Our species survival depends on the full humanisation of the individual and of the society . To be fully human one must be 'inwardly free'... free from social conditioning which creates fear and inner conflict, free from egocentric wishes and desires preventing the perception of the holistic reality which extends   beyond the limits of the ego-self or 'ego'.  We must cultivate our greater spiritual self...  our essence or 'Self'. Cultivation of human spirituality is prerequisite to the humane and intelligent  resolution of our practical and philosophical human problems. To resolve our problems we must be free to think for ourselves... 'freedom of conscience'. We must open our minds and learn to trust our human personality i.e. 'human nature'. Personal liberation is fundamental to growth through learning which is meaningful because it engages personal development.  We must, therefore, offer our children a natural education which aims for the cultivation of their individual potential and natural their natural intelligence which is creative and productive and therefore ensures their effective adaptation to changing social and environmental conditions. The cultivation of creative intelligence is based on the principles of human psychological development.  Complete development of the human personality involes moral or 'spiritual' development. Spiritual development is a function of learning based on motivation by the higher spiritual values or 'metavalues'. So-called 'metamotivation' is a function of education for the person as a whole or 'holistic education'.

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                                         EDUCATION FOR COMPLETE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: 

                                                     HUMANISTIC OR  'HOLISTIC EDUCATION'   

HOLISTIC EDUCATION : A NEW PARADIGM FOR TEACHING

Acccording to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights   (article 26 paragraph 2) "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and human freedoms".

 

Today there is urgent need for positive social change and we need to create a better world. Many of our social and political problems originate when human development is inhibited with the resulting lack of intelligence as 'creative intelligence'. Personal inner conflicts and fears result in irrational thought which translates into inadaptive and destructive behaviour. Resolution of our human problems depends on freedom from inner conflicts and fears - 'inner freedom' - and subsequent openness of mind and cultivation of intelligence. Consequently the intelligent resolution of our human problems depends on our ability to set ourselves free and open our minds. This depends on education which opens the mind and cultivates human intelligence. We must stop conditioning children for mediocrity  We must stop trying to educate them to be what we would like them to be. Instead we must trust them to trust themselves. We must trust them to trust their own needs to develop their human personality and potential. We must provide the right conditions and allow them to grow up to be who they really are - spiritual beings with the natural right to become integrated, intelligent, ethical and therefore mature, responsible and civilized adults able to cooperate peacefully and effectively in their efforts to resolve their human problems. In effect, we must provide universal education for complete human development or 'holistic education'.

Holistic education is the practice of freedom for creativity and productivity or 'work'. Work is meaningful when motivation is stimulated by natural curiosity.This makes it motivating at all ages. "...It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiostiy of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to rack and ruin without fail." (Albert Einstein)

The word 'education' is derived from the Latin 'educare' meaning 'to educe' or bring out from latency. Education in the real sense of the word involves the facilitation and cultivation of complete human development and human potential. According to the whole-system perspective, the human organism is a social organism whose development involves the higher moral or 'spiritual' dimension (spiritual needs or 'soul needs') as well as the basic psychological dimension ('ego-needs') of the human personality or 'human nature'. Moral development (development of moral consciousness or 'conscience')  is a product of evolution through natural selection. As a natural process it depends on conditions provided by an appropriate social or 'educational' environment. Consequently educational philosophy which is scientifically valid must coincide with nature and fundamental principles of natural human growth and development ('natural law').  

Holistic education is moral education... socially responsible because it is committed to human empowerment. Holistic education is theory in practice or 'praxis' ... pedagogy of the wisdom of compassion ...fostering spiritual growth through love of a person's humanity i.e.  'unconditional love' or 'universal love'... 'humanistic education'. (It is disempowerment of the individual which results in human wickedness or 'evil'). ...  pedagogy for development of human potential for natural intuitive intelligence or 'creative intelligence'. 

"Holistic education ....is more concerned with drawing forth the latent capacities and sensitivities of the soul than with stuffing passive young minds full of predigested information. It is an education that prepares young people to live purposefully, creatively, and morally in a complex world." (Ron Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times Brandon, VT: Holistic Education Press, 1993 p. 17)

nurtures lifelong learning and living with integrity...

traditional education as education for control and manipulation ...                                                                                                                                               

human organism as social organism...   human growth and human needs...   spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'...   motivation theory...  

foundational concepts of holistic education...

teaching around interconnecting themes or 'thematic teaching'... 

freedom for creativity and productivity or 'work'...

implications for education...  quotations...

holistic education as education for moral development or 'moral education'... 

teacher aligns with and expression of true, authentic Self at all times. Deeply accept and respect yourself,  Live in love with life, Live your passions and dreams, Understand that 'education' and 'life' are interchangeable terms, Trust yourself to trust children to trust themselves, Honour your intuitive instincts, understanding that the rational mind is its faithful servant, Know that truly loving a child means setting that child free,Understand that who you are being in any given moment is your only teaching, Understand that emotion is the physical translation of your state of alignment-

Traditional education is irresponsible education when it is about power, control and manipulation. The academic curriculum condenses the world into instructional packages... molds young human beings into future workers or citizens...  encouraging competition in the classroom as preparation for competition of the workplace. Reliance on textbook information as source of knowledge and emphasis on memorisation of 'facts' results in the perception of intelligence in terms of abstract problem-solving skills and fails to cultivate the intuition of creative intelligence. In the traditional teaching paradigm of 'banking education' (Paulo Freire) education is confused with task-oriented or objective learning i.e. 'schooling'. Teaching methods involve the use of external motivating devices such as punishment/reward systems of evaluation such as 'grades and 'grade averages'.  Students are coerced into patterns of learning for external goals and objective tasks or 'learning outcomes'. Such extrinsically motivated learning or 'extrinsic motivation' inhibits the free use of creative energy and productiveness of meaningful work... inhibits 'free will'...  'freedom'Denial of freedom inhibits development of personality integration in the realisation of human potential i.e. 'self-realisation' or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation depends on freedom for effective learning and self-initiated meaningful work driven by the need for personal integrity and spiritual independence or 'self-transcendance'. Consequently teaching for external purposes is not functional in personal development and results in moral failure and the subsequent irresponsiblility of behaviour. 

 "The lecture-based passive curriculum is not simply poor pedagogical practice. It is the teaching model most compatible with promoting the dominant authority in society and with disempowering students." (Paulo Freire Politics of Education p. l0)

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Education and culture are interrelated. Education as function of culture: growth of the individual depends on the extent to which the culture facilitates the growth process.

  "It is not possible to have a truly meaningful education for the 'humanization' of society without the scientific recognition of the intrinsic nature and value of what it is to be human. A humane environment which is supportive of the individual's intrinsic needs is conducive to their development into mature individuals with self-discipline, self-confidence and self-responsibility. Education for complete development means that it must be geared to the child's psychic needs and capacities. Sound psychic development is adversely affected by fear of extensive punishment, external discipline and the overemphasis of forced learning. Fear creates hostility and hypocrisy. Fear paralyzes endeavor and authenticity of feeling. Fear prevents proper emotional development. Fear of an inhumane environment prevents the proper development of an individual's humanity. It is possible to have a truly meaningful wholistic education if it is based on the wholistic paradigm which implies the scientific recognition of the human inner life. The wholistic worldview permits a global view of the human being as a 'totality of body, soul and spirit.' Scientific discoveries of the interrelations of body, soul and spirit are reflected in a new educational paradigm. The new pedagogical methodology recognizes that the child's learning experiences and learning difficulties are global in nature. The global view of the child and the learning process "can provide a secure theoretical and practical foundation for a holistic education that directs itself to educate the whole person for the whole of life." (Gerald Karnow)

Holistic education is based on the philosophy of 'holism' from Greek 'holos'...encompasses... involves the integration of multiple layers of meaning and experience through direct engagement with the environment...   the person gains sense of identity , meaning and purpose in life through connections with the community and the natural world.

 "I believe that the single most powerful contribution that the holistic education movement is making to the field of educational theory is the power of the metaphor of holism i.e being aware of the parts, the sum of the parts, and that which is more than the sum of the parts. Further work is obviously needed to develop a more comprehensive theoretical framework that gives sufficient attention to all the important dimensions of human experience and education." (David Purpel. "Holistic Education in a Prophetic Voice" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. Brandon, VT: Holistic Education Press, 1993  83)

 Holistic science is involved with the creation of frameworks or 'structures' to explain the characteristic properties of natural systems thus producing the ecological worldview of 'systems theory'. Connnections are made and new properties emerge ('emergent properties') as a result of the interconnectedness of various parts of the system...these condition but not determine the properties of the constituent parts of the system. Consequently the concept of oneness or ‘wholeness’ is used to understand the workings of the system as a whole. The intrinsic nature and value of the human inner life or 'consciousness' of the scientist as subjective participant in the observation process is considered as a valid and significant aspect in the collection of objective physical sense data. "The specialist concentrates on detail and disregards the wider structure which gives it context. The 'new' scientist however, concentrates on structure on all levels of magnitude and complexity, and fits detail into its general framework. He discerns relationships and situations, not atomistic facts and events. By this method he can understand a lot more about a great many more things than the rigorous specialist, although his understanding is somewhat more general and approximate... This is knowledge of 'connected complexity'. We ourselves are a part of the connected complexity with which we are surrounded in nature... To have an adequate grasp of reality, we must look at things in terms of systems, with properties ('emergent properties') and structures ('frameworks resulting from the patterns of interconnections') of their own." (Laszlo, Ervin. The Systems View of the World: The Natural Philosophy of the New Developments in the Sciences. New York: George Brazilier p.10)   

Holistic education is foundational to a culture of peace and true democracy because it is based on the understanding of the human personality or 'human nature' "For too long the inner world of children has been suppressed or denied, and this is a serious flaw in our educational thinking that holistic educators seek to remedy". (Kathleen Kesson. Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation  in Ron Miller (Ed.) The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times Brandon, Vermont, USA: Holistic Education Press (1993)

 The foundational concepts of holistic education (cognitive paradigm) are the same as those of holistic health care. Emphasis on the importance of a perception of the person as a whole in terms of the interconnectedness of body, mind and moral consciousness or 'conscience' ('spirit')... fosters the growth and integrity of children from birth to adulthood... the recognition and respect for the individual's potential responsibility for health of body, mind and spirit... their own well-being or 'wellness'... their own striving for wholeness... mature growth or 'self-actualisation'.. and therefore on their own education...  provide environmental conditions which foster the individual's needs for physical and psychological personal growth towards high level wellness... personal growth... psychological, emotional, intellectual, spiritual... calls forth reverence for life... love of learnin g... through direct engagement with the environment... nurtures a sense of wonder (Montessori spoke of 'cosmic education' as education for sense of oneness with the universe... enchantment of learning. The holistic educator values the many 'paths of learning'... Each path is specific to the individual concerned, to the situation, to the social and historical context. The art of teaching and learning lies in the responsiveness to the diversity of needs of evolving human beings. Holistic education is humanistic education

 "Much of the criticism of 'open' or 'humanistic' or 'holistic' education has been directed toward its perceived lack of academic rigor. I would suggest that this is partly due to the acritical position of some advocates of 'child-centered' curriculum, who in their desire not to impose adult directive upon students, fail to work with them to uncover why particular social forms exist, how they are maintained, and who benefits from them. A truly transformative education could be a mutual and collective effort to unveil the hidden codes embedded in the everyday experience of the students which explicate the underlying paradigm that frames their present reality. Beyond this decoding of the common reality structures, educators could then work with students to enable them to actively particapte in the reconstruction of their socal reality. ... For too long the inner world of children has been suppressed or denied, and this is a serious flaw in our eductional thinking that holistic educators seek to remedy. In our enthusiasm to nurture the subjectivities of children, I hope that we don't forget that it is in the immmediate world of symbols and shared mutual dialogue that genuine cultural transformation will occur.. The potential of wholistic education is to develop capacity to reason critically and compassionately, incorporating and transcending dualistic and suppressed forms of consciousness to achieve a more fully developed mode of awareness." (Miller et al. 1993 The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times Brandon, VT: Holistic Education Press, 109)

 The conceptual basis of a wellness philosophy represents the foundation for the five dimensions of high level wellness. These are self-responsibility, nutritional awareness, physical fitness, stress management, and environmental sensitivity. A wellness lifestyle enriches life, develops the character as well as the body, increases mental alertness, self-awareness, confidence and personal self-esteem.

