link: cultural context

                  EDUCATION IN THE CONTEXT OF CULTURE: 'CULTURAL CONTEXT'

theme: the aims of education are formulated within the framework of cultural context. In the American culture - political ideology and education for 'citizens of a democracy', behaviorism, education industry, 'traditional' curriculum and myths of schooling, Protestantism, moralism, capitalism, consumer society and packaging of values ... educational process involves conscious thought in the context of subconscious processing of cultural stimuli.

 "Educators must analyse the cultural context in which they do their work of educating.” (David Purpel, 1989. The Moral and Spiritual Crisis in Education: A Curriculum for Justice and Compassion in Education. Masschusetts, Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc.)  

We must not forget that much of what happens in the school is in the context of a larger society in action... the impact of the world beyond the school cannot be underestimated. In terms of immersion and how the brain learns, all of society participates in education. We need to think in new, global ways about education generally." (Caine Making Connections 125)

Humans make sense of the information exchanges on the basis of the conceptual images and schemata they acquire from their culture. Human thinking is 'metaphorical'. The root 'metaphors' of a culture influence the process of 'analogic' thinking (which is always involved in understanding new situations) provide a schema that may prevent certain forms of informatioin from being recognized or properly understood. (Bowers C.A., Implications of the Ecological Crisis for the reform of teacher education in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times 45)

Human organism is a social organism: biosocial perspective of he human personality or  'human nature'.

 "Upon the biological level, organisms have to respond to conditions about them in ways that modify those conditions and the relations of organisms to them so as to restore the reciprocal adaptation that is required for maintenance of life functions. Human organisms are involved in the same sort of predicament. Because of the effect of cultural conditions, the problems involved not only have different contents but are capable of statement as problems so that inquiry can enter as a factor in their resolution. Modes of response are correspondingly transfornmed. They avail themselves of the significance which things have acquired, and of the meanings provided by language. ....the environment in which human beings are directly involved is the 'commonsense' environment or 'world' and the inquiries that take place in making the required adjustments in behavior are 'common sense' inquiries." (Rosen H. The Development of Sociomoral Knowledge: A Cognitive -Structural Approach. New York: Columbia University Press, 1980. 60)

Individual in cultural contextFor the human individual in a cultural context, the nature of reality is determined by the nature of the cultural environment. The nature of the cultural environment is determined by the cultural values produced from the cultural belief systems which make up the 'cultural consciousness'. The cultural consciousness is a product of the history of the culture. The basic assumptions underlying the values of the culture are directly related to stimuli from the cultural environment which are  peripheral to stimuli in the field of focused attention. As peripheral stimuli they are perceived and processed at the 'subconscious level' of the mind. (The human mind is a biological system which is an 'emergent property' of the functioning of the human organ of learning i.e. the 'brain'.)

The individual's thought and behaviour patterns are influenced by the subconsciously processed stimuli from the cultural environment. 

 "The relationship between society and the individual is not to be understood simply in the sense that cultural patterns and social institutions 'influence' the individual. The interaction goes much deeper; the whole personality of the average individal is molded by the way people relate to each other, and it is determined by the socioecoomic and political structure of society to such an extent, that in principle, one can infer from the analysis of one individual the totality of the social structure in which he lives." (Fromm Man For Himself, 78)

  Educational process The educational process for the individual within a cultural context involves conscious thought patterns in the framework of unconsciously processed environmental stimuli of the cultural consciousness. The processing of environmental peripheral stimuli with conscious thought processes combine in a process of learning or 'cognition'. Cognition is a function of the individual's perception of their own world from their own point of view, living in their own time with the technology, the resources and the 'education' accessible to them. They identify with the belief systems of their culture and perceive the world from the point of view of those belief systems. An individual educated within the context of given cultural belief systems internalize the cultural values... 'conceived values'.

The educational process is significant in terms of the individual's 'individuality in a cultural context'. The culture's educational system reproduces the cultural values and the belief systems of the cultural consciousness. The degree to which the individual conforms to the values and belief systems of the culture depends on the degree to which the educational system cultivates conformity to those cultural values and belief systems. Thus the nature of 'individuality' in a cultural context is determined by the assumptions underlying the educational process and the educational system. The degree to which the individual's thought and behavior patterns are characteristic of the values and belief systems of the culture depends on the degree to which the individual is enculturated. The degree to which the educational system contributes to the 'enculturation' process depends on the philosophical assumptions upon which it functions. ???....ing dominant value, norm and belief system.

