På 1980-tallet ble det opprettet en internasjonal organisasjon ved navn GATE (The Global Alliance for Transforming Education) som hadde til hensikt å arbeide for et holistisk pedagogisk perspektiv i utdanning. I år 2000 utarbeidet de "Education 2000: A Holistic Perspective" der man skrev ned 10 prinsipper på holistisk pedagogisk arbeid. Slik lyder de:
Principle I. Educating for Human DevelopmentWe assert that the primary - indeed the fundamental - purpose of education is to nourish the inherent possibilities of human development. Schools must be places that facilitate the learning and whole development of all learners. Learning must involve the enrichment and deepening of relationships to self, to family and community members, to the global community, to the planet, and to the cosmos. These ideas have been expressed eloquently and put into practice by great educational pioneers such as Pestalozzi, Froebel, Dewey, Montessori, Steiner, and many others.
Unfortunately, public education has never had optimal human development as its primary purpose. Historical literature makes it clear that school systems were organized to increase national productivity by inculcating habits of obedience, loyalty, and discipline. The "restructuring" and "excellence" literature of the 1980's and 1990's continues to be permeated with a concern for the productivity and competitiveness of the national economy, and seeks to harness the abilities and dreams of the next generation to the goal of economic development. We believe that human development must be served before economic development.
We call for a renewed recognition of human values which have been eroded in modern culture - harmony, peace, cooperation, community, honesty, justice, equality, compassion, understanding and love. The human being is more complex, more whole, than his or her roles as worker or citizen. If a nation - through its schools, its child welfare policies, and its competitiveness - fails to nurture self-understanding, emotional health, and democratic values, then ultimately economic success will be undermined by a moral collapse of society.
Indeed, this is happening already, as is made clear by the drug epidemic and the pressing problems of crime, alcoholism, child abuse, political and corporate corruption, teen alienation and suicide, and violence in the schools. We must nurture healthy human beings in order to have a healthy society and a healthy economy. The economic system surely requires a skilled, dependable work force.
We can best secure this work force by treating young people as human beings first and future workers secondarily. Only people who live full, healthy, meaningful lives can be truly productive. We call for a greater balance between the needs of economic life and these human ideals which transcend economics and which are necessary for responsible action.
Principle II. Honouring Students as IndividualsWe call for each learner - young and old - to be recognized as unique and valuable. This means welcoming personal differences and fostering in each student a sense of tolerance, respect and appreciation for human diversity. Each individual is inherently creative, has unique physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs and abilities, and possesses an unlimited capacity to learn.
We call for a thorough rethinking of grading, assessment, and standardized examinations. We believe that the primary function of evaluation is to provide feedback to the student and teacher in order to facilitate the learning process. We suggest that "objective" scores do not truly serve the learning or optimal development of students. We have been so busy measuring the measurables that we have neglected those aspects of human development which are immeasurably more important.
Besides neglecting important dimensions of all learners, standardized tests also serve to eliminate those who cannot be standardized. In successful innovative schools around the world, grades and standardized tests have been replaced by personalized assessments which enable students to become inner directed. The natural result of this practice is the development of self-knowledge, self-discipline and genuine enthusiasm for learning.
We call for an expanded application of the tremendous knowledge we now have about learning styles, multiple intelligences, and the psychological bases of learning. There is no longer any excuse to impose learning tasks, methods, and materials en masse when we know that any group of students will need to learn in different ways, through different strategies and activities. The work being done on multiple intelligences demonstrates that an area of strength such as bodily kinesthetic, musical, or visual spatial can be tapped to build an area of weakness such as linguistic or logical-mathematical.
We question the value of educational categories such as "gifted," "learning disabled," and "at-risk." Students of all ages differ greatly across a full spectrum of abilities, talents, inclinations, and backgrounds. Assigning these labels does not describe a learner's personal potentials, it simply defines one in relation to the arbitrary expectations of the system.
The term "at-risk" is especially pernicious: It serves to uphold the competitive, homogeneous goals of the educational system by ignoring the personal experiences and perceptions which lie behind a particular student's difficulties.
We suggest, instead, that schooling should be transformed so as to respect the individuality of every person - that we can build a true learning community in which people learn from each other's differences, are taught to value their own personal strengths, and are empowered to help one another. As a result, each learner's individual needs will be met.
Principle III. The Central Role of ExperienceWe affirm what the most perceptive educators have argued for centuries:education is a matter of experience. Learning is an active, multisensory engagement between an individual and the world, a mutual contact which empowers the learner and reveals the rich meaningfulness of the world. Experience is dynamic and ever growing. The goal of education must be to nurture natural, healthy growth through experience, and not to present a limited, fragmented, predigested "curriculum" as the path to knowledge and wisdom.