Sound educational policy is based on the need for children to understand their own needs. Pedagogical methods designed around the 'wellness philosophy' and the 'wellness lifestyle' are efficient for the purpose of organizing a curriculum around the children's own needs. On the whole, an effective education would be based on the proper consideration for the individual's needs for wholeness

holistic education is based on faith in the child’s integrity...  integration of  the spiritual dimension of human nature .... spiritual freedom in education... person-centered education... education for optimal human development... collaboration in the classroom... teachers help learners feel connected...  use real-life experiences

 as source of knowledge...  teacher encourages reflection and inquiry to keep the 'flame of intelligence' alive... teacher accomodates differences amongst children... bringing out the unique potential of each ...    "The potential of wholistic education is to develop capacity to reason critically and compassionately, incorporating and transcending dualistic and suppressed forms of consciousness to achieve a more fully developed mode of awareness." (Kathleen Kesson. "Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. 109)

 "Holistic education returns us to the Latin root meaning of the word 'education' - to lead forth what is naturally within the human being." (Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times 11)

 Human existence is woven into the fabric of the natural world. -people create meaning and culture consequently evolves. We interpret our experience through language and metaphor, and although cultures tend to reify these interpretations and render them static, it is posssible to develop a critical consciousness that challenges the hegemony of the dominant culture. This is Purpel's 'prophetic voice'. The major purpose of schooling until now has been to preserve the hegemony of the established culture to induct each new generation into the dominant worldview 'banking' (Freire) education. But we can conceive of education as a genuine community of learning in which new meanings, new metaphors are generated. -sense of reverence toward nature and life - respect for diversity, spontaneity and the inherent wisdom of organic growth - it is essential that we draw on our deepest source of renewal and creativity: the imagination. The holistic critique calls for an integration of rational, empirical, analytical modes of knowing with the imaginative and intuitive modes of knowing(Miller 20-23)

The focus of holistic education is on relationships: between linear thinking and intuition.. between different domains of knowedge...

 themes of holistic education -connection, relatedness, integration in human experience-the individual person is seen not as an isolated atom but as a nexus of intrinsic connection to social, cultural, biological, and spiritual environments.

"We live in an historical period characterized by the rapid disintegration of accepted value systems and conceptual frameworks. The existential crisis provoked by such dissolution can inspire the 'recycling of medieval ontologies' for modern use - leading us to cling to Absolutist philosophies in a desperate effort to stave off chaos.... The solution from the perspective of a critical theory, is the development of a reason liberated from the shackles of both superstition and instrumentalism, a reason capable of incorporatig the nonrational, suppressed aspects of consciousness without sacrificing its critical capacity. This I believe is also the task of holistic educators." (Kathleen Kesson in Miller Renewal of Meaning in Education 102)

Whole system perspective of the human organism as a social organism The human organism evolved as a social organism... depends for survival on the proper development of a social brain with specialised functions of social awareness and social responsibility... social intelligence... indigenous wisdom required for adaptation to changing social environment. Development of social intelligence is a function of holistic learning which involves the simultaneous development of cognitive faculties and moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Development of conscience depends on education in a social environment which fosters growth through learning. Learning is natural when it is based on the intrinsic human need for intellectual and moral or 'spiritual growth' i.e. mature growth or 'self-actualisation'... a function of the wholistic or 'global' functioning of the brain. The principles of brain functioning are the fundamental principles of wholistic learning.

The wholistic functioning of the brain is the basis for fundamental principles of human development and holistic philosophy of education.

Motivation theory... biological basis of motivation

The growth needs... relationship between needs and motivation for growth through learning. Deprivation of intrinsic values (meta-needs)... more perceptual learning to the increase of insight and understanding, to knowledge of self and to the steady growth of personality, i.e. increased synergy, integration and inner consistency. Change becomes much less an acquisition of habits or associations one by one, and much more a total change of the total person, i.e. a new person rather than the same person with attributes added. Policies and programs which counteract children's motivation for learning: Every living child has the inborn right to the psychological and intellectual personal growth which is needed for a life of health and human dignity.

  Both physical needs and spritual metaneeds have a biological basis...these needs are the innate motives which are biologically built into the constitution of the human species.... instinctive...All the instinctive needs of the human organism -basic physiological needs, basic psychological needs and spiritual

To resolve problem of motivation stress the importance of the respect for human needs for growth and development... lower and higher psychological needs... 'growth needs' ... Wholistic education is based on biological and psychological needs of the human organism.  Problem of motivation in 'educational crisis'.

 Lack of motivation is due to lack of recognition of needs. Key to motivation is recognition of the developmental needs - needs and 'metaneeds' - of the human organism.

Human growth and human needs... importance of cultural environment  

The person's intellectual and spiritual needs,...needs for growth or 'metaneeds'... like the basic needs, have a biological basis. For their actualization, the metaneeds require a growth promoting cultural environment. Metamotivation by the metaneeds can be lost in a culture which does not approve of human nature... cultural environment which denies them acknowledgement as part of human nature. A cultural environment which respects the human organism's basic psychological needs fosters self-actualisation. A cultural environment which respects the human organism's instinctive 'metaneeds' as well as basic psychological needs, fosters the individual's 'metamotivation' towards full human awareness or  'humanness'.

Understanding of the biological nature of the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' is of paramount importance to the education of the human organism. For growth towards fullest humanness, both deficiency needs and growth needs must be met. Deprivation of the metaneeds during development results in value-starvation and leads to value-hunger and dehumanization. The failure to acknowledge the metaneeds for growth constitutes the external cultural force which deprives the individual of conditions essential to personal growth. Resulting internal forces of repression, denial and reaction responses inhibit metamotivation for growth through learning. 

 Education which is based on respect for human needs including the metaneeds is 'holistic education'.

A wholistic education is possible within the context of the worldview of a wholistic science. It is possible to have a truly meaningful wholistic education if it is based on the wholistic paradigm and the scientific recognition of the human inner life. Scientific recognition of the human inner life validates the necessity of freedom in education.

How improve the quality of education for children so as to insure their complete intellectual and emotional development? Education for complete development means that it must be geared to the child's psychic needs and capacities. Sound psychic development is adversely affected by fear of extensive punishment, external discipline and the overemphasis of enforced learning. Fear creates hostility and hypocrisy. Fear paralyzes endeavor and authenticity of feeling. Fear prevents proper emotional development. Fear of an inhumane environment prevents proper human development. An environment which is supportive of the intrinsic needs of the human organism is a humane environment - one which is conducive to the development of children into mature individuals with self-discipline, self-confidence and self-responsibility.

The growth needs   Every living child has the inborn right to the psychological and intellectual personal growth which is needed for a life of health and human dignity. Children do not become human beings with the attributes of humanity unless provided with the education which is conducive to their proper psychological development. Political institutions, including schools and universities, which are committed to people's goals for wholeness and self-actualization provide the environmental conditions necessary for fostering personal growth, both emotional and intellecual. A wholistic approach to education emphasizes the importance of a perspective of the whole person and the interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit. The wholistic approach is relevant to educational policy which fosters the growth and integrity of children from birth to adulthood. With the proper consideration for people's needs, many potential social problems are avoided. A wellness lifestyle enriches life, develops the character as well as the body, increases mental alertness, self-awareness, confidence and personal self-esteem. Sound educational policy is based on the need for children to understand their own health needs. Pedagogical methods designed around the 'wellness philosophy' and the 'wellness lifestyle' are efficient for the purpose of organizing a curriculum around the children's own needs. Recognition, acknowledgement and respect for the instinctive metaneeds as well as the basic psychological needs constitute the external cultural forces which foster metamotivation and growth towards self-actualization and full humanness or 'experiential richness'. The capacity for growth through experiential richness is 'teachable'. It is possible to 'teach' for growth to full humanness by the replacement of deficiency with growth motivation or 'metamotivation'. Education based on the human capacity for growth motivation incorporates the instinctive human yearnings for goodness, truth and perfection. It is possible to formulate educational programs on the basis of the instinctive needs of the human organism to function fully within a society. In order to foster the human capacity for metamotivation essential for social intelligence, it is essential that education be designed within the framework of a wholistic description of the human organism as a social organism. The aims of education are connected with developmental needs - spiritual 'metaneeds' as well as physiological and psychological needs... Education for the growth needs of each individual human organism stimulates intrinsic motivation ...fosters growth and results in vision and wisdom...

 Proper psychological growth requires freedom from dogmatic beliefs  Children naturally strive to become adult human beings... achieving adulthood is achieving self-realization or 'self-actualisation'. The striving towards self-realization is biologically based...genetic...  hereditary.

... relationship between needs and motivation for growth through learning. Deprivation of intrinsic values (meta-needs)... increase insight and understanding, knowledge of self and to the steady growth of personality, i.e. increased synergy, integration and inner consistency. Change becomes much less an acquisition of habits or associations one by one, and much more a total change of the total person, i.e. a new person rather than the same person with attributes added. Policies and programs which counteract children's motivation for learning:

Depends on favorable social environment or 'education'  The lack of proper education hinders development towards self-realization. It restricts the individual's achievement of mature adulthood characteristic of the human being and of humanity. Children do not become human beings with the attributes of humanity unless provided with the education which is conducive to their proper psychological development. Political institutions, including schools and universities, which are committed to people's goals for wholeness and self-actualization provide the environmental conditions necessary for fostering personal growth, both emotional and intellecual.

A wholistic approach to education emphasizes the importance of a perspective of the whole person and the interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit. The wholistic approach is relevant to educational policy which fosters the growth and integrity of children from birth to adulthood. Sound educational policy is based on the need for children to understand their own health needs

With the proper consideration for people's needs, many potential social problems are avoided.

A wellness lifestyle enriches life, develops the character as well as the body, increases mental alertness, self-awareness, confidence and personal self-esteem. Pedagogical methods designed around the 'wellness philosophy' and the 'wellness lifestyle' are efficient for the purpose of organizing a curriculum around the children's own needs. Recognition, acknowledgement and respect for the instinctive metaneeds as well as the basic psychological needs constitute the external cultural forces which foster metamotivation and growth towards self-actualization and full humanness or 'experiential richness'.

The capacity for growth through experiential richness is 'teachable'. It is possible to 'teach' for growth to full humanness by the replacement of motivation by ego needs - 'deficiency motivation' - with growth motivation or 'metamotivation'. Education based on metamotivation incorporates the instinctive human yearnings for goodness, truth and perfection. It is possible to formulate educational programs on the basis of the instinctive needs of the human organism to function fully within a society. In order to foster the human capacity for metamotivation essential for social intelligence, it is essential that education be designed within the framework of a of the human organism as a social organism... 'holistic perspective'.

Knowledge through self-knowledge based on need to transcend limitations of self-interest   aims of education are connected with developmental needs - spiritual 'metaneeds' as well as physiological and psychological needs...Education for the growth needs of each individual human organism stimulates intrinsic motivation ...fosters growth and results in vision and wisdom...

 "If man is to have confidence in values, he must know himself and the capacity of his nature for goodness and productiveness... Improved self-knowledge - and clarity of ones values - is coincident with improved knowledge of others and clarity of their values." (Erich Fromm. Man For Himself  l77)

"It has frequently been suggested that the pursuit of self-knowledge is inherently a selfish one that detracts from an involvement with, and contribution to, society. However such criticism is not valid inasmuch as the product of this work is necessarily a transcendence of limited self-interest. Concern with the general good of one's fellow beings and a desire for harmony with the broader universe is intrinsic to the work. Eric Schumacher writes: 'It is a grave error to accuse a man who pursues self-knowledge of 'turning his back on society.' The opposite would be more nearly true: that a man who fails to pursue self-knoweldge is and remains a danger to society, for he will tend to misunderstand everything that other people say or do, and remain blissfully unaware of the significance of many of the things he does himself. (See Eric Schumacher A Guide for the Perplexed. New York, Harper and Row, l977) " (Walsh 199)

Connection between growth needs... metaneeds... intrinsic motivation... normalisation... psychological value of work... The biologically based 'metaneeds' come under the rubric of subjective biology ... Consequently the education of the spiritual needs, the 'metaneeds,' can be fostered through the acknowledgement, encouragement and enforcement of the individual's instinctive metaneeds ....yearning for truth, beauty etc. and the individual's capacity for 'metamotivation' ...spiritual life is instinctoid, all the techniques of 'subjective biology' apply to its education... human creativity and productiveness or 'work'.

Holistic education is socially responsible education ...  education for renewal of eroded human values which transcend economics and are necessary for responsible action... education for peace and communion in the world.

Recognition, acknowledgement and respect for the instinctive metaneeds as well as the basic psychological needs constitute the external cultural forces which foster metamotivation and growth towards self-actualization and full humanness or 'experiential richness'. The capacity for growth through experiential richness is 'teachable'. It is possible to 'teach' for growth to full humanness by the replacement of deficiency with growth motivation or 'metamotivation'. Education based on the human capacity for growth motivation would incorporate the instinctive human yearnings for goodness, truth and perfection. It would be possible to formulate educational programs on the basis of the instinctive needs of the human organism to function fully within a society. In order to foster the human capacity for metamotivation essential for social intelligence, it is essential that education be designed within the framework of a wholistic description of the human organism as a social organism... includes metaneeds Education which includes the metaneeds is 'holistic education'. Aim of holistic education is to foster personal maturity through development of human potential

  Education as the fostering of natural human development... Education is ...should be ...an aid to life. "Not in the service of any political or social creed should the teacher work, but in the service of the complete human being, able to exercise in freedom a self-disciplined will and judgement, unperverted by prejudice and undistorted by fear." Maria Montessori. To Educate the Human Potential. Adyar, Madras, India: Kalakshetra Publications, 1961.3)

 "The discoveries of Rudolf Steiner concerning the interrelationships of body, soul and spirit represent a new educational paradigm which ... can provide a secure theoretical and practical foundation for a holistic education that directs itself to educate the whole person for the whole of life." (Gerald Karnow Educating the Whole Person for the Whole of Life Holistic Education Review, Spring, 1992)  

 'Brain-based wholistic education' implies an eductional practice and pedagogy which is based on natural wholistic learning. Wholistic learning is natural because it is compatible with the natural functioning of the brain. A product of millions of years of evolution, the natural learning function of the brain involves the simultaneous processing of multitudinous stimuli in a complex environment. An individual naturally perceives reality and learns within the context of a given physical, social and cultural environment. The individual's 'individuality' is a natural result of the learning process - the 'education' - which takes place within the context of a cultural environment.