The acculturated individual subconsciously perceives reality in the context of those cultural values.

 "We must not forget that much of what happens in the school is in the context of a larger society in action...the impact of the world beyond the school cannot be underestimated. In terms of immersion and how the brain learns, all of society participates in education. We need to think in new, global ways about education generally." (Caine Making Connections 125)

Educational institutions formulate policies consistent with cultural values Educational 'institutions' formulate policies which are consistent with the cultural value system. Educational policies are formulated within the conceptual framework of the prevailing cultural  worldview with its belief systems and values. Cultural belief systems are the product of basic assumptions which underlie the cultural perception of reality - the  cultural worldview or 'paradigm'. Cultural beliefs are derived from scientific 'beliefs' and the cultural belief systems are derived from the culture's prevailing 'scientific' perception of reality. The cultural perception of 'reality' is a reflection of the prevailing scientific view of the world. The so-called 'scientific paradigm' is the view of reality and the perception of the world as observed and perceived by the individuals in the context of their own culture and its accessible sources of knowledge. They result in the formation of logical conclusions about the nature of 'reality'. The conclusions are based on the individual's 'scientific activity' in the cultural context. The available technology is used to make observations about the environment. The available knowledge is used to make inquiries about the environment. Making inquiries and observations constitutes the 'scientific activity' or 'science' on the basis of which conclusions are drawn about the reality of the environment.

The individual uses the 'scientific method' which prevails in the context of the culture. 'Logical' conclusions are drawn on the basis of inquiries and observations made from the perspective of the cultural belief systems. These 'scientifically' drawn conclusions form the basis for the derivation of the significant metaphysical assumptions about 'reality' as they are perceived by those acculturated  individuals. The resulting cultural perceptions of reality form  the basis of the culture's belief systems and the cultural 'myths'. The cultural myths in turn form the basis of the cultural perceptions of 'reality'. The cultural perceptions of reality constitutes the framework for the formulation of the belief systems and cultural values.

Traditional schools reproduce cultural myths: 'hidden curriculum'   In reproducing the myths of the cultural belief systems, schools foster the traditional American values of capitalism, materialism and consumerism, of hierarchy and success, of moralism and control. For the individual in the cultural context of 'schooling', he is expected to conform to the cultural values.

The obligatory instruction of the cultural values is  promoted with authoritarian teaching methodologies ... 'hidden curriculum'.

Traditional teaching paradigm obscures real challenges of living Instead of fostering the individual's self-reliance and hope for his own future, school authorities want the individual to meet their own 'expectations'. Instead of fostering the  individual's self-responsibility, they cultivate his sense of dependence on authorities and experts. Instead of fostering the individual's sense of responsibility for his own future, they  try to cultivate his unrealistic ambitions for 'professional' status in the consumer culture. Instead of fostering the individual's sense of integrity and health, they cultivate a 'competitive spirit' and life of 'stress'. In their efforts to make the individual conform to the cultural values, they impose thought and behaviour patterns which repress the individual's natural desire for learning, for growth and for independence. Instead of trusting the individual's human potential for intellectual and moral development, the school imposes requirements in the form of grades and 'performance' scores. Instead of fostering the individual's critical consciousness, the school cultivates mindlessness. With its demands for meaningless and  passive learning, the school discourages creative and critical thinking.  Imposing requirements have been imposed on students for their 'adaptation' and acculturation, the use of traditional methods have obscured the real challenges of living. Students have not been prepared for the demands of complex learning in a complex environment. They have not been taught the positive aspects of moral responsibility to themselves. They have not been taught the real challenges involved in realizing their personal hopes and dreams. They have been deprived of the experience of the real joys of learning.        

   With its function of reproducing the cultural values, the educational system neglects to prepare each individual to lead his own life in a complex world. Instead of preparing the individual for his own future as a self-responsible social being, the institutions of education have  prepared the individual as a 'contributing member of society'. Focusing on the individual's preparation for adaptation to the  society, the educational system neglect to foster the individual's innate capacities to adapt to a changing environments.