We believe that education should link the learner to the wonders of the natural world through experiential approaches that immerse the student in life and nature. Education should connect the learner to the workings of the social world through real-life contact with the economic and social life of the community. And education should acquaint the learner with the realm of his or her own inner world through the arts, honest dialogue, and times of quiet reflection - for without this knowledge of the inner self, all outward knowledge is shallow and without purpose.
Principle IV. Holistic EducationWe call for wholeness in the educational process, and for the transformation of educational institutions and policies required to attain this aim. Wholeness implies that each academic discipline provides merely a different perspective on the rich, complex, integrated phenomenon of life. Holistic education celebrates and makes constructive use of evolving, alternate views of reality and multiple ways of knowing. It is not only the intellectual and vocational aspects of human development that need guidance and nurturance, but also the physical, social, moral, aesthetic, creative, and - in a nonsectarian sense - spiritual aspects. Holistic education takes into account the numinous mystery of life and the universe in addition to the experiential reality.
Holism is a re-emerging paradigm, based on a rich heritage from many scholarly fields. Holism affirms the inherent interdependence of evolving theory, research, and practice. Holism is rooted in the assumption that the universe is an integrated whole in which everything is connected. This assumption of wholeness and unity is in direct opposition to the paradigm of separation and fragmentation that prevails in the contemporary world.
Holism corrects the imbalance of reductionistic approaches through its emphasis on an expanded conception of science and human possibility. Holism carries significant implications for human and planetary ecology and evolution. These implications are discussed throughout this document.
Principle V. New Role of EducatorsWe call for a new understanding of the role of the teacher. We believe that teaching is essentially a vocation or calling, requiring a blend of artistic sensitivity and scientifically grounded practice. Many of today's educators have become caught in the trappings of competitive professionalism: tightly controlled credentials and certification, jargon and special techniques, and a professional aloofness from the spiritual, moral and emotional issues inevitably involved in the process of human growth.
We hold, rather, that educators ought to be facilitators of learning, which is an organic, natural process and not a product that can be turned out on demand. Teachers require the autonomy to design and implement learning environments that are appropriate to the needs of their particular students.
We call for new models of teacher education which include the cultivation of the educator's own inner growth and creative awakening. When educators are open to their own inner being, they invite a co-learning, co-creating process with the learner. In this process, the teacher is learner, the learner is teacher. What teaching requires is an exquisite sensitivity to the challenges of human development, not a pre-packaged kit of methods and materials.
We call for learner-centered educators who display a reverence and a respect for the individual. Educators should be aware of and attentive to each learner's needs, differences and abilities and be able to respond to those needs on all levels. Educators must always consider each individual in the contexts of family, school, society, the global community and the cosmos.
We call for the debureaucratization of school systems, so that schools (as well as homes, parks, the natural world, the workplace, and all places of learning) can be places of genuine human encounter. Today's restructuring literature emphasizes "accountability," placing the teacher at the service of administrators and policy makers.
We hold instead that the educator is accountable, above all, to the young people who seek a meaningful understanding of the world they will someday inherit.
Principle VI. Freedom of ChoiceWe call for meaningful opportunities for real choice at every stage of the learning process. Genuine education can only take place in an atmosphere of freedom. Freedom of inquiry, of expression, and of personal growth are all required. In general, students should be allowed authentic choices in their learning. They should have a significant voice in determining the curriculum and disciplinary procedures, according to their ability to assume such responsibility.
However, we recognize that some instructional approaches will remain largely adult-guided due to philosophical convictions or because they serve special student populations. The point is that families and students need to be free to choose such approaches, and free not to.
Families should have access to a diverse range of educational options in the public school systems. In place of the current system which offers a handful of "alternatives," public education should be comprised of numerous alternatives. It must no longer be the mission of public education to impose a homogenized culture on a diverse society.
There is still a need for non-public schools, which tend to be more receptive to far-reaching innovations, and which are more capable of embodying the values of particular religious or other closely knit communities. Families should have freedom to educate their children at home, without undue interference from public authorities. Home schooling has proven to be educationally, socially, and morally nourishing for many children and families.
Principle VII. Educating for a Participatory DemocracyWe call for a truly democratic model of education to empower all citizens to participate in meaningful ways in the life of the community and the planet. The building of a truly democratic society means far more than allowing people to vote for their leaders -- it means empowering individuals to take an active part in the affairs of their community. A truly democratic society is more than the "rule of the majority" - it is a community in which disparate voices are heard and genuine human concerns are addressed. It is a society open to constructive change when social or cultural change is required.
In order to maintain such a community, a society must be grounded in a spirit of empathy on the part of its citizens - a willingness to understand and experience compassion for the needs of others. There must be a recognition of the common human needs which bind people together into neighbourhoods, nations, and the planetary community. Out of this recognition there must be a concern for justice.
In order to secure these high ideals, citizens must be enabled to think critically and independently. True democracy depends on a populace able to discern truth from propaganda, common interests from partisan slogans. In an age when politics are conducted via "sound bytes" and deceptive public relations, critical inquiry is more vital than ever to the survival of democracy.