BALANCED PERSONALITY

  "In the real mastery of life, there is no suppression of emotion. There is a direct recognition of the emotional state. This does not mean that emotion must be suppressed. On the contrary, the emotional state must be recognized in order to put it in the right perspective.  A person who is master of his own life is committed to doing always what is important to do, independent of emotional experience. For the development of creative initiative, the senior force is creation. The emotions must remain subordinate to the creative process. Louis Pasteur said that " a man of science may hope for what may be said of him in the future, but he cannot think of the insults -or the compliments or his own day."" It is important to be true to yourself and your purpose in life. What is creative behavior? Ask "what result do I want to create? Focus on the result". Fromm "Man for Himself" page 76

References:


See Ron Miller, Ph.D... leading activist and scholar in the emerging field of holistic education, author or editor of eight books, and is currently teaching at Champlain College in Vermont. For more information see PathsOfLearning.net and edrev.org Alternative Education Resource Organization, learningalternatives.net International Association for Learning Alternatives, and great-ideas.org Holistic Education Press.
"Holistic Education: A response to the crisis of our time: Holistic education began to emerge as a coherent philosophy in the mid-1980s and is today becoming recognized in many parts of the world as an inspiring response to the serious challenges of this age of globalization, such as violence, cultural disintegration, and ecological decline. Bringing together the best theory and practices from diverse educational alternatives, a holistic perspective asserts that education must start by nourishing the unique potentials of every child, within overlapping contexts of family, community, society, humanity, and the natural world. Holistic education is not a fixed ideology but an open-ended attempt to embrace the complexity and wholeness of human life. Holistic educators reject the current obsession with educational uniformity: rigid standards, relentless testing, and authoritarian control of the learning process. Holistic education is essentially a democratic education, concerned with both individual freedom and social responsibility. It is education for a culture of peace, for sustainability and ecological literacy, and for the development of humanity’s inherent morality and spirituality. This website (Paths of Learning) features the work of Dr. Ron Miller, one of the leading pioneers in the field of holistic education, and provides connections to other resources that are available to parents, educators, researchers and policymakers."

 David Purpel, 1989. The Moral and Spiritual Crisis in Education: A Curriculum for Justice and Compassion in Education. Masschusetts, Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc. Walsh Beyond Ego: Transpersdonal Dimensions in Psychology

Holistic education is person-centered education 

CONNECTION BETWEEN HIERARCHY OF NEEDS (SUBJECTIVE BIOLOGY) AND INTRINSIC MOTIVATION (DESIGN OF CURRICULUM) It should be possible to design an educational curriculum around the instinctive needs of 'subjective biology' - the metaneeds as well as the basic physiological and psychological needs. The curriculum would be based on children's instinctive motivation to satisfy the basic needs for self-respect and self-esteem in the process of self-actualization. The curriculum would include opportunities for experiential enrichment through metamotivation to satisfy metaneeds. Children are naturally curious. Children are intrinsically motivated by their curiosity, Curiosity is the source of the motivation which comes from within - 'intrinsic motivation'. Children depend for their continued motivation on adult approval. 'Brain-based wholistic education' implies an eductional practice and pedagogy which is based on natural wholistic learning. Wholistic learning is natural because it is compatible with the natural functioning of the brain. A product of millions of years of evolution, the natural learning function of the brain involves the simultaneous processing of multitudinous stimuli in a complex environment. An individual naturally perceives reality and learns within the context of a given physical, social and cultural environment. The individual's 'individuality' is a natural result of the learning process - the 'education' - which takes place within the context of a cultural enviroment.  

Quotations

 "The extreme form of rational ideology is the debasement of nature and the total alienation of man from nature. Hitler's rejection of Enlightenment reason and exaltation of nature.... "Hitler appealed to the unconscious in his audiences by hinting that he could forge a power in whose name repressed nature would be lifted. In this way, repressed natural drives were harnessed to the needs of Nazi rationalism. To debase thought and exalt nature is a typical fallacy of an era of rationalization. Opposing the Enlightenment by regressing to earlier stages (Horkheimer Eclipse of Reason NY: Oxford University Press) will not alleviate the permament crises we have created, but can lead to ever more barbaric forms of social domination. Likewise we are cautioned against the revival of past theories of objective reason. We live in an historical period characterized by the rapid disintegration of accepted value systems and conceptual frameworks. The existential crisis provoked by such dissolution can inspire the 'recycling of medieval ontologies' for modern use - leading us to cling to Absolutist philosophies in a desperate effort to stave off chaos. ...The solution from the perspective of a critical theory, is the development of a reason liberated from the shackles of both superstition and instrumentalism, a reason capable of incorporatig the nonrational, suppressed aspects of consciousness without sacrificing its critical capacity. This I believe is also the task of holistic educators." (Kathleen Kesson. "Critical Theory and Holistic Education: Carrying on the Conversation" in Miller et al. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times. p.102)

 

references:

Ron Miller Ph.D. Editor Holistic Education Review What are Schools For? Holistic Education in American Culture "...a powerfuol exposition and critique of the historical context and cultural/philosophical foundations of contemporary mainstream American education. It focuses on the diverse group of personcentered educators of the past two centuries and explores their current relevance to the new challenges facing education in the post-industrial age."

Guide to Resources in Holistic Education "...a comprehensive annotated list of organizations, publications, training programs, and other resources ibn holistic/person-centered education. Includes Montessori and Waldorf resources, Whole Language materials, peace and global  education, environmental education, home schooling, children's rights and welfare, and more.

 New Directions in Education: Selections from Holistic Education Review "A finely tuned selection of over thirty articles from the first ten issues of Holistic Education Review, most of which are no longer in print. They are listed under five major themes: philosophical foundations, a global perspective, rethinking some old problems, new goals for education, holistic education in practice. It also includes original introductory essays by editor Ron Miller, as well as a holistic education glossary and reading list."


Enhanced learning depends on teaching based on knowledge of brain functioning.
 

           TEACHING FOR MAP LEARNING OR 'THEMATIC TEACHING'

 Thematic teaching is powerful and effective because it integrates learning with life.   

"Thematic teaching involves the perception and creation of 'thematic maps' which are themes in 'mental space,' mental representations of interactive relationships. An effective teacher elicits the learner's intrinsic motivation. Locale learning, or map learning, is a brain-based learning process of the brain's spatial memory system. Motivated by the innate need to make sense of experience the brain is activated globally. The senses and emotions are stimulated as well as the intellect. Learning activities engage a wide range of neurons in different areas of the brain and there is little stress on specific groups of neurons. Teaching 'to the brain' or 'thematic' teaching is based on the recognition and understanding of brain-based learning. Unifying themes are used to understand the relationships between subjects. Boundaries between subjects are crossed. Specific items, events, concepts or issues are studied within the context of the different subject areas. Understanding of the subject areas is facilitated. Teachers' lesson plans are designed to motivate the learners. Evaluation is complex and integrated with the learning process. Engaging their natural brain-based curiosity, learners become intrinsically motivated and deeply involved. Learning becomes a creative process, and a source of joy and excitement. With an increased understanding of issues in different contexts learners will remember the learned information for a long time and be able to apply it to new learning situations. Teaching methodologies for brain-based learning recognize the emotional and instinctive needs which are associated with intellectual concepts. They spell out the need to acknowledge information on brain functioning in designing the curriculum encourage holistic brain-based approaches because they acknowledge the brain's ability to relate vast amounts of information to what is already 'in' the learner through the identification of patterns and relationships among the sciences, humanities and the arts. With a shift in paradigm to a systems approach, it becomes possible to view the learning process in all its complexity. Improvements in educational theory result in effective methodologies such as thematic teaching, whole-language approaches to literacy, and the integration of the curriculum. Research in the neurosciences challenges some strongly held beliefs: "The brain does not separate emotions from cognition, either anatomically or perceptually.""the belief that teaching can be separated into the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains." "the notion that learning must take place through rote memorization," the idea of "teaching to behavioural objectives (as it) ignores other functions of the brain and other aspects of memory and learning." The emphasis on facts and outcomes may prevent real understanding and the transfer of learning. (vii) (Geoffrey Caine and Renate Numella Caine Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain.Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1991.)

What is learning? The learning process is a natural function of the brain. The brain's function is to search for meaning in experience and to 'make sense' of unfamiliar stimuli or 'learn'. Human learning is an instinctive survival oriented capacity which evolved as a vehicle for behavioural adaptation to the changes of social environments. Social adaptation depends on a process of growth through creative learning which involves the emotions as well as the intellect. The need to make sense of experience stimulates the desire to know or 'curiosity'. Curiosity is naturally stimulated by challenge and complexity and elicits motivation which is intrinsic to the organism i.e. 'intrinsic motivation'. Intrinsic motivation or 'self-motivation' is the basis for the deep involvement which is characteristic of the creative process. Learning experiences which engage the brain's natural potential for creativity are a source of excitement and joy.
 

The new cognitive paradigm: cognition is a function of physiological processes The attention of educators is being drawn away from the traditional paradigm of the behavioural sciences and towards the findings of brain research or 'neuroscience'. Over the past several decades the science of the brain or 'neurobiology' has merged with the science of the mind or 'psychology' to produce the new science of 'psychobiology'. Psychobiology is concerned with the biological basis of the mental functions of learning or 'cognition'. The process of cognition is a natural function of the brain involving the continuity of information from one part of the brain to another i.e. 'information flow'. Information flow involves physiological functions such as the propagation of electrochemical signals or 'nerve impulses' along nerve cells or 'neurons' and their transmission across the interconnections between them, the 'synapses'. Modification of synaptic connections - 'synapse modification' - results in changes in existing neural networks and the creation of new ones. This accounts for the brain's potential for change or 'neuroplasticity'. The physiological functions of learning constitute the basis of mental functioning or 'mind': interrelated processes of remembering, separating, organizing, comparing, integrating and evaluating mental data i.e. 'analysis'; detecting relationships and making connections i.e. 'synthesis'. Analysis and synthesis occur simultaneously in a natural mental process of 'immersion' in which new learning experiences are embedded in the totality of previous experience and connnections are made between new information and information which has already been processed. Application of principles of brain functioning to learning theory results in the creation of new concepts for the so-called 'cognitive paradigm' of teaching. Teaching involves the orchestrated integration of different learning experiences.

'Natural learning' or 'experiential learning' is brain-based learning' Teaching methods of the cognitive paradigm are confluent with the brain's rules for learning i.e. 'brain-based learning'. Brain-based learning is defined in terms of the natural function of the brain: to 'make sense' of unfamiliar stimuli... to 'search for meaning' in experience i.e. natural learning' or 'experiential learning'. The brain is a natural 'meaning maker' with an instinctive urge to make sense of experience or 'understand' i.e. 'curiosity'. Curiosity is a survival oriented capacity which is naturally stimulated by challenge and complexity and elicits motivation which is intrinsic to the organism i.e. 'intrinsic motivation'. Intrinsic motivation or 'self-motivation' activates optimal functioning of the brain i.e. 'optimal learning' or 'optimalearning'. Optimal learning accounts for the deep involvement which characterises the creative process.

Global functioning of the brain... natural capacity for 'holistic perception' The brain's function as meaning maker is a natural physiological process of information processing which involves the interdependent activity... the interactivity... of the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The cerebral hemispheres interact via the 'corpus collosum'. It is the interaction... the interconnectedness of the specialized hemispheres which allows for the integral functioning of the brain. The integrated functioning of the cerebral hemispheres is the basis for the global or 'holistic' functioning of the brain. The brain is activated as a whole. In its attempt to make meaning of the environment, the brain responds 'holistically' to environmental stimuli, perceiving and creating connections between parts and the whole. Its natural capacity to make connections... to perceive and process parts and wholes simultaneously i.e 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception results in the interaction of parts and wholes - the parts containing the whole and the whole containing the parts. As a result of the brain's natural capacity for holistic perception, its activity as a whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts in the form of characteristic 'emergent properties' such as 'moral consciousness' or 'conscience'  - the human 'soul'. The human conscience evolved as a vehicle for behavioural adaptation of the human organism as a social organism i.e. 'adaptability'.

The understanding of 'emergent properties' of the brain is of significance to holistic brain-based learning theory.  

