands of children have no access to education. Western technology has produced a voluminous amount of information, and so reference is now made to the "information highway". However, the intent upon which this information is disseminated, and the focus educators give to it is a very crucial issue. A new system of values and united action on the part of all educators is essential to establish education on a more humane and spiritual platform.
Several years ago while searching for answers to the dilemma of our escalating problems in education, I received a World Goodwill Newsletter indicating a school in Arlington, Texas, which was successfully using Dr. Robert Muller's World Core Curriculum as a more universal approach to education. I contacted Gloria Crook, the president, and she invited me to spend a weekend at the School. When I arrived there and entered the building, I immediately experienced an atmosphere of relaxation around both teachers and students. There was also a profound learning experience taking place, coupled with cooperation from a group of very happy students. I soon felt that I had come to the end of a long search for a meaningful education program.
There was a sense of serenity and cooperation on the face of each student and faculty member. The atmosphere was one of love, cooperation and acceptance of each student. As I walked into the class of three and four year old children, I noticed that they were involved in a discussion of planetary knowledge and a great awareness of their inextricable relationship to the larger environment. They were being prepared to be conscious, responsible planetary beings, with an increasing awareness of their relationship to the environment and all kingdoms with whom they share space. It was the beginning of a weekend that had a profound effect upon me, and redirected my thoughts in terms of my own work in education.
Dr. Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and Chancellor of the University for Peace in Costa Rica, has developed The World Core Curriculum which prepares students to be cooperative planetary citizens. This curriculum has as its basic platform the value of the individual and his/her unique place in the One Humanity. Thus students are empowered to be aware of themselves as "cosmic units", and one with the whole of humankind. Such a basis for learning is very much in alignment with the growing interdependency which characterizes our present world. In spite of ourselves we have become a "global village", and we are inextricably interconnected in all dimensions.
The World Core Curriculum addresses this fact in a very dynamic way. It was an outgrowth of Dr. Muller's experience and service at the United Nations, and thus brings with it this needed global matrix. The Curriculum reflects this universality of life in the concept of The Four Harmonies on which Dr. Muller bases his system. They include:
1) Our Planetary Home and Place in the Universe--which deals with our planet earth and its relation to the universe. It encompasses the concept of the infinitely large to the infinitely small and shows a clear inter-relatedness of all parts to the whole. This includes the universe, stars, outer space, and the entire biosphere. It embraces the world of microbiology and genetics, and includes the area of nuclear physics. This expansive body of planetary knowledge is essential to enlighten self-interest, and to teach children about the international cooperation which is needed for responsible world citizenship.
2) Our Human Family--deals with the various human groups, and teaches the student the beauty and meaning of diversity. Throughout this diversity is seen an underlying sense of oneness, and a thread which unites all people. Here is laid the foundation which leads to an understanding of peace and goodwill for all who inhabit this planet.
3) Our Place In Time--reveals our vast evolutionary development. We must embrace the past as that from which we have learned to deal with the present, and recognize the vision which is needed to build the future. Gaining such a perspective, students see the continuum of life.
4) The Miracle of Individual Human Life--brings to education the idea of the uniqueness of the individual, the miracle of life, and true human fulfillment in our planetary experience. It brings to the individual transforming joy of being a part of the human kingdom which is the most ingenious and creative of all earth's kingdoms, but at the same time, the greatest opportunity to be "right servers of the planet and the universe".
The World Core Curriculum offers a synthesis of complex knowledge which has accumulated over the last few decades. The United Nations is a great repository of information which can serve as a great resource for educators who seek to prepare their students to be cooperative world citizens. This knowledge is virtually at our fingertips, in as much as the needed information is found at the various agencies of the United Nations.
Our greatest effort at this time is to work constantly towards right human relations, because such is the ground upon which a new world can emerge. A revolution in education is needed for a suitable model on which to build a new education. The World Core Curriculum is a positive and powerful model for this effort, because it is universal in its scope, and provides each student with a dynamic sense of belonging and responsibility in the realization of the one humanity. This realization is the ultimate goal of our journey here in the earth, and it is for our children that we must provide this, for they are our ultimate investment.
Please send questions or comments to The School of Ageless Wisdom.
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