Incapacitated individuals in a changing society constitute the human evidence of an anomalous social situation.... educational 'crisis'

 Protestant ethic: prception of individual's lack of social social responsibility  In keeping with the Protestant ethic, social problems are perceived in terms of the individual's own lack of moral responsibility. Social reforms are perceived in terms of the individual's moral responsibility to initiate changes. Social problems are discussed in terms of possible solutions and 'scenarios'. Attempts are made to resolve them through the implementation of 'discipline' and enforcement of the 'law'.

Social problems are not understood in terms of possible deficiencies inherent in the cultural institutions. Social reforms are not perceived in terms of necessary institutional changes.

 "Education, by serving the ruling interests in a class society, and by doing this in a disguised way, actually gives people a distorted view of the world, and offers a misrepresentation of reality. Through its process, its content and its political power in bestowing social rewards, it presents a conceptual scheme and methodologies- ways of perceiving the world - that largely ensure that people will take their place in the existing world as well-fitting members of the status quo, without questioning the status quo or perceiving the real relations on which it is built ...Education promotes a distorted and illusory view of reality in the name of enquiring into truth. And since it does this in a deliberate and systematic way, its offerings and products can properly be characterised as a structured misrepresentation of reality." ( Kevin Harris. Education and Knowledge: The Structured Misrepresentation of Reality. London, Boston and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1979 chapter 5, On Education 164   )

Capitalism  For the individual in the cultural context of capitalism, the educational system is a reflection of the belief systems underlying the cultural values. In the educational institutions, attempts are made to 'help' the individual to cultivate a sense of moral responsibility. For the individual, environmental change  is manifest in the global economic and political changes. The individual in the context of  American culture is required to adapt to the changing demands of a capitalistic society. In keeping with the theories of capitalism and the American educational 'tradition', the individual's instinctive spiritual striving for self-realization is not validated. The natural development of moral responsibility is discouraged. The life of contemplation and meditation is misunderstood. True spiritual freedom is not trusted. The self-expressive  behaviour of the natural human being is not trusted.

 The intuitive and emotional facets of human nature are restrained. 

“The practice of American education has been profoundly influenced by the American worldview and its characteristically hostile attitude towards nature and human nature.(Ron Miller, 1990. What Are Schools For? Holistic Education in American Culture. Holistic Education Press. Brandon, Vermont, U.S.A.)

Traditional paradigm no longer compatible with global worldview  The educational policies which were formulated in the paradigm of reductionism are no longer compatible with the new global worldview. New educational policies need to  be formulated on the basis of the new holistic scientific paradigm. Studies in innovative pedagogical techniques have shown the effectiveness placing the emphasis on issues of pedagogy and philosophy on the students and on the learning process. Truly innovative changes are those which have a liberating effect on both the teaching and the learning aspects of institutional education ( 'libratory pedagogy') Libratry pedagogy liberates the learner from the oppressive role of the teacher, the curriculum and the institution. Implementation of liberating  pedagogies would bring about the humanization of institutionalized education. A prerequisite is the re-examination of the basic assumptions and values of the cultural belief systems which make up the contextual framework of the educational system.

"The movement inspired by liberation theology combines ideals with practice. Known as 'praxis', the integration of theory and practice is perceived as the necessary instrument for purposes of change and liberation... Liberation theology "emerges out of a struggle to overcome centuries of poverty and oppression rooted in colonialism and exploitation...   traditions common to American culture, most particularly the tradition of Christianity... The most eloquent advocate of liberation theology is Paulo Freire. Freire emphasized the close relationship between human freedom and critical literacy. In the context of liberation theology, the meaning of the term 'literacy' is not simply the ability to read and write but the ability to read and write critically. Critical literacy is the ability to read and write with a 'critical consciousness'. Freedom for the individual in a cultural context depends on the ability to search for meaning in the cultural environment - to be critical of the cultural belief systems, the cultural values and the cultural institutions." (David Purpel, 1989. The Moral and Spiritual Crisis in Education: A Curriculum for Justice and Compassion in Education. Massachusetts, Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc.pp.85-87)

For the individual in the context of cultural oppression, humanization and even survival depend on the humanization of the cultural values.  

