Future Schools: Holistic Education as the Practice of

                             Freedom for Growth through Learning

 

HOLISTIC EDUCATION : A NEW PARADIGM FOR TEACHING

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


(Where does this go?)  Holistic perception generates inner freedom, open-mindedness, empathy, compassion, morality, creative intelligence and depth of understanding which allows for the positive, creative, peaceful and so adaptive approach to our human problems and conflicts of interest. But all this depends on an education which aims for the complete development of children's potential and so allows them to have the freedom to grow through learning.  

  Today there is urgent need for positive social change; our species survival depends on it. The human species is a social species; its unique feature is its moral or 'spiritual ' faculty and its concern for the welfare of others or 'empathy'. The human moral faculty promotes both individual and community cooperation and hence survival. The continued evolution of humanity depends on complete moral or 'spiritual' development as development of moral consciousness or 'conscience' so 'humanisation' of the individual and the society. Humane individuals create humane societies. Consequently we can better understand our social and political problems if we analyse them in terms of the conditions offered to children as they develop. Normal psychological development is completed with appropriate conditions of freedom and unconditional love . 

Survival of the human species depends on mature unconditional love for children as they develop because this is the condition required for development of the rational conscience or 'human spirit'  as a tool for living. Inadequate conditions of insecurity and fear result in the inhibition of moral development. As a result, moral consciousness or 'conscience' is arrested at the level of the ego-needs for security, self-esteem and belongingness (see Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs').  The subsequent frustrated, immature and neurotic growth translates into the limited cognition of egocentric perception characteristic of the authoritarian conscience which involves a dysfunctional relationship with oneself, the other and the world. This translates into the fear based emotions and attitudes which prevent authentic relationship and complete cognition necessary for empathic understanding of the social reality. Inauthentic relationship and incomplete cognition are not only non-adaptive but can be destructive enough to lead to unbalanced behaviour  and human wickedness or  'evil'.

Evil is the result of undeveloped irrational conscience originating in the deprivation of unconditional love which communicates security necessary for spiritual growth as development of rational conscience. In this, way loveless environments contradict the interests of humanity and hinder its capacity for adaptation to changing social conditions i.e. its 'adaptability'.

Human adaptability and survival depend on the accurate perception of reality as a whole or 'holistic reality.' Perception of the holistic  reality is a function of the extent to which one develops beyond the limitations of the mind-made self or 'ego' and its irrational mode of egocentric thought and behaviour patterns. Consequently we can bring about the much needed positive change through the individual and collective capacity for transcendence beyond ego i.e. 'self-transcendence'. Self-transcendence makes it possible to ... to engage in authentic relationship based on the accurate evaluation of self, the 'other' and the world... to relate to one's fellow human beings by connecting to their human core, their humanity or 'essence'. It is this  instinctive emotion of unconditional love (?)...  empathy... which is the power by which we can transform the world.   Education for human development... 'whole person education' or 'holistic education'.

Complete humanisation of the individual and of society is a function of the respect for and harmony with, the true nature or 'essence' of the human personality or 'human nature'. Human nature is a social nature which depends on complete moral or 'spiritual' development which is a function of the development of moral consciousness or 'conscience' , the human spirit. Complete development of the conscience or ‘humanisation’ enables perception of the truth of reality in terms of its various facets and dimensions... so perception of the whole or 'holistic perception'. With holistic perception the humanised individual is able to evaluate the social environment with accuracy and depth of understanding required for creative and therefore effective adaptation.  

     Spirituality is a biologically based and therefore instinctive human characteristic which constitutes the intuitive component of intelligence which is creative and therefore adaptive i.e. moral intelligence, spiritual intelligence, social intelligence or 'creative intelligence'. Our potential for creative intelligence must be developed so that we can put an end to competition and conflict and with mature cooperation and collaboration we can resolve our practical, social, political, environmental and philosophical problems. We can create a better world only if we recognize that moral or 'spiritual development' is an important aspect of complete human psychological development or 'humanisation'. Provision of the conditions necessary for humanisation... of the individual and the society... is the only valid foundation for education which is meaningful because it is based on the natural principles of human development and engages development of the personality as a whole  i.e. 'education or 'holistic education'.  

Holistic education as 'education for life' has been validated by the Belgian pedagogue medical doctor, psychologist, professor and teacher best known as the pioneer of experimental pedagogy Dr. Ovide Decroly (1871-1932). Decroly's pedagogy is centred on the biopsychical and psychosocial needs of the human organism as a social organism. His  biological model for education for life is a natural pedagogical method which is not connected to any political or social doctrine and based entirely on the recognition and respect for the personal and social needs of the human individual as a social and therefore spiritual being which depends for social adaptation on an education which cultivates their natural creative intelligence.           