Human adaptability as social adaptability depends on moral consciousness or 'conscience'. The human organism is a social organism and human adaptability is social adaptability which depends on cultivation of the capacity for accurate evaluation of the social environment  leading to effective decision-making and successful adaptation i.e. 'social intelligence. Social intelligence is a function of 'mature growth' or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation is a function of the unfolding of human 'values for living' - the 'social values' or 'morals' i.e. 'moral intelligence' or 'morality'. Morality is the human moral faculty which depends on motivation by the 'metaneeds' i.e. 'metamotivation'. Metamotivation engages development of 'conscience' which depends on creativity and productivity or 'work'. Meaningful work is the vehicle for growth motivation or 'self-actualisation' which involves the harmonisation of psychic forces - emotions and intellect - and frees the individual from the limitations of the 'ego-life' allowing them to live in the spiritual realm of human existence i.e. 'ego-transcendance'. Ego-transcendance is prerequisite to effective socialisation.


Thematic teaching is based on the recognition and understanding of the global functioning of the brain. The use of global themes as organizers of meaning stimulates the brain to make connections. The brain is activated 'globally'. The physiological basis for global activation is the interactivity of the two cerebral hemispheres. The activation of the brain's natural function of global learning is the basis for brain-based learning or 'optimal learning'. Optimal learning the learner is stimulated to make optimal use of the brain's natural ... capacity to make connections... use to full advantage the natural function of the brain as meaning maker.. In order to maximize optimal learning, the teacher functions in the integration or 'orchestration' of all learning experiences. New learning experiences are embedded in the totality of previous experience in the natural mental process of 'immersion'. The immersion process involves formation of associations between each new piece of information processed by the brain with the rest of the learner's current and past learning experiences. To ignore the brain's global functioning is to reduce its capacity to make connections and understand relationships.
Thematic teaching methods teach to the brain's natural potential to thrive on complexity. They teach to the natural function of the brain as a pattern detector which perceives parts and wholes simultaneously. A complex and rigorous content becomes intellectually challenging if it is presented in a meaningful context. The learner is stimulated to make optimal use of the brain's natural capacity to make connections.. .to integrate new experience with learned experience... to see global relationships, to extract meaningful patterns... interrelationships ... to perceive the 'patterns which connect'. Learning is focused on the brain's natural capacities of comparing, patterning and categorizing which stimulate its capacity for making connections. The learner analyses a contextual reality and recognizes connections between the various components so that they can be perceived as different dimensions of a total reality. This learning methodology is confluent with the brain's natural capacity for the simultaneous perception of parts and wholes or 'holistic perception'.
The brain's capacity for holistic perception can be represented in terms of themes in mental space or 'thematic maps'. Thematic maps can be used to integrate the various experiences in different learning contexts such as the classroom, the school, the local community, the national community and the global community. With understanding of issues in meaningful contexts - for example, historical and political themes in the context of current events - the learner is able to apply what they learn to new learning situations. The emphasis on understanding themes in real life contexts makes the subject matter meaningful and creates new depth. Opposites and dualisms can be made to disappear and illogical paradoxes and dichotomies can be resolved. In this way problematic situations can be made challenging and motivation for learning can be enhanced

Pedagogies based on the stimulation of intrinsic motivation are compatible with the natural functioning of the brain or 'brain-compatible'. Brain compatible pedagogies are based on the recognition and encouragement of the brain's natural potential for complex learning. They recognize the emotional dimensions of learning and teach for knowledge that makes sense to the learner i.e. meaningful knowledge or 'natural knowledge'. Natural knowledge results from the brain's capacity to organize information on the basis of its recognition of patterns. The brain is a pattern detector which can perceive interactive relationships or 'themes'. Teaching which focuses on themes
as organizers is 'thematic teaching'. Thematic teaching involves the organization of subject matter around central unifying themes or 'global themes'. Global themes are based on essential concepts that have universal application and used as organizers of meaning for understanding content. The scope of a theme is larger than the scope of a subject. Use of themes makes it possible to introduce material from other subject area and from real life experience. In this way the different subject areas can be related to each other and learning be made meaningful in a real life context. The integration of learning with life is the basis for the power and effectiveness of thematic teaching. Learning which focuses themes capitalizes on the brain's instinctive drive to make sense of unfamiliar stimuli and thus derive meaning from experience.
 

Teaching to the brain: curriculum design  The brain's capacity for holistic perception can be represented in terms of themes in mental space or 'thematic maps'. Thematic maps integrate the various experiences in different learning contexts... family, school, local community, national community, global community. The understanding of issues in meaningful contexts - such as political history in the context of current events - makes it possible to apply what is learned to new learning situations. Emphasis on understanding of themes in real life contexts creates new depth and makes for meaningful subject matter. When presented in a meaningful context, complex and rigorous content becomes intellectually challenging. Motivation for learning is enhanced. Learning is focused on the brain's natural capacities for comparing, patterning and categorizing which stimulate its capacity to make  connections, to integrate new experience with learned experience, to see global relationships, to extract meaningful patterns, to perceive interrelationships as the 'patterns which connect'. The learner analyses a contextual reality and recognizes connections between the various components so that they can be perceived as different dimensions of a total reality. This learning methodology is confluent with the brain's natural capacity for the simultaneous perception of parts and wholes. With 'holistic perception' opposites and dualisms disappear so that illogical paradoxes and dichotomies can be resolved and problematic situations become creative opportunities. To ignore the brain's global functioning is to reduce its capacity to make connections and understand relationships.

Thematic teaching: learning is made meaningful in real life contexts based on the stimulation of 'intrinsic motivation' are compatible with the natural functioning of the brain. They are 'brain-compatible'. Brain compatible pedagogies are based on the recognition and encouragement of the brain's natural potential for complex learning. They recognize the emotional dimensions of learning and teach for knowledge that makes sense to the learner i.e. 'meaningful knowledge' or 'natural knowledge'. Natural knowledge results from the brain's capacity to organize information on the basis of its recognition of patterns. The brain is a pattern detector which simultaneouslyperceives 'parts and wholes... 'interactive relationships'  or central unifying 'themes'. Teaching which focuses on themes is 'thematic teaching'. Thematic teaching is based on the understanding of the global functioning of the brain. They teach to the natural function of the brain as a pattern detector. They teach to the brain's natural potential to thrive on complexity. They capitalize on the brain's instinctive drive to make sense of unfamiliar stimuli and thus derive meaning from experience. Thematic teaching involves the organization of subject matter around 'global themes' based on essential concepts that have universal application and used as 'organizers of meaning' for understanding content. The scope of the theme is always larger than the scope of the subject making it possible to connect with content other subject areas. In this way the different subject areas can be related to each other and learning be made meaningful in the  context of real life experience. The integration of learning with life through the use of 'global themes' stimulates the brain to make connections or 'create'.  Learning experiences which engage the brain's natural potential for creativity are a source of excitement and joy. Therein lies the power and effectiveness of thematic teaching.
         

"Dee Dickinson, "Successful Learning for the 21st century" from On the Beam, Winter l990, New Horizons for Learning )(a non-profit international human resources network organized in l980 as a clearinghouse for sucessful innovations in teching and learning.)

see classic writings by montessori, steiner, krishnamurti and general holistic literature... theodore roszak, fritjof capra, charlene spretnak, ken wilber

journal on holistic education: encounter: education for meaning and social justice holistic education press, brandon vermont


  TRUE FREEDOM AS FREEDOM FOR CREATIVITY AND PRODUCTIVENESS OR 'WORK': THE PSYCHOLOGICAL VALUE OF MEANINGFUL WORK                          

Holistic education is 'responsible education' for 'responsible freedom' for natural educational goals as the freedom for creativity and productiveness or 'work'.  Natural work behaviour is a  particularly human phenomenon which represents the medium for oneness... connectedness with the environment and the reality of life. Work is meaningful if it engages the development of personality integration... or 'wholeness'. Through the medium of meaningful work the person grows in psychological maturity. This is the 'psychological value' of work. Fulfillment of human potentiality and achievement of integration with oneself and one's environment...  happiness.

"Child play is the child's work... Children who have been prevented from developing fully often show character traits that disappear when they become normalized through work; a common one is possessiveness. In the normalised child his freedom to take interest in all kinds of things leads to his focusing his attention not on the things themselves but on the knowledge he derives from them". (Maria Montessori. The Absorbent Mind page 219)   
 

work as work behaviour, a natural aspect of human behaviour...

             meaningful work as expression of connectedness...   

             motivation for work as source of happiness...    

             work is functional in development of 'conscience'...

             critical periods or 'sensitive periods'...  

             paying attention to one's environment or 'curiosity'...

The striving towards self-realization is genetically based...  

             work which does not engage development of the personality is meaningless work ...

responsible education...

implications for education...

 Work as 'work behaviour' is a characteristicaly human phenomenon. Work behaviour is a natural aspect of human behaviour. The human capacity for work is an aspect of human behaviour which is closely related to the development of the personality i.e. 'personal development'. Work is the medium for oneness with the environment. Work represents one's connection with the environment and the reality of life. Work behaviour is functional within the context of of natural educational goals. In the context of goals work is functional in personal growth and development. The ability to work is an important aspect of the individual throughout life... succeeding by one's own efforts and at the same time being in contact with the reality of life which work represents, enhances the integrity of the personality.Work which involves the total personality is 'meaningful work' and has psychological value.

 Freud on work as a human phenomenon:   "After primal man had discovered that it lay in his own hands, literally, to improve his lot on earth by working, it cannot have been a matter of indifference to him whether another man worked with him or against him. The other man acquired the value for him of a fellow worker, with whom it was useful to live together." (Sigmund Freud. Civilization and Its Discontents. standard ed., vol. 21, London: Hogarth Press, 1953  p. 59.)

Work which engages the total personality and involves the development of human potentialities is authentic, productive and creative or 'adaptive' and therefore 'meaningful'. Work is 'meaningful' if it engages the personality as a whole and is functional in personal growth and development of human potentiality.If work does not involve the total personality, then it is not functional in personal development. It is considered to have little 'formative' value and becomes meaningless.

 Normalisation through work... Work is a natural aspect of human behaviour which is closely related to the development of the personality... functional in personal growth and development i.e. normal growth or 'normalisation'... Work is a fundamental feature of the human being as a species, and an adaptive, creative, and social function.... It is one of the main spheres of human behavior. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the personality with which it is interrelated. Work behavior in the development of the personality is functional within the context of goals.

 With work which is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. If children, and adults, behave irresponsibly, the fault lies not with them but with the 'education' which they have been offered. Work is the medium for oneness with the environment. Work represents one's connection with the environment and the reality of life. The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts at the same time as being in contact with the reality of life which work represents.  Meaningful work represents harmonious contact with the reality of life i.e. contentment derived from personal achievement or 'happiness'. Happiness in work is the expression of the individual's creative and productive interaction with the immediate environment. As an aspect of human behaviour which represents connectedness or oneness with the environment, work behaviour is an expression of 'adaptability'. Meaningful work is the expression of connectedness with the environment necessary for responsiveness to change... successful adaptation or 'adaptability'. Human adaptability depends on psychologicallly valuable work...  'work with love'. Meaningful work has psychological value because it is relevant to life. Adaptability through work is a characteristic of 'mental health'. The healthy or 'normalised' - 'normal' - personality expresses itself in the freedom of its work activity. The individual's attention is engaged to such a degree that their whole personality is involved and the work becomes a free expression of their true nature i.e. 'human nature'. Human nature is defined by the human motives for learning or 'human needs'. These include the 'spiritual needs' for spiritual growth i.e. 'metaneeds'. Metaneeds are functional in the process of natural spiritual growth and development which occurs with meaningful work. This 'psychological value of work' involves development of the total personality.

 Meaningful work is based on optimal functioning of the brain i.e. 'optimal learning' or 'optimalearning'.

 "The 'normalized' child's activities of work (are) related to the inner construction of the personality. The motivation to learn derives from this source. Teaching which corresponds to this motivation is functional in the child's development. The child's response is the best guide for the teacher. The child's interest and concentration indicates the extent of effectiveness of the teaching methodology in opractice. The child loses motivation when the work is directed to an external goal.

  "Man's purpose in life is to improve his lot.... This requires an intrinsic relation between himself and his environment.... Man discovers that it is only through his own activity with his intelligence, his hands and his tools that he can change his environment to meet his survival needs..Work is a human phenomenon. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the human personality...work and personality development are interrelated. Work is one of the main spheres of human behavior. Work is an adaptive, creative, and a social function par excellence.." (Maria Montessori)

 "The first essential for the child's development is concentration. It lays the whole basis for his character and social behavior. He must find out how to concentrate, and for this he needs things to concentrate upon. This shows the importance of his surroundings, for no acting on the child from outside can cause him to concentrate. Only the child can organize his own psychic life. None of us can do it for him. It is is here that the importance of our schools lies. They are places in which the child can find the kind of work that permits him to do this."(The Absorbent Mind p.222)
 

  "What is to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads pulled from your heart, as if your beloved were to wear this cloth. It is to build a house with affection, as if your beloved were to live in this house. It is to sow the seeds with tenderness and gather the harvest with joy, as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to put in all things that you make, a breath of your own spirit." (Kahlil Gibran The Prophet 1883-1931)

Personality development is a function of the development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'. 