 Fundamental shift in paradigm  ('fundamental shift') A shift is taking place in the dominant scientific worldview. Classical science of  'reductionism' i.e. 'scientism' is being replaced by science of connectedness or 'holism' i.e. 'holistic science'. Holistic science validates the subjective participation of the observer in the scientific process of inquiry giving  rise to new cultural belief systems and values. which have far-reaching consequences on the formulation of educational policy. The new values are reproduced in New educational policies are formulated on the basis of the new cultural values. The are several characteristic trends in education: there is a trend away from fragmentation of knowledge and towards integration of knowledge areas; there is a trend away from the authoritarianism of 'science' and 'experts' and a trend towards the inner authority of moral consciousness or 'conscience'; there is a trend away from the value of the need to control and a trend towards the value of the need to trust 'humanity' and 'human nature'; there is a trend away from the individual's cultural alienation and a trend towards the individual's cultural integration; there is a trend away from competitiveness in learning and a trend towards cooperation and integration in the learning process.

In discussion and debate about 'education', there is a trend away from the 'individualistic' perspective and a trend towards the cultivation of a perspective of the whole or 'holistic perspective'.

  "The value-life - spiritual, religious, philosophical - is an aspect of human biology and is on the same continuum with the 'lower' animal life, rather than being in separated, dichotomized, or mutually exclusive realms. It is probably therefore species-wide, supracultural even though it must be actualized by culture in order to exist." (Abraham Maslow) 

Implications for education The history of American education has been characterized  by a continual search for a theoretical framework for an effective education practice. A theory-practice ('praxis') based on the holistic learning functioning of the brain represents an alternative in the  continuing search for a theoretical framework upon which to base an effective education practice. Evidence for a rational basis for a theory - practice based on brain functioning is provided by the findings of brain research or 'neuroscience'. Learning involves the natural processing functions of the brain... brain functions ...  ‘brain-based learning’. There is an overall trend  in the recognition and the cultivation of a holistic paradigm and a global worldview...  a trend towards 'holistic education'.

 An innovative education based on a holistic philosophy is valid because the learner is liberated from the authoritarianism of the teacher, the curriculum and the institution. The learner must be free to develop self-discipline, engage in  self-directed learning and 'mature growth' and self-fulfillment  i.e. 'self-actualization'. (Immature growth is 'neurotic growth' or 'neurosis')

'holistic education'

In the process of enculturation people are hypnotized to experience reality in the culturally approved way. The task of education is to 'dehypnotize'.

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" Thus the nature of 'individuality' in a cultural context is determined by the assumptions underlying the educational process and the educational system. The degree to which the individual's thought and behavior patterns are characteristic of the values and belief systems of the culture depends on the degree to which the individual is enculturated. The degree to which the educational system contributes to the 'enculturation' process depends on the philosophical assumptions upon which it functions..." (source?)

HUMAN NATURE -MODIFICATIONS FROM CULTURE INDIVIDUAL IN CULTURAL CONTEXT Values -for survival are modified by social norms Depending on the possibilities provided by the environment, children strive to achieve self-realization within the context of their environment. With the guidance of the adult, children achieve self-realization through interaction with their immediate environment - becoming one with their environment. Continued development into independent and mature personalities depends on their education - a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom as independent and mature adults. Modifications are wrought within the biological organism by the cultural environment.

 SCIENCE OF ETHICS: HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN VALUES... VALUE SYSTEM (ETHICS) IN CULTURAL CONTEXT... ORGANISMIC VALUING PROCESS... universality of organismic valuing process...there is an organismic base for an organized valuing process within the human individual. In accordance with the biological need for self-preservation and adaptation, the human organism has the natural capacity to adjust its behavior and reactions to a continuously changing environment... the operative values... the valuing process in the human being is effective in achieving self-enhancement to the degree that the individual is open to the experiencing which is going on within himself. The infant and the psychologically mature person are examples of individuals whose valuing process is in harmony with their own experiencing. A child's proper inner development to maturity depends on his/her being prized as a separate person with the freedom to experience his own feelings without feeling threatened. The freedom of self-expression insures development to maturity and inner freedom