These are all educational tasks. Yet the teaching/learning process cannot foster these values unless it embodies them. The learning environment must itself revolve around empathy, shared human needs, justice, and the encouragement of original, critical thinking. Indeed, this is the essence of true education; it is the Socratic ideal, which has rarely been realized in educational systems.
Principle VIII. Educating for Global CitizenshipWe believe that each of us - whether we realize it or not - is a global citizen. Human experience is vastly wider than any single culture's values or ways of thinking. In the emerging global community, we are being brought into contact with diverse cultures and world views as never before in history.
We believe that it is time for education to nurture an appreciation for the magnificent diversity of human experience, and for the lost or still uncharted potentials within human beings. Education in a global age needs to address what is most fully, most universally human in the young generation of all cultures.
Global education is based on an ecological approach, which emphasizes the connectedness and interdependence of nature and human life and culture. Global education facilitates the awareness of an individual's role in the global ecology, which includes the human family and all other systems of the earth and universe. A goal of global education is to open minds. This is accomplished through interdisciplinary studies, experiences which foster understanding, reflection and critical thinking, and creative response.
Global education reminds us that all education and all human activity needs to rest on principles which govern successful ecological systems. These principles include the usefulness of diversity, the value of cooperation and balance, the needs and rights of participants, and the need for sustainability within the system.
Other important components of global education include understanding causes of conflict and experiencing the methods of conflict resolution. At the same time, exploring social issues such as human rights, justice, population pressures, and development is essential to an accurate understanding of the causes of war and conditions for peace.
Since the world's religions and spiritual traditions have such enormous impact, global education encourages understanding and appreciation of them and of the universal values they proclaim, including the search for meaning, love, compassion, wisdom, truth, and harmony. Thus, education in a global age addresses what is most fully and universally human.
Principle IX. Educating for Earth LiteracyWe believe that education must spring organically from a profound reverence for life in all its forms. We must rekindle a relationship between the human and the natural world that is nurturing, not exploitive. This is at the very core of our vision for the twenty-first century. The planet Earth is a vastly complex, but fundamentally unitary living system, an oasis of life in the dark void of space.
Post-Newtonian science, systems theory, and other recent advances in modern thought have recognized what some ancient spiritual and mythological traditions have taught for centuries: The planet, and all life upon it, form an interdependent whole.
Economic, social, and political institutions must engender a deep respect for this interdependence. All must recognize the imperative need for global cooperation and ecological sensitivity, if humankind is to survive on this planet. Our children require a healthy planet on which to live and learn and grow. They need pure air and water and sunlight and fruitful soil and all the other living forms that comprise Earth's ecosystem. A sick planet does not support healthy children.
We call for education that promotes earth literacy to include an awareness of planetary interdepenence, the congruence of personal and global well-being, and the individual's role and scope of responsibility. Education needs to be rooted in a global and ecological perspective, in order to cultivate in younger generations an appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of all life.
Earth education involves a holistic assessment of our planet and the processes that sustain all life. Central to this study are knowledge of basic support systems for life, energy flows, cycles, interrelationships and change. Earth education is an integrative field including politics, economics, culture, history, personal and societal change processes.
Principle X. Spirituality and EducationWe believe that all people are spiritual beings in human form who express their individuality through their talents, abilities, intuition and intelligence. Just as the individual develops physically, emotionally and intellectually, each person also develops spiritually.
Spiritual experience and development manifest as a deep connection to self and others, a sense of meaning and purpose in daily life, an experience of the wholeness and interdependence of life, a respite from the frenetic activity, pressure and over-stimulation of contemporary life, the fullness of creative experience, and a profound respect for the numinous mystery of life. The most important, most valuable part of the person is his or her inner, subjective life--the self or the soul.
The absence of the spiritual dimension is a crucial factor in self-destructive behaviour. Drug and alcohol abuse, empty sexuality, crime and family breakdown all spring from a misguided search for connection, mystery and meaning and an escape from the pain of not having a genuine source of fulfilment.
We believe that education must nourish the healthy growth of the spiritual life, not do violence to it through constant evaluation and competition. One of the functions of education is to help individuals become aware of the connectedness of all life. Fundamental to this awareness of wholeness and connectedness is the ethic expressed in all of the world's great traditions: "What I do to others I do to myself."
Equally fundamental to the concept of connectedness is the empowerment of the individual. If everyone is connected to everyone and everything else, then the individual can and does make a difference.
By fostering a deep sense of connection to others and to the Earth in all its dimensions, holistic education encourages a sense of responsibility to self, to others and to the planet. We believe that this responsibility is not a burden, but rather arises out of a sense of connection and empowerment. Individual, group and global responsibility is developed by fostering the compassion that causes individuals to want to alleviate the suffering of others, by instilling the conviction that change is possible and by offering the tools to make those changes possible.
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