Normal growth or 'normalisation' results from work which is meaningful because it engages personality growth and development of 'moral consciousness' or 'conscience' i.e. 'moral development'.

Conscience is the source of 'human values' which define the nature of the human personality or 'human nature'. Development of conscience is required for normal socialisation i.e. 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence depends on education for growth and development of the human potential for intelligence as 'creative intelligence'. Creative intelligence is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts of creativity and productivity or 'work'.

Conscience is a function of the integrity of the personality which is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts or meaningful 'work'. Meaningful work ('labour of love') is the medium of connectedness with the environment which allows for development of human potentiality and personality integration or 'normalization'. Normalization is a function of normal development through authentic work and the harmonious contact with the reality of life which it represents i.e. contentment or 'happiness'. Happiness is a function of integrity which is the prerequisite to social adaptability i.e. socialization or 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence for social adaptability depends on development of integrity through the medium of meaningful work.  This is the psychological value of work. Work which is psychologcally valuable engages the individual's attention to such a degree that their whole personality is involved. Engagement of the personality leads to meaningful work as the free expression of their nature i.e. 'human nature'... human nature in the realm of spiritual needs for spiritual growth i.e. 'metaneeds'. Metaneeds can be met on condition of fulfilment of basic physiological and psychological requirement or 'needs'. Spiritual growth is a function of spiritual development through the medium of meaningful work. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the personality, with which it is interrelated.

Function of work in the growing child: critical developmental periods or 'sensitive periods'

 

  In the growing child, motivation from within - intrinsic motivation - is manifest at certain developmental critical periods or 'sensitive periods' which end when the function of work is performed.

... in "aiding the child's development in its sensitive periods"...devise materials which would meet the recognizable needs of the child during various sensitive period ...Material added to the environment is stimulating to the child. If it has always been there it becomes part of the scenery and is not noticed...

Achieving adulthood is realizing one's potential ...achieving self-realization or 'self-actualization'.

 In the normal growth and development of the child, motivation for work is  from within or 'intrinsic' to the organism i.e. 'intrinsic motivation'. Intrinsic motivation - a biologically based function of the 'prefrontal lobes' of the human 'brain' - is particularly evident at certain critical developmental periods or 'sensitive periods' which are ended when the function of work is achieved. Work which involves the whole personality is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods.

If the sensitive periods are not hindered by inner anxieties resulting from repressive pedagogies, then the intensive attraction to the environmment continues to be mediated through the individual's authentic striving to work... With meaningful work,the child continues to be intensively attracted to... interested in the environment...and their concentration continues to be enhanced through their authentic striving to work...

Child play is the child's 'work'. Work which involves the whole personality is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods. With meaningful work, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. This is work for growth in independence and responsibility.
Through one's connection with the environment, the individual grows to psychological maturity and fulfillment of human potentiality and achievement of happiness which is integration with oneself and one's environment
 .

 Depending on the extent to which they are allowed to pursue their own interests, children strive to become adults within the confines of Children strive to become adults in the context of the possibilities provided by their environment… within the confines of the environmental conditions the 'learning environment' or 'education' which is offered to them with which they are provided.

 Children strive for self-realization through interaction with their immediate environment through work - becoming one with their environment.  They instinctively strive to achieve their personal aims for self-realization and self-integration through meaningful work.

Intrinsic motivation for work and happiness through self-realization is biologically based... function of the development of the human brain - specifically the prefontal lobes. The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiated personal development toward personal integrity and spiritual maturity.

 The driving force behind this continuous motivation is rooted in the insinct for self-preservation i.e. eagerness to learn or 'curiosity'.  

 'Curiosity' as eagerness to learn is an instinctive 'learning emotion' rooted in the instinct for 'self-preservation'. Curiosity is a function of the attention on the environment in order to acquire the 'knowledge'  which can be derived from it required for effective adaptation.  Curiosity is the driving force behind continuous motivation or 'drive' which enhances the eagerness to learn. Education which  allows the individual the freedom to take an interest in the environment... which enhances their 'curiosity' is 'responsible education'.

Work which does not engage personality development is meaningless and 'non-adaptive' If work does not involve the individual's personal development, then it is not engaged in the development of potentiality and it is inauthentic and becomes meaningless. Meaningless work is inauthentic, non-creative, non-productive, irrelevant to life and therefore 'non-adaptive'Meaningless work inhibits development of integrity and encourages development of egocentrism, possessiveness, greed and other asocial character traits which disappear with 'normalisation' through authentic work.  It is meaningless work which is the source of declining motivation and the cause of the so-called 'educational crisis'.  

 The motivation for work in the process of self-actualisation is the source of happiness. Education which allows for the 'pursuit of happiness' in the freedom to work is 'responsible education' which fosters growth in independence and responsibility i.e. 'self-empowerment'. The fully 'empowered' personality is a natural product of the experience of growth and development in the context of education which allows for the freedom to work.

 "To know, to love, and to serve is the trinomial of all religions, but the child is the true maker of our spirituality. He teaches us the plan of nature for giving form to our conduct and character, a plan fully traced out in all its details of age and work, with its need for freedom and intense activity in accordance with the laws of life. What matters is not physics, or botany, or works of the hand, but the will, and the components of the human spirit which construct themselves by work. The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned." (Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind 221)

The striving towards self-realization is genetically based.

 Intrinsic motivation for work and happiness through self-realization is biologically based... function of the development of the human brain - specifically the prefontal lobes.

The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiated personal development toward  self-realization or 'self-actualization'...  personal integrity and spiritual maturity. 
 

Children's continued development into independent and mature personalities depends on the responsible guidance of the adult...i.e. on a 'responsible education'.

    Education for self-actualisation is 'responsible education' for 'responsible freedom'

Education for the freedom to work is education for happiness derived from work as personal achievement... 'responsible education'.


 Responsible education
is education for humanity and the human values of respect for others and for one's environment. If human individuals behave irresponsibly, the fault lies with the irresponsible education which they have been offered. The recognition of the psychological value of work... the significant role of meaningful work in human psychological development is the basis for the organisation of schools for humanity.. of responsible education which is education for responsible freedom.

   Meaningful work as a highly significant factor in human development is the basis for the new teaching paradigm. Future schools 'for humanity'  offer 'responsible education' for 'responsible freedom'.  Responsible freedom  entails a sense of responsibility to oneself as well as to the community... depends on responsible education of the person as a whole or 'holistic education'. Holistic education is education for psychological, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, moral development... responsible education.

Responsible education is education for natural educational goals - the freedom to work or 'responsible freedom'. Responsible freedom is based on the psychological value of work - the kind of work which involves the development of human potentiality and the personality.

Responsible education is a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom as an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special attributes of full personality development - the values of respect for oneself, for others and for one's environment. The effective teacher becomes 'facilitator of learning'. The teacher as facilitator is an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special 'attributes' of full personality development. The facilitative teacher accepts the responsibilities of education as a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom with respect for others and for their environment. 

If human individuals behave irresponsibly, the fault lies not with them but with the education which they have been offered.

Implications for education... In  the context of natural educational goals, work behaviour
is functional in the development of the personality.
real aim of education is personality development through work Real aim of education is not the imparting of knowledge for the sake of the knowledge itself. Rather, it is to encourage learning, because learning is a feature of human development. The need for learning cannot be met without education. Aim of education is the proper - balanced - development of the personality.  Education - from the beginning of life - plays a fundamental role in the development of the personality.  

The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts at the same time as being in contact with the reality of life which work represents.  Pedagogical methods which take this natural striving for work into consideration are successful in helping the child reach his human potential for self-realization. Educators can help children in the natural stages of human development by offering environmental stimuli which stimulate their inner potentialities at different stages of their development. This is the psychological value of work - as the medium for oneness with the environment, the human being can grow to psychological maturity and fulfill his human potential and achieve happiness- integration with himself and his environment.

Organization of schools for humanity depends on the recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development. Children themselves can guide us in the planning of environments which will help them grow into mature human beings who live by the values which are the special attributes of the human organism.  

 Freedom in education means freedom to work and freedom to learn. Freedom to work requires organization. Freedom without organization is not conducive to work or to learning. Freedom to learn precludes teacher praises, prizes, punishments or corrections. Teacher interference lowers the child's energies and interests. Mistakes are functional in growth and development. Learning is a function of correcting one's own mistakes. A child naturally learns from his errors and naturally corrects his own mistakes. Errors have a function in science, the human activity of acquiring knowledge. Scientific measurements are always appproximatiions and account for margins of error. Calculation of margins of error account for the value of scientific measurement. In order to correct mistakes, one must first know how to identify them. Denial of error makes it impoosible to identify and correct mistakes. Inability to admit one's mistakes removes the possibility of improvement and correction. impossible to think rationally. Making errors is not as important as becoming aware that one is making an error. Errors which are not identified and corrected are repeated. Children in their work should have a way to identify and correct their own mistakes. Failure to correct errors results in illusion and distoted perception of reality.(Maria Montessori The Absorbent Mind

 

References:

Walter Neff. Work and Human Behavior. New York: Atherton Press, 1968

Maria Montessori

Work is a particularly human phenomenon. The human capacity for work is a natural aspect of human behaviour which is closely related to the development of the personality. If work does not involve the total personality, then it is not functional in personal development. It is considered to have little 'formative' value and becomes meaningless. Work which is meaningful involves the total personality and work which involvesthe total personality is functional in personal development. This is the psychological value of work. In the growing child, motivation from within - intrinsic motivation - is manifest at certain developmental critical periods or 'sensitive periods' which end when the function of work is performed. If the sensitive periods are not hindered by inner anxieties resulting from repressive pedagogies, then
the intensive attraction to the environmment continues to be mediated through the individual's authentic striving to work.Child play is the child's 'work'.

The 'normalized' child's activities of work (are) related to the inner construction of the personality. The motivation to learn derives from this source. Teaching which corresponds to this motivation is functional in the child's development. The child's response is the best guide for the teacher. The child's interest and concentration indicates the extent of effectiveness of the teaching methodology in opractice. The child loses motivation when the work is directed to an external goal. Teaching for external goals is not functional in the child's development. Education - from the beginning of life - plays a fundamental role in the development of the personality. Aim of education is the proper - balanced - development of the personality. Man's purpose in life is to improve his lot. This reuires an intrinsic relation between himself and his environment. Man discovers that it is only through his own activity with his intelligence, his hands and his tools that he can change his environment to meet his survival needs. "Work is a fundamental feature of the human being as a species, and an adaptive , creative, and social function par excellence....It is one of the ain spheres of human behavior. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the personality, with which it is interrelated. Work behavior in the development of the personality is functional within the context of goals. Child play is the child's work. lity is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods. With meaningful work, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. This is work for growth in independence and responsibility. Work is the medium for oneness with the environment. Work represents one's connection with the environment and the reality
of life. The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personalsuccess through personal efforts at the same time as being in contact with the reality of life which work represents. Through one's connection with the environment, the individual growsto psychological maturity and fulfillment of human potentiality and achievement of happiness which is integration with oneself and one's environment. Children strive to become adults in the context of the possibilities provided by their environment. Achieving adulthood is achieving self-realization. Children strive for self-realization through interaction with their immediate environment through work - becoming one with their environment. They strive to achieve their personal aims for self-realization... within the confines of the environmental conditions which are provided...i.e within the context of their environment. The striving towards self-realization is geneticallybased. The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiatedpersonal development toward self-actualization or self-realization. Children's continued development into independent and
mature personalities depends on the responsible guidance of the adult...i.e. on a responsible 'education'.

Responsible education is a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom as an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special attributes of full personality development - the values of respect for others and for one's environment. If human individuals behave irresponsibly,the fault lies not with them but with the education which they have been offered. The recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development is the basis for
the organization of schools for humanity.
... in "aiding the child's development in its sensitive periods"...devise materials which would meet the recognizable needs of the child during various sensitive period ...Material added to the environment is stimulating to the child. If it has always been there it becomes part of the scenery and is not noticed... "If the sensitive periods are not hindered by inner anxieties resulting from repressive pedagogies, then the intensive attraction to the environmment continues to be mediated through the individual's authentic striving to work. Motivation from within -intrinsic motivation- is manifest at certain critical periods or 'sensitive periods' which end when the function of work is performed. Pedagogical methods which take this natural striving for work into consideration are successful in helping the child reach his human potential for self-realization. Educators can help children in the natural stages of human development by offering environmental stimuli which stimulate their inner potentialities at different stages of their development. This is the psychological value of work - as the medium for oneness with the environment, the human being can grow to psychological maturity and fulfill his human potential and achieve happiness- integration with himself and his environment. Organization of schools for humanity depend on the recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development. Children themselves can guide us in the planning of environments which wilk help them grow into mature human beings who live by the values which are the special attributes of the human being. If the work involves their total personality, then it is helpful to their development. If the work does not involve their total personality, then it is not helpul to their development. Such work is considered to have little 'formative' value. With work which is meaningful to the child at the different developmental sensitive periods, the child grows up with an increasing capacity to act independently and responsibly. If children, and adults, behave irresponsibly, the fault lies not with them but with the 'education' which they have been offered. NORMALIZATION THROUGH WORK.