. INTROJECTIVE INSTINCT Modification of organismic valuing process by way of the 'introjective instinct': In order to survive the young of the human species must acquire large amounts of information from older members of the species. The instinct for acquiring externaly imposed values and information is the 'introjective instinct'. The introjective instinct is a particularly human instinct. The child 'introjects' - makes a part of himself- what appear to him as the wishes, demands, hates, scorns, and standards of his psychological parents. If the parents are weak and infantile, their weakness is introjected as strength. Internalized images have a malignant effect on the child's development. During development, the child instinctively modifies his own fluid and changing valuing process (operative values) by incorporating externaly imposed concepts (conceived values). In this way, the natural valuing process is gradually modified by the introjection of parental values and cultural values - the externally imposed conceived values. The modified valuing process tends to be fixed and rigid. Conceived values are value choices made on the basis of symbolized concepts which are learned ie 'conceived values'. Conceived value choices are made in anticipation of the outcome of a chosen behavior. As an example, a human being can choose one of two possible paths of action on the basis of the concept which he has been told to value such as 'honesty is the best policy'. Conceived value choices are introjected. Their incorporation and internalization result in the modified organismic valuing process. Introjection of conceived values explains some of the causes of the formation of character - character orientation. Explains the correlation between character orientation and social structure. Point up the powerful emotional forces which are instrumental in molding the social character and explains the functioning of the society. The personality of the average individual is determined by the socioeconomic and political sructure of the society in which he lives

 EDUCATION IN A CULTURAL CONTEXT

Educators must analyse the cultural context in which they are doing their work of educating. "There can be no educational policy or practice independent of a social and cultural context and therefore there is no such theory as 'objective' educational theory'". (David Purpel "Holistic Education in a Prophetic Voice" in John Miller Worldviews, Educational Orientations and Holistic Education. page 69)