 The basis for humanisation is intuition of creative intelligence as a function of complete moral or 'spiritual'  development and the basis for positive social communication and collaboration or 'peace'.To be completely humanised or 'fully human' one must be inwardly free... free from the social conditioning which creates fear and inner conflict, free from the egocentric wishes and desires which prevent perception of the holistic reality. .. free to fully develop moral consciousness or 'conscience'.  Without freedom of conscience human psychological development is arrested at the level of identification with self-image, the ego-self or 'ego'.  It is the unbalanced value systems of immature and egocentric (egotistic) adults which inflict grave harm on our species and our  planet. Consequently we must transform ourselves; move away from identification with the ego and its power over our thoughts and actions and live from the 'place' of our true nature as moral consciousness or 'conscience' ...  our essence or essential self, true self,  greater self,  higher self,  spiritual self or 'Self'.  We need to set ourselves free, inwardly free, free to open our minds and trust the moral instincts of our nature, free from fear and inner conflict, free to think critically for ourselves and express our true thoughts, free to see beyond our egocentric perception and see with 'holistic perception' and so perceive the wholeness of reality, the 'holistic reality', and in this way understand the perception of the 'other'. Holistic perception generates  empathy, compassion, desire for understanding and therefore allows for the positive, creative, peaceful and adaptive approach to our human problems and conflicts of interest. However all these things... inner freedom, open-mindedness, holistic perception, morality of creative intelligence - depend on the 'right' education which allows for children's freedom to grow through learning

Right education does not try to educate children to be what we would like them to be, does not condition them for mediocrity but trusts them to trust themselves, to trust their own sense of responsibility to themselves and their needs for the development of their own human personality and potential. Right education provides them with those conditions which are appropriate for growth through learning, for  complete psychological development and personal fulfillment. Right education respects children for who they are - spiritual beings able to become mature, integrated, intelligent, ethical and responsible adults able to cooperate peacefully and effectively in their efforts to resolve their human problems... Consequently we must provide universal education which fosters the complete development of the of the potential of the person as a whole being and thus involving transcendence of the mind-made self or 'ego'. Holistic education is a natural human right.

Holistic education for human excellence engages the psychological value of positive and meaningful creativity and productiveness or 'work'.

 Living in freedom  requires development of moral knowledge or 'morality' as moral reasoning or 'moral intelligence', also 'social intelligence'. Moral development required for personal liberation depends on freedom for development of conscience as 'free conscience'. Freedom of conscience is fundamental to growth through learning which is meaningful because it engages personal development. Consequently we must offer our children a natural education which aims for the cultivation of their individual potential and their natural creative and productive intelligence which they need to ensure effective adaptation to changing conditions of their social and physical environment. The cultivation of creative intelligence is based on recognition and respect for children's developmental needs and the principles of human psychological development. Complete development of the human personality involves moral or 'spiritual' development. Spiritual development is a function of learning based on motivation by the higher spiritual values or 'metavalues'...  'metamotivation'... the driving force behind holistic learning which engages the child as a whole and involves  connection with their essential humanity giving rise to a holistic perception of their world, enabling them to grow to completely humanised mature adults able to identify the true causes of their human problems so that they can resolve them creatively and effectively. 

    The egocentric perspective of self, of others and the world interferes with the ability to effectively resolve our human problems. Important insights are degraded by minds which are too immature to understand them and to put them into mature practice. It is this ignorance and irresponsibility of egotism which forms  the basis of the destructiveness of competition and conflict. Physical growth without complete psychological development translates into egocentric perception and creates distorted thought patterns and beliefs which are limiting because they generate irrational fears and negative emotions... they are unfounded and so contradict the process of healthy psychological development...  interfere with the developmentof moral intuition and moral consciousness or 'conscience'. Development of the human conscience is a function of the integrated development of personality and character in the context of inner freedom.

Undeveloped conscience results in the devaluation of one's own humanity and this leads to the denigration of the humanity of others. The lack of moral responsibility or 'morality'  results in the wickedness of destructive non-adaptive human behaviour or 'evil'.  

The human species is a biological species…‘homo sapiens’...a social species which depends for survival on complete development of moral consciousness or 'conscience' required for positive socialization or ‘peace’.

Morality is 'social intelligence'.

The human organism is a biological organism which like other biological organisms is intrinsically motivated to behave naturally in accordance with an intrinsic organismic valuing process making value choices and decisions which allow for its effective adaptation to changes in the social environment. Value-choices are made on the basis of the organism’s inherent tendency towards self-preservation and self-actualization fulfilling biologically-based instinctive needs known as ‘operative values’. The operative values  are intinsic biological needs which make up the inner core of human nature,  the human yearnings, aspirations, capacities and talents , the instinctive preferences of behaviour which are engaged in the unfolding of human powers  leading  to the achievement of human potential or ‘fulfillment’ and the integration of the comlpete personality or ‘wholeness’. Operative values are include basic psychological needs for security, self-esteem and belongingness or ‘ego needs’ and ‘higher’ psychological needs for self-transcendance or ‘spiritual needs’ (also known as ‘metaneeds’). Denial or frustration of any of these needs leads to the evil of psychopathological and wicked human behaviour. It is for this reason that we need to understand our social and political problems in terms of the ill effects of arrested human development.  The ignorance of egocentric perception must be replaced by perception  of the wholeness of reality or 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception  generates empathy, compassion, open-mindedness and desire for