Freud on work as a human phenomenon: He writes "...after primal man had discovered that it lay in his own hands, literally, to improve his lot on earth by working, it cannot have been a matter of indifference to him whether another man worked with him or against him. The other man acquired the value for him of a fellow worker, with whom it was useful to live together." (Sigmund Freud. Civilization and Its Discontents. standard ed., vol. 21, London: Hogarth Press, 1953 page 59.)

Montessori gave expression to the psychological value of work. "Man's purpose in life is to improve his lot.... "This requires an intrinsic relation between himself and his environment.... "Man discovers that it is only through his own activity with his intelligence, his hands and his tools that he can change his environment to meet his survival needs. Work is a fundamental feature of the human species...Work is a human phenomenon. The ability to work is an aspect of the development of the human personality...work and personality development are interrelated. Work is one of the main spheres of human behavior. Work is an adaptive, creative, and a social function par excellence.... THE PSYSCHOLOGICAL VALUE OF WORK. The ability to work is an important aspect of the individual throughout life... succeeding by one's own efforts and at the same time being in contact with the reality of life which work represents, enhances the integrity of the personality. Real aim education is not the imparting of knowledge for the sake of learning itself. Rather, it encourages learning, because LEARNING IS A FEATURE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, a need that cannot be met without education.

  The integrity of the personality is enhanced by personal success through personal efforts Children strive to become adults in the context of the possibilities provided by their environment. Achieving adulthood is achieving self-realization. Children strive for self-realization through interaction with their immediate environment through work - becoming one with their environment. They strive to achieve their personal aims for self-realization... within the confines of the environmental conditions which are provided...i.e within the context of their environment. The striving towards self-realization is geneticallybased. The fully developed personality is a natural by product of the experience of growth and freedom within a community in which effective learning is driven by the need for self-initiatedpersonal development toward self-actualization or self-realization. Children's continued development into independent and mature personalities depends on the responsible guidance of the adult...i.e. on a responsible 'education'. Responsible education is a long and indirect process of preparation for a life of freedom as an independent and mature adult living by the values which are the special attributes of full personality development - the values of respect for others and for one's environment. If human individuals behave irresponsibly,the fault lies not with them but with the education which they have been offered. The recognition of the psychological value of work in human psychological development is the basis for the organization of schools for humanity.

      holistic education as education for normal growth THE PROCESS OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT THROUGH WORK: NORMAL GROWTH or  'NORMALISATION'

".... man by his very nature and of his own accord strives toward self-realization, and his set of values derives from such striving." Growth is only possible with the assuming of self-responsibility. The criteria for morality depend on the needs for individual growth. Attitudes which are conducive to a person's growth are 'moral' and those which are obstructice to a persons growth are 'immoral.' Growth and self-realization are not possible without truthfulness to oneself. (Shakespeare Be true to thyself and thou will not be false to any man Hamlet) This is the 'morality of evolution'.

Disciplinary measures are injurious to growth. Through growth, one outgrows undesirables attitudes. Growth is a function of increased understanding of one's human nature. Self-knowledge is the means of setting free those forces which are responsible for growth. Self-realization is the natural product of growth through freedom to learn. Working for one's personal growth is a law of nature. REAL SELF "that central inner force, common to all human beings and yet unique to each, which is the deep source of growth."

 Normalization is the result of unhampered psychic human growth.

 "Children who have been prevented from developing fully often show character traits that disappear when they become normalized through work. A common one is possessiveness. In the normalized child, his freedom to take an interest in all kinds of things leads to his focusing his attention not on the things themselves, but on the knowledge he derives from them."(Montessori The Absorbent Mind 219) In the unnormalized individual the desire to possess is accompanied by a desire to destroy. With normalization, desire to possess becomes transformed into desire for knowledge.

 Maria Montessori's scientific studies of young children confirmed that character building is the child's own achievement. ...character building is the child's own achievement. Children construct their own characters...(which)...result from a long and slow sequence of activities carried out by the child himself...No one can 'teach' the qualities of character... put education on a scientific footing so that children can work effectively without being disturbed or impeded... Good character is necessary for effective learning. Without character there is no 'drive' or concentration. With concentration, the child interacts with his environment. Without the power of concentration, the individual becomes enslaved by the environment. With concentration comes perseverence. The unfolding of character is entirely natural - with critical periods like the period of cocoon construction in the caterpillar. The critical period for character formation is between ages three and six - called the 'constructive' period. "The child's own strongest instinct is to free himself from adult control. It is not a matter of 'will' but a natural 'law'. The natural laws of growth and formation are to be respected for children to build character, the inner self. Montessori showed

Character building is a matter of natural creation... education is an aid...characteristics related to the value system are developed through spontaneous activity in a prepared environment. Adults must help the child to function freely in this environment. This help corresponds to the intrinsic needs inherent in the pattern of development, and follows his own tempo. under these conditions the child is urged from within towards certain specific activities which he performs with great concentration and joy. These activities are linked to the inner formation of functions that only later are integrated and appear as manifest characteristics. ...scientific observations of children at work indicated that the 'normal' being of the child is expressed through activity..."children have a capacity for free development when mental oppression is removed and the spirit is allowed to grow. " normalization ... development was shown to derive from natural 'laws' of development...'normalized' behavior because it is normal when a child is allowed naturally to expand their consciousness of the three principles - observation, individual liberty and preparation of the environment. A profound inner preparation takes place in the child as he grows. Because the emergence of the 'normalized' child is natural and universal... the 'normalization' of the child as a great hope for a fundamental change in society and for the future of humanity. Normalization comes through concentration on a piece of work. For this we must provide 'motives for activity' so well adapted to the child's interests that they provoke his deep attention. ...The essential thing is for the task to arouse such an interest that it engages his whole personality.... Only 'normalized' children aided by their environment, show in their subsequent development those wonderful powers ofspontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others.. Activity freely chosen becomes their regular way of living....An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the chid's energies and mental capacities and leads to self-mastery. ...the first essential for the child's development is concentration. It lays the whole basis for his character and social behavior. He must find out how to concentrate, and for this he needs things to concentrate upon. This shows the importance of his surroundings, for no acting on the child from outside can cause him to concentrate. Only the child can organize his own psychic life. None of us can do it for him. It is is here that the importance of our schools lies. They are places in which the child can find the kind of work that permits him to do this... concentration and work for character development...character building is the child's own achievement..."Children construct their own characters...they result from a long and slow sequence of activities carried out by the child himself between the ages of three and six.....no one can 'teach' the qualities of character...The only thing we can do is to put education on a scientific footing so that children can work effectively without being disturbed or impeded." Good character is necessary for effective learning. Without character there is no 'drive' or concentration. With concentration, the child interacts with his environment. Without the power of concentration, the individual becomes enslaved by the environment. With concentration comes perseverence. The unfolding of character is entirely natural - with critical periods like the period of cocoon construction in the caterpillar. The critical period for character formation is between ages three and six - called the 'constructive' period. ...the child spontaneously reveals its 'normal' being.. with qualitites such as self-discipline, independence, precocious intelligence, love of order and sentiments of sympathy for others.... the 'normal' being of the child is expressed through activity. In real life conditions of choice and independence, the normal children work in silent concentration for long periods of time, showing harmony and patience with one another, demonstrating self-discipline and independence without adult control or direction. Using Montessori's term...this is 'normalized' behavior because it is normal when a child is allowed naturally to expand their consciousness of observation, individual liberty and preparation of the environment. A profound inner preparation takes place in the child as he grows. Significant adults ...parents and teachers ...need to undergo the same inner preparation before they can guide children in their development.

WHOLISTIC EDUCATION as education for growth or 'NORMALIZATION ' DESIRE FOR POSSESSION IS TRANSFORMED INTO DESIRE FOR KNOWLEDGE ...teaching method consists of a knowledgeable committment and expression of three fundamental principles - 'observation', 'individual liberty', and 'preparation of the environment'. The teacher with the spirit of the scientist - humble, inquiring, and open-minded, can legitimately offer guiding direction for growing children as they emerge into a true 'normalized' nature with the 'normal' qualities which reveal themselves spontaneously when a child is properly guided. With normalization and growth to maturity, science education for possession and destruction through creative intelligence is raised to a higher level of consciousness is transformed science education for knowledge, understanding and love...transformation from desire to possess to desire for knowledge comes with 'normalization' and maturity. "To know, to love, and to serve is the trinomial of all religions, but the child is the true maker of our spirituality. He teaches us the plan of nature for giving form to our conduct and character, a plan fully traced out in all its details of age and work, with its need for freedom and intense activity in accordance with the laws of life. What matters is not physics, or botany, or works of the hand, but the will, and the components of the human spirit which construct themselves by work. The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned." Because the emergence of the 'normalized' child is natural and universal... the 'normalization' of the child is a great hope for a fundamental change in society and for the future of humanity. ...for human development and values allow children to concentrate on what interests them; for education provide the appropriate environment so they can concentrate on appropriate activities. Adults must help the child function freely in the prepared environment - responsibility of the adult is to prove the right environment ...material added to the environment is stimulating to the child. If it has always been there it becomes part of the scenery and is not noticed. This help corresponds to the intrinsic needs inherent in the pattern of development, and follows his own tempo. It should follow the child's personality even if the child's developmental pattern is inadequate to cope with the adult's life situation. Montessori demonstrated that under these conditions the child is urged from within towards certain specific activities which he performs with great concentration and joy. These activities are linked to the inner formation of functions that only later are integrated and appear as manifest characteristics.

Character building necessary for true 'science education' which is education for knowledge and not for possession. Possessiveness is an infantile trait. With normalization, it becomes transformed into a desire for knowledge of how things work. The desire for knowledge becomes the secondary interest of possessiveness. "Children who pick flowers because they want them soon throw them aside or pull them to pieces. Here, the mania for possession does go side by side with the mania for destruction. But if the child knows the kind of flower, the kind of leaf it has, or the branching pattern of its stem, then it will not occur to him to pick it or to damage it. He will want to study it. His interest has become intellectual and his posessiveness takes the form of knowledge. "The transformation involves a raising of consciousness from one of possessiveness to one of love and understanding. Transformation of the child's possessivess in the growth process of normalization: A desire to destroy the object is transformed to an intellectual desire to understand the object. The normalized child learns to love the object through understanding it. The child learns to love the environment and treat it with care and delicacy. With normalization, the desire to possess is transformed to love and care. UNMORMALIZED INDIVIDUAL Subconscious failings of personality which persist in the adult life are those which are in opposition to the emergence of the child's true nature. In the unnormalized individual the desire to possess is accompanied by a desire to destroy. "Children who have been prevented from developing fully often show (negative) character traits that disappear when they become normalized through work. A common one is possessiveness. In the normalized child, his freedom to take an interest io all kinds of things leads to his focusing his attention not on the things themselves, but on the knowledge he derives from Science education is education for love and understanding. The desire to possess and destroy is not science education.

TRANSFORMATION OF SCIENCE EDUCATION eriods of human personality development: First period ages 0-3 first three years; Second period ages 3-6 second three years - child becomes susceptible to adult influence; third period ages 6-12 calm and happy period; fourth period 12-18 (12-15 and 15-18); Gibran The Prophet, Heineman G.B. and Knopf, New York, 1948, p.33 "Work is love made visible." Work behavior in the development of the personality is functional within the context of goals. Child play is the child's work.

NORMALIZATION AND WORK GO TOGETHER - THE PROCESS OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT THROUGH WORK Maria Montessori's scientific studies of young children confirmed that character building is the child's own achievement. ...character building is the child's own achievement. Children construct their own characters...(which)...result from a long and slow sequence of activities carried out by the child himself...No one can 'teach' the qualities of character... put education on a scientific footing so that children can work effectively without being disturbed or impeded... Good character is necessary for effective learning. Without character there is no 'drive' or concentration. With concentration, the child interacts with his environment. Without the power of concentration, the individual becomes enslaved by the environment. With concentration comes perseverence. The unfolding of character is entirely natural - with critical periods like the period of cocoon construction in the caterpillar. The critical period for character formation is between ages three and six - called the 'constructive' period. "The child's own strongest instinct is to free himself from adult control. It is not a matter of 'will' but a natural 'law'. The natural laws of growth and formation are to be respected for children to build character, the inner self. Montessori showed Character building is a matter of natural creation... education is an aid...characteristics related to the value system are developed through spontaneous activity in a prepared environment. Adults must help the child to function freely in this environment. This help corresponds to the intrinsic needs inherent in the pattern of development, and follows his own tempo. under these conditions the child is urged from within towards certain specific activities which he performs with great concentration and joy. These activities are linked to the inner formation of functions that only later are integrated and appear as manifest characteristics. ...scientific observations of children at work indicated that the 'normal' being of the child is expressed through activity..."children have a capacity for free development when mental oppression is removed and the spirit is allowed to grow. " normalization ... development was shown to derive from natural 'laws' of development...'normalized' behavior because it is normal when a child is allowed naturally to expand their consciousness of the three principles - observation, individual liberty and preparation of the environment. A profound inner preparation takes place in the child as he grows. Because the emergence of the 'normalized' child is natural and universal... the 'normalization' of the child as a great hope for a fundamental change in society and for the future of humanity. Normalization comes through concentration on a piece of work. For this we must provide 'motives for activity' so well adapted to the child's interests that they provoke his deep attention. ...The essential thing is for the task to arouse such an interest that it engages his whole personality.... Only 'normalized' children aided by their environment, show in their subsequent development those wonderful powers ofspontaneous discipline, continuous and happy work, social sentiments of help and sympathy for others.. Activity freely chosen becomes their regular way of living....An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the chid's energies and mental capacities and leads to self-mastery. ...the first essential for the child's development is concentration. It lays the whole basis for his character and social behavior. He must find out how to concentrate, and for this he needs things to concentrate upon. This shows the importance of his surroundings, for no acting on the child from outside can cause him to concentrate. Only the child can organize his own psychic life. None of us can do it for him. It is is here that the importance of our schools lies. They are places in which the child can find the kind of work that permits him to do this... concentration and work for character development...character building is the child's own achievement..."Children construct their own characters...they result from a long and slow sequence of activities carried out by the child himself between the ages of three and six.....no one can 'teach' the qualities of character...The only thing we can do is to put education on a scientific footing so that children can work effectively without being disturbed or impeded." Good character is necessary for effective learning. Without character there is no 'drive' or concentration. With concentration, the child interacts with his environment. Without the power of concentration, the individual becomes enslaved by the environment. With concentration comes perseverence. The unfolding of character is entirely natural - with critical periods like the period of cocoon construction in the caterpillar. The critical period for character formation is between ages three and six - called the 'constructive' period. ...the child spontaneously reveals its 'normal' being.. with qualitites such as self-discipline, independence, precocious intelligence, love of order and sentiments of sympathy for others.... the 'normal' being of the child is expressed through activity. In real life conditions of choice and independence, the normal children work in silent concentration for long periods of time, showing harmony and patience with one another, demonstrating self-discipline and independence without adult control or direction. Using Montessori's term...this is 'normalized' behavior because it is normal when a child is allowed naturally to expand their consciousness of observation, individual liberty and preparation of the environment. A profound inner preparation takes place in the child as he grows. Significant adults ...parents and teachers ...need to undergo the same inner preparation before they can guide children in their development.

Horney, Karen, M.D. Neurosis and Human Growth: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization, New York: W.W. Noerton & Co. Inc. 1956

 

Social function of work "...after primal man had discovered that it lay in his own hands, literally, to improve his lot on earth by working, it cannot have been a matter of indifference to him whether another man worked with him or against him. The other man acquired the value for him of a fellow worker, with whom it was useful to live together." (Sigmund Freud. Civilization and Its Discontents. standard ed., vol. 21, London: Hogarth Press, 1953 page 59.)

   HOLISTIC EDUCATION AS EDUCATION FOR MORAL DEVELOPMENT: value  EDUCATION OR 'MORAL EDUCATION'

 A valid discussion of moral education depends on the important distinction between two kinds of teaching: teaching as the transmission of specific 'sets of morals' or 'ethics i.e. authoritarian morality or 'moralism' and teaching as the facilitation of spiritual growth for moral maturity i.e. 'free morality'. Free morality or 'true morality' is a function of moral consciousness or 'conscience' - the source of an individual's natural sense of moral responsibility. Development of conscience is a function of inner freedom or 'spiritual freedom'. Spiritual freedom depends on education for the development of human potential in all its interrelated aspects - physical, intellectual, psychological, emotional, political, philosophical, aesthetic and spiritual or 'moral' i.e. 'holistic education'. Holistic education is moral education. Moral education which is based on a realistic view of human nature depends on respect for human growth and development and produces a rational morality of the fully developed 'humanistic conscience'.

 "The history of moral education in the U.S. is, by and large, a history of failure." Michael Scriven Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory. (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley, CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, page 313)  

traditional paradigm:   

 So-called 'character education' or 'moral training' (in the sense of 'moralism') is based on pessimistic view of  human nature and consists of acculturating children to cultural norms of 'good behaviour' ... reflects the neo-conservative concerns for social stability.

'Character building' as facilitation of growth involving development of conscience is not to be confused with 'character building' as 'moral training' - the 'inculcation of moral values'.

 'moralism'...   moralism implies mistrust of human nature...   

                        so-called 'basic corruption of human nature'...

 traditional concept of values as values taught by religions...

so-called 'relativity of ethics'...  

    traditional 'character education' as teaching of values...

holistic paradigm:

              morality as 'free morality' (moral science)...

              cognitive-developmental approach to moral education...

             moral education as provision of appropriate environmental conditions for moral development...

  implications for education...   

  American culture: moral education in the traditional paradigm... behavioural paradigm:   The paradigm of 'traditional American culture' (American Constitution) is characterised by its dichotomous perception of human nature in terms of the need to control its innate wickedness or 'evil'. Traditionally, moral education is based on the fall/redemption of Christianity and the belief in the inherent sinfulness... innate wickedness or 'evil' of human nature.

In the traditional paradigm justified by the behavioural sciences controlling the 'evil impulses' of human nature... specific 'sets of morals' or 'ethics'... 'moralism' ...  moral education as value education is considered in terms of rules for behaviour or moral codes... as teaching of codes of behaviour or 'ethics'...  Value education or 'moral education' is considered in terms of 'teaching sets of values... the teacher’s role is considered to be the transmission of collective social values from one generation to the next. Children are expected to be obedient and to imitate the adult. Though these are natural characteristics, little attention is paid to children’s growth needs and the laws of psychological development. Education involves the child’s growth and development as well as norms of socialisation - social, intellectual and moral values. The exclusivity of the two is the basis for the passive methods of traditional education. 

 Moralism implies mistrust of human nature  Moralism is based on a profound mistrust of the nature of the human personality or 'human nature'. This profound mistrust originates in the pessimistic view of human nature which stems from the teachings of the Christian Church and the belief in the inherent wickedness or 'evil' of human nature - a belief is derived from the Fall/Redemption theology or 'myth' of the Protestant Calvinist and Puritan movements of orthodox Protestantism. According to the Fall/ Redemption myth, Adam and Eve committed the 'original sin' when they disobeyed God. Their disobedience resulted in a 'fall' from God's grace and their sin was inherited by all human beings who were born after them. The belief that every human child is brought into this life tainted with the original sin, as a 'child of sin' which could only be saved through baptism. Furthermore it was believed that each individual must suffer in this life and even in the 'afterlife' unless they were redeemed by God. In this context, human suffering is explained away as a natural consequence of the original sin. Since human nature is not to be  trusted it must be restrained and controlled... guided, instructed, rewarded and punished by those who are wiser or higher in status. Furthermore, the 'forces of evil' are believed to be in competition with the 'forces of good'

Belief in the innate evil of human nature originally derives from the notion of the separation of the material and spiritual realms of human existence - the disconnectedness of the 'natural' and the 'supernatural', the person and 'God'. This conceptual dichotomy between matter and spirit was incorporated into the worldview which originated with the 'scientific revolution' of the eighteenth century otherwise known as the 'Enlightenment.' In this traditional scientific worldview, emphasis is on 'cause and effect' relationships of the material world. Natural events were thought to be governed by observable natural laws. Human nature was thought to be explainable in terms of natural causes.

As a more optimistic perception of human nature, the scientific view had a profound influence on social and political thought.

The characteristic mistrust of human nature forms the basis of the moralistic attitude towards human problems.

  "Objectives of the behavioral approach to education make 'ethical relativity' the cornerstone of 'value education'. According to behaviorists, moral education should be aimed at teaching some specific set of morals. The objectives of the behavioral approach to moral education are based on the 'socialization' or indoctrination approach, which aims at producing conformity with the state's, the teacher's, and the school's values." (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Moral Atmosphere of the School" Chapter 13 Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 200)

 Belief in the basic corruption of human nature or 'evil' American culture is based on American 'nationalisn' and formulated in terms of the abstract ideals upon which the Americans founded their 'nation'. American nationalism combines the ideals of democracy with belief systems which are derived from reductionist science, capitalism and Protestantism as the source of the American concept of morality or 'moralism' formed on the basis of their profound mistrust of human nature...

According to the moralist belief in the basic absolute evil of human nature, virtue is the suppression of the inherent evil of human nature. Virtuous people suppress their inherently evil nature and social communities are possible only if all people are united by a communally fixed universal moral order. Questions concerning values and the 'good life' are formulated in the context of the view that man's basic nature is evil.

 The so-called 'relativity of ethics' The word 'ethics' comes from a Latin root which originally meant 'custom'. The word eventually came to refer to the science dealing with the ideal character. The confusion between custom and ideal character still exists. The word 'ethics' is used to refer to a moral philosophy or code of behaviour i.e. a 'code of ethics'. A code of ethics is valid and desirable within the context of... or 'relative to' ... a given social and cultural situation. The concept of the 'relativity of ethics' is the cornerstone of moral education in American culture ... morals or 'ethics'.

Codes of ethics can degenerate to serve the personal interests of individuals in the whichever profession is involved... 'Medical ethics' serves the medical profession; 'business ethics' serves business; 'military ethics' serves the military and so on. The concept of the relativity of ethics... 'ethics relativity' is the basis for moral education or  'value education'. Moral education or 'value education' based on the relativity of ethics is justified by the behavioural sciences.  In the behavioural paradigm, value education involves the indoctrination approach to socialisation and aims for conformity with the values of the culture i.e. the cultural values or 'conceived values'.  Value education which is regarded in terms of formal education for conceived values is 'moralism'.

    Traditional concept of morality based on external authority: 'moralism' The American concept of morality is based on the understanding that it is based on external authority. This leads to formulation of codes of ethics' i.e. 'authoritarian ethics'... the development of a conscience which is deformed because it is derived from the internalization of an external authority - parental, societal or state authority 'authoritarian conscience'. The authoritarian conscience is the voice of an internalised power... is irrational because it is based on fear for the authority rather on the intrinsic conscience the source from which natural value judgements arise.

As representing the authoritarian conscience, moralism is based on the assumption that human nature - the so-called 'animal nature' of human nature - is fundamentally evil and that instinctive human needs - the so-called 'animal instincts' - are dangerous and base and therefore 'immoral' and not to be trusted... a historically determined tendency in Western culture.            

 Concerning the supposed dichotomy between freedom and social responsibility: "How is a social life possible for man if each one is only striving to assert his own individuality? This objection is characteristic of a false understanding in moralism. Such a moralist believes that a social community is possible only if all men are united by a communally fixed moral order. What this kind of moralist does not understand is just the unity of the world of ideas. He does not see that the world of ideas working in me is no other than the one working in my fellow man. A moral misunderstanding, a clash, is impossible between men who are morally free. To live in love towards our actions, and to let live in the understanding of the other person's will, is the fundamental maxim of free men."( Steiner, R. Philosophy of Freedom: Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. Some Results of Introspective Observation Following the Methods of Natural Science. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1970 139)

Traditional concept of 'values'... in the paradigm of moralism In the paradigm of American moralism, the word 'values' is used to refer to the values which were 'taught' by Christian religions. The values of moralism are derived from Protestantism. The search for morals is based on the notion that goodness results from the suppression and repression of the immoral instincts of human nature. The basis of the moralistic attitude towards human problems is the mistrust of human nature which stems from the Fall/ Redemption myth of orthodox Christianity which was adopted by the Protestant Calvinist and Puritan movements. According to the myth of the 'Fall/Redemption' theology of orthodox Protestant Christianity, the 'original sin' of Adam and Eve - their disobedience of God's command not to 'eat of the tree of knowledge' - resulted in their 'fall' from God's grace and was inherited by all human beings who were born after them. Each human infant brought into the world is tainted with sin and is therefore inherently 'evil'. As a 'child of sin' each individual must suffer in this life and depends on God's 'redemption' for an afterlife without suffering. The evil impulses of human nature cannot be trusted and must necessarily be restrained. Each individual is morally responsible for restraining and controlling his own evil impulses and those of other people as well. He must depend on the authority of strict codes of civil law, social mores and ethical standards. Those individuals who abide by the codes are considered to be 'moral' and can teach and preach the moral life. Those individuals who are unable to restrain the evil part of their nature must be 'punished.' People have been taught that the inner life is a natural consequence of the evil which is inherent in human nature and they must look outside of themselves for the guiding values of a 'good life'. Theologians attribute the human values to a source outside of human nature - some sort of god, sacred book, ruling elite, or ruling individual. Attempts to make moral what is believed to be immoral have produced the dogma of moralism.

Theology is overdependent on dogma, revelation and supernaturalism. Philosophy denies the authorities of dogma, revelation and supernaturalism. Philosophers have no authorities. In their search for values, philosophers build a philosophical system which is built on a premise. In the traditional paradigm of philosophy, philosophical debate has been concerned with the struggle to discover and to live the good and virtuous life. The best example of this quest is Socrates

 The belief in the innate evil of human nature is the basic premise of moral education in the traditional paradigm. Education is considered necessary for the teaching of knowledge of 'morals' i.e. morality as 'moralism'.

The immature mind The mistrust of human nature has placed severe limitations on the faith in human growth and the human potential. The result is production of thwarted human development... arrested development... adult immaturity...

The ego-centered mental process and incomplete cognition of the immature mind results in the perception of dichotomies. Making a judgment about human nature creates problems. The perception of social problems in the framework of this false premise results in failed attempts to resolve them. Problems arising from the same dichotomies can be resolved in the wholistic paradigm in which the concern for the 'good life' becomes an issue of morality and is based in biology and psychobiology of the human organism. The so-called 'animal nature' of human nature is a false notion. No single set of moral standards or uniform code can be applied to all people. The imposition of moral codes only creates complex, intractable moral dilemmas.

Perceived in this context, social problems cannot be resolved. Changing the premise changes the paradigm. Changing the premise and the paradigm makes it possible to ask the same questions in a new framework and to find solutions to moral problems. The basic assumption  that human nature is inherently evil can be changed to the assumption that human nature is basically good. On the basis of the assumption that the human being's basic nature is good, the process of education is perceived in terms of basic physiological and psychological needs which must be recognized and respected with a view to the actualization of the individual's humanness.

The basic right of every human being is the right to education for full human development. The basic responsibility of each individual is to develop their own humanity or 'humanness'. By developing their own humanness the individual fulfills their responsibility to their fellow human beings.

 Education cannot be responsible if it is based on a mistrust of human nature. The natural impulses of human behaviour are not necessarily evil and should be trusted...Individuals who are not able to trust human nature, cannot trust their own nature. Unable to trust their own humanity, they cannot trust the humanity of others. They cannot trust others to develop a personal sense of moral responsibility and expect them to rely on external authorities, strict codes of civil law and codes of ethics. In this traditional paradigm, moral education depends on control and manipulation and produces an irrational morality of the 'authoritarian conscience'.

The question remains: "which premise?" One of the most basic problems of philosophical thought is concerned with the formulation of a premise of a philosophical system of values i.e. whether human nature is basically evil and corrupt or basically good and perfectable? If human nature is basically evil and corrupt then the problem is 'how to make people virtuous'. For centuries the attempts to formulate philosophical systems of ethics have been based on the mutually exclusive contrast between 'what is' and 'what ought to be.' As a consequence, many cultural institutions are set up for the express purpose of controlling, inhibiting, suppressing and repressing this original human nature. The individual is expected to rely on external authorities of strict codes of civil law and 'ethics' for the guiding moral principles and the values of moralism. In the context of American society and moralism with its profound mistrust of human nature, individuals are unable to trust their own human nature and their own humanity as well as the humanity of others. The life of the intellect and the quest for self-realization are not valued. The natural development of moral and spiritual self-reliance is discouraged. The life of contemplation and meditation is misunderstood and devalued. The spontaneous and self-expressive behaviour of the natural human being is repressed. The impulsive, intuitive and emotional aspects of human nature are restrained. True spiritual freedom is considered undisciplined and punishable. Social problems are perceived in terms of the individual's personal moral failure. They are resolved by discipline and the rule of law. They are not understood in terms of inherent deficiencies of fundamental institutional practices. Social reforms are perceived in terms of the individual's moral responsibility. They are not understood in the context of necessary institutional changes. This dichotamous perception of social problems results from ego-centered mental processes of the 'incomplete cognition' of a distorted neurotic perception of reality derived from conflicts which are inherent in the culture...and which inhibit growth for complete personality integration and spiritual independence of maturity.

    In the paradigm of holistic education, moral education is based on a realistic view of human nature and respect for the needs for human growth and development i.e. 'human needs'.

The result is the  natural development of moral consciousness or 'conscience'.  The human conscience is the source of social values or 'human values'.

 Human nature is basically good and perfectable. The intelligent resolution of social problems is derived from a non-judgemental premise which is based on the scientific understanding of the biological basis of human nature. Human nature and human needs and values are biologically based. But traditionally people have ignored the validity of the instinctive needs for growth - the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' - as well as the basic psychological needs. Throughout human history theologians, political philosophers, economic theorists and even behavioural psychologists have conceived of strategies to deny and avoid peoples' needs. They have considered peoples' happiness in terms of improving their conditions with a view to eliminating their human needs because they were thought to be annoying or threatening. But it is recognition and respect for basic human needs which leads to the resolution of human social problems. Social mores evolved in accordance with inborn biological necessity and environmental contingencies by a process of natural selection. As survival oriented values, the guiding values which have been sought and prescribed by religions and philosophies - the values of truth, goodness, beauty, justice honesty and so on - are found within a person's consciousness... they are part of the individual's natural sense of moral responsibility to lead their own lives according to the same values.

In the holistic paradigm, value education is education for morality as a function of 'moral development'... 'moral education'. Moral education like intellectual education is based on the stimulation of the child's active thinking about moral issues and decisions. The basic modes of organizing experience are not the direct result of adult 'teaching'. The child's behaviour has a cognitive structure or organizational pattern which can be described independently of adult culture. During growth and development, the child goes through qualitatively different modes of thought, thought-organizations or 'cognitive structures'. Cognitive structures provide the framework for the individual's interpretation of affective experiences. Each affective response represents an underlying cognitive structure. Although this notion is as old as Rousseau, it is only recently that it has been incorporated into the actual study of cognitive development. Cognitive developmentalists describe cognitive development in terms of the successive elaboration of simpler cognitive structures into more complicated and differentiated ones.

The different cognitive structures are known as 'sociocognitive stages'.

 "The cognitive-developmental approach was fully stated for the first time by John Dewey. The approach is called 'cognitive' because it recognizes that moral education, like intellectual education, has its basis in stimulating the active thinking of the child about moral issues and decisions. It is called 'developmental' because it sees the aims of moral education as movement through moral stages." (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education...It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 176-195)

 Cognitive-developmental approach to moral education: 'socio-cognitive stages' of character development  Sociocognitive stages are structural age-changes. There are structural age-changes in cognitive development and in the personality development or 'socialisation'. The structural age-changes or 'stages' of socialization are the same as those involved in the development of morality. Age-changes in moral development have a formal structural base which is parallel to the structural base of cognitive development. This is known as 'cognitive-affective parallelism'.

 Both cognitive and affective development and functioning represent different perspectives and contexts of 'character development'.

 Affective functioning which involves the emotional force behind motivation is largely mediated by changes in thought patterns. Both cognitive development and moral development involve basic transformations of cognitive structure which can be described in terms of organizational wholes or 'systems' of internal relations.

 The internal development of human character involves 'cognitive structures' which are generated as a result of interactions between the organism and the social environment. The organism/environment interaction stimulates both affective and cognitive functioning giving rise to changes in modes of thought and subsequent structures of action. Development of structures of action tends in the direction of greater equilibrium in the organism/environment interaction i.e. towards 'adaptation'. This equilibrium in its generalized form is the defining of the human social values, morals principles of 'morality' i.e. justice, truth, logic, knowledge, compassion loving-kindness and so on.

What is morality? Morality is a natural product of the universal tendency toward empathy or role taking, toward putting oneself in the shoes of other conscious beings. It is a product of the universal human concern for reciprocity or equality in the relation of one person to another.

Social development The direction of social or 'ego' development is always towards an equilibrium or reciprocity between one's actions and those of others toward one's self. 'Social cognition' involves the awareness that the other is in some way like the self and social 'development' involves the restructuring of the concept of self as it relates to concepts of other people. In this view the natural development of morality is directly connected with the process of natural learning. This is the 'cognitive-develomental theory of learning' and the 'cognitive-developmental theory of moral development'.

The core of the cognitive-developmental theory is the doctrine of sociocognitive stages - the modes of thought or cognitive modes which represent the basic structural nature of moral development.

The different stages represent distinct and qualitative differences in modes of thinking about the same problem at different ages. Each of the different stages forms a structured whole and the different stages form an invariant sequence, order, or succession in the individual's development. The stages can be speeded up, slowed down or stopped by cultural factors but their sequence does not change.

There are three levels of moral development, each comprising two sociocognitive stages (Piaget and Kohlberg). The first level is the 'premoral' or 'preconventional' level in which the individual is motivated by biological and social impulses with no sense of obligation to rules. The second level is the 'conventional' level in which the individual is motivated by an uncritical acceptance of the standards of the group with respect for conventional rules. The third level is the 'autonomous' level in which the individual is motivated by critical reflection with a sense of guidance by ethical principles of a developed conscience.

Cognitive-developmental approach to moral education...

"Moral education should not be aimed at teaching some specific set of morals but should be concerned with developing the organizational structures by which one analyzes, interprets and makes decisions about social problems" (James Rest. 'Developmental Psychology as a Guide to Value Education: A Review of 'Kohlbergian' Programs'. in Moral Education: It Comes With the Territory David Purpel & Kevin Ryan (eds.) Berkeley CA: McCutchan Publishing Co. 1976 254)   

  In the cognitive-developmental view, the aim of education is conceived in terms of cognitive development and cognitive 'structures'. The school's function is to promote the individual's development of social intelligence or morality or 'socialization'. The school is involved in the most important of all constructions and that is the building of a free and mature character of a developed conscience. The aim of education is growth and development... the intellectual and moral capabilities for responsible decision making and problem solving. Education for morality requires a curriculum based on knowledge of developmental stages in moral development. Education is the work of supplying the conditions which will enable the psychological functions to mature in the freest and fullest manner so as to stimulate development step by step through the stages towards the maturity of conscience... 'holistic education'.

 In the holistic paradigm of education, the individual strives not only for complete psychological, emotional, intellectual development but for complete moral development and personality integration as well. The aim of education is growth in the context of spiritual freedom based on trust of the individual to develop a personal sense of moral responsibility. The integrated individual is responsible to him/herself and to the society of which she/he is a member. In the context of growth for spiritual freedom, dichotomies disappear. It becomes possible for the individual to be 'free' and to be socially responsibile as well. Social responsibility is not possible without inner spiritual freedom.. 'freedom'

 Environmental conditions required for development of conscience... The proper development of conscience depends on a social environment which provides for the psychological needs for growth or 'social needs' i.e. 'human needs'. Each human individual is born with the biological potential for development of a rational conscience. For that potential to be actualized during growth and development, the proper conditions for growth are required.

Recognition of human needs is the basis for education for human growth and development towards the realisation of human potential...  personality integration and realisation of the self in a process of 'mature growth' i.e. self-realisation or 'self-actualisation'.

 "The cognitive-developmental approach was fully stated for the first time by John Dewey. The approach is called 'cognitive' because it recognizes that moral education, like intellectual education, has its basis in stimulating the active thinking of the child about moral issues and decisions. It is called 'developmental' because it sees the aims of moral education as movement through moral stages." (Lawrence Kohlberg "The Cognitive Developmental Approach to Moral Education" chapter 12 in Moral Education...It Comes With the Territory (Ed) David Purpel and Kevin Ryan, Berkeley,CA: McCutchen Publishing Co. 1976, 1

HOLISTIC PEACE EDUCATION (Maria Montessori)

We must learn to educate children in such a way that they will be able to develop their human potential. This is the only way we can bring real peace to the world. ..spiritual essence, the source of peace is within... provide opportunities and experiences for children to learn to relate harmoniously with their environment, with other people and cultures.  The teacher must go through process of inner awareness and transformation to to purify the heart and make it charitable toward the child... be a model of peace, respect, humility, and unconditional love...accept all children.

 Prepare the environment in the classroom to meet the unfolding needs of the children... attract them aesthetically... have it reflect a feeling of love, respect and peace so that once they involved in an activity, they pass through deeper phases of concentration and eventually reach their potential for the supreme state of inner peace. Focus on their inner peace, "Silence Game" is  practice becoming still to feel their inner peace. their purpose for being in school, establish ground rules for peace, encourage respect for everything in the environment.

As children become aware of how their body, mind, emotions and spirit interrelate, they begin to gain mastery of their bodies, minds and emotions so that their spirit and potential might be more easily manifested.

Harmony -- Interrelationship and Community:

From a sense of community or interdependence the children can glimpse, on a micro scale, the unity of all peoples. From this experience, perhaps their level of trust will be heightened, and they will spiral to greater heights of openness, realization and interdependence.

Cultural and Environmental Awareness -- Global Vision of Peace and Harmony

As children become more aware of their inner peace and learn to relate harmoniously with others, they begin to develop sensitivity and awareness for people of other cultures and the global environment.

In Summary:

Holistic Peace Education begins with the embryonic environment where the children, through the delicate nurturing of adults, come in touch with their inner peace and learn to relate harmoniously with others. From this micro experience the children will, hopefully, have the tools and understanding to be able to accept and relate harmoniously to all people and their earthly environment. Holistic Peace Education is educating the "life within" the child and assisting them in learning how to relate harmoniously to the "life without."

1 E.M. Standing. Maria Montessori - Her Life and Work. New York, Mentor, 1957.