 For the human individual in a cultural context, the nature of reality is determined by the nature of the cultural environment. The nature of the cultural environment is determined by the cultural values and belief systems. Stimuli from the cultural environment are directly related to the basic assumptions underlying the values of the culture. They are peripheral to the stimuli in the field of focused attention. As peripheral stimuli, they are processed by the brain at the subconscious level. The cultural values are a product of the cultural belief systems which make up the 'cultural consciousness'. The cultural belief systems are a product of the history of the culture. The cultural history forms the basis of the cultural consciousness, source of the peripheral stimuli processed subconsciously by the individual in a cultural context. The individual's thought and behavior patterns are influenced by the subconsciously processed peripheral stimuli from the cultural environment. The individual's thought and behavior patterns are influenced by the subconsciously processed peripheral stimuli from the cultural environment. Unconsciously perceived and processed by the brain, peripheral stimuli from the cultural environment are inherent in the so-called 'cultural consciousness'. The educational process for the individual within a cultural context involves conscious the individual within a cultural context involves conscious thought patterns in the framework of unconsciously processed environmental stimuli of the cultural consciousness. The learning process combines the processing of environmental peripheral stimuli with conscious thought processes involved in cognition. Educational policies are formulated in the context of a prevailing cultural worldview which is inherent in the prevailing cultural belief systems and values. Cultural belief systems are created in the framework of the basic assumptions underlying the cultural view of the world - the 'reality' which is perceived from the point of view of the people living in their own time. The individuals within a given culture perceive their own world from their own point of view, with the technology, the resources and the 'education' accessible to them. They identify with the belief systems of their culture and perceive the world from the point of view of the cultural belief systems. An individual educated within the context of given cultural belief systems internalize the cultural values. The cultural values are derived from the cultural beliefs. The 'enculturated' individual subconsciously perceives reality in the context of the cultural values and the cultural worldview. Cultural beliefs are derived from scientific 'beliefs' and the cultural belief systems are derived from the culture's prevailing 'scientific' perception of reality. The cultural perception of 'reality' is a reflection of the prevailing scientific view of the world. The so-called scientific 'paradigm' is the view of reality and the perception of the world as observed and perceived by the individuals in the context of their own culture and its accessible sources of knowledge. The cultural worldview results from logical conclusions about the nature of reality. The conclusions are based on the individual's 'scientific' activity in the cultural context. The available technology is used to make observations about the environment. The available knowledge is used to make inquiries about the environment. Making inquiries and observations constitutes the 'scientific activity' on the basis of which conclusions are drawn about the reality of the environment. The individual uses the 'scientific method' which prevails in the context of the culture. 'Logical' conclusions are drawn on the basis of inquiries and observations made from the perspective of the cultural belief systems. These 'scientifically' drawn conclusions form the basis for the derivation of the significant metaphysical assumptions about 'reality' as they are perceived by those enculturated individuals. The resulting cultural perceptions of reality form the basis of the culture's belief systems and the cultural 'myths'. The cultural myths in turn form the basis of the cultural perceptions of 'reality'. The cultural perceptions of reality constitutes the framework for the formulation of the belief systems and cultural values. The cultural value system constitutes the framework for the formulation of the culture's educational policies. Educational 'institutions' formulate policies which are consistent with the cultural value system. The educational policies are formed within the conceptual framework of the scientific paradigm, by way of the cultural belief systems and cultural values . In reproducing the myths of the cultural belief systems, schools foster the traditional American values of capitalism, materialism and consumerism, of hierarchy and success, of moralism and control. Referred to as the 'hidden curriculum', the obligatory instruction of the cultural values has been promoted with authoritarian teaching methodologies and 'philosophies'. For the individual in the cultural context of 'schooling', he is expected to conform to the cultural values. Instead of fostering the individual's self-reliance and hope for his own future, school authorities want the individual to meet their own 'expectations'. Instead of fostering the individual's self-responsibility, they cultivate his sense of dependence on authorities and experts. Instead of fostering the individial's sense of responsibility for his own future, they try to cultivate his unrealistic ambitions for 'professional' status in the consumer culture. Instead of fostering the individual's sense of integrity and health, they cultivate a 'competitive spirit' and life of stress. In their efforts to make the individual conform to the cultural values, they impose thought and behavior patterns which repress the individual's natural desire for learning, for growth and for independence. Instead of trusting the individual's human potential for intellectual and moral development, the school imposes requirements in the form of grades and 'performance' scores. Instead of fostering the individual's critical consciousness, the school cultivates mindlessness. With its demands for meaningless and passive learning, the school discourages creative and critical thinking. Imposing requirements have been imposed on students for their 'adaptation' and enculturation, the use of traditional methods have obscured the real challenges of living. Students have not been prepared for the demands of complex learning in a complex environment. They have not been taught the positive aspects of moral responsibility to themselves. They have not been taught the real challenges involved in realizing their personal hopes and dreams. They have been deprived of the experience of the real joys of learning. With its function of reproducing the cultural values, the educational system neglect to prepare each individual to lead his own life in a complex world. Instead of preparing the individual for his own future as a self-responsible social being, the institutions of education have prepared the individual as a 'contributing member of society.' Focusing on the individual's preparation for adaptation to the society, the educational system neglect to foster the individual's innate capacities to adapt to a changing environments. Incapacitated individuals in a changing society constitute the human evidence of an anomalous social situation. The current educational 'crisis' is the obvious manifestation of an anomalous human situation which has existed for a long time. The anomaly cannot be ignored any more - it has reached 'crisis' proportions. In keeping with the Protestant ethic, social problems are perceived in terms of the individual's own lack of moral responsibility. Social problems are discussed in terms of possible solutions and 'scenarios'. Attempts are made to resolve them through the implementation of discipline and enforcement of the 'law'. Social problems are not understood in terms of possible deficiencies inherent in the cultural institutions. Social reforms are perceived in terms of the individual's moral responsibility to initiate changes. Social reforms are not perceived in terms of necessary institutional changes. For the individual in the cultural context of capitalism, the educational system is a reflection of the belief systems underlying the cultural values. In the educational institutions, attempts are made to 'help' the individual to cultivate a sense of moral responsibility. For the individual, environmental change is manifest in the global economic and political changes. The individual in the context of American culture is required to adapt to the changing demands of a capitalistic society. In keeping with the theories of capitalism and the American educational 'tradition', the individual's instinctive spiritual striving for self-realization is not validated. The natural development of moral responsibility is discouraged. The life of contemplation and meditation is misunderstood. True spiritual freedom is not trusted. The self-expressive behavior of the natural human being is not trusted. The intuitive and emotional facets of human nature are restrained. The educational policies which were formulated in the paradigm of reductionist science are no longer compatible with the new global worldview. New educational policies need to be formulated on the basis of the new wholistic scientific paradigm. Studies in innovative pedagogical techniques have shown the effectiveness of placing the emphasis on issues of pedagogy and philosophy on the students and on the learning process. Truly innovative changes are those which have a liberating effect on both the teaching and the learning aspects of institutional education. They liberate the learner from the oppressive role of the teacher, the curriculum and the institution. Implementation of liberating pedagogies would bring about the humanization of institutionalized education. A prerequisite is the reexamination of the basic assumptions and values of the cultural belief systems which make up the contextual framework of the educational system. For the individual in the context of cultural oppression, humanization and even survival depend on the humanization of the cultural values. A shift is taking place in the dominant scientific worldview from the reductionist worldview to the wholistic worldview. Reductionist 'science' is being replaced by 'wholistic science'. The change in scientific worldview or 'paradigm' has far-reaching consequences on the cultural belief systems and in turn on the formulation of educational 'policy'. Wholistic science validates the subjective participation of the observer in the scientific process of inquiry. Wholistic science gives rise to new cultural belief systems and values. These are reproduced in the educational policies within the culture. Overall change is manifest in several characteristic trends in education. There is a trend away from fragmentation of knowledge and towards integration of knowledge areas. There is a trend away from the authoritarianism of 'science' and 'experts' and a trend towards the inner authority of the concience. There is a trend away from the value of the need to control and a trend towards the value of the need to trust 'humanity' and the human spirit. There is an overall trend in the recognition and the cultivation of a wholistic paradigm and a global worldview. There is a trend away from the individual's cultural alienation and a trend towards the individual's cultural integration. In discussion and debate about 'education', there is a trend away from the 'individualistic' perspective and a trend towards the cultivation of the wholistic perspective. There is a trend away from competitiveness in learning and a trend towards cooperation and integration in the learning process. Overall there is a trend towards wholistic education. An innovative education based on a wholistic philosophy is valid because the learner is liberated from the authoritarianism of the teacher, the curriculum and the institution. The learner must be free to develop self-discipline, engage in self-directed learning and achieve self-actualization. The history of American education has been characterized by a continual search for a theoretical framework for an effective education practice. A theory-practice (praxis) based on the wholistic learning functioning of the brain could represent another alternative in the continuing search for a theoretical framework upon which to base an effective education practice. Evidence for a rational basis for a theory - practice based on brain functioning is provided by the findings of brain research. So-called brain-based learning involves the natural processing functions of the brain. link between cultural context and brain Brain based education involves the natural learning functions of the brain and brain-based learning involves the natural 'thinking' functions of the brain. The natural functions of the brain are concerned with its special ability to search for meaning in the environment. As a product of millions of years of evolution through natural selection, the specialized brain functions have ensured the survival of the human species. For its millions of years of survival as a species, the human being has depended on the brain's ability to search for meaning in the environment. The brain's efficient evaluation of the environmental context of experience has depended on the natural selection of its characteristic complex thinking functions. The natural thinking processes constitute the brain's natural capacity for processing complex stimuli in the physical, social and cultural environment. The brain processes environmental stimuli which are in the field of focused attention and at the same time it processes those stimuli which are peripheral to it. Many environmental stimuli are perceived unconsciously by the brain and are processed at the subconscious level. The brain processes the focused stimuli within the context of the peripheral stmuli. The brain's interpretation of the focused stimuli depends on its subconscious interpretation of the peripheral stimuli. Stimuli in the field of focused attention are interpreted in ways which depend on the context of the interpretation of peripheral stimuli. The meanings attached to the peripheral stimuli determine the context in which the brain consciously processes environmental stimuli. Peripheral stimuli include those from both physical and social or 'cultural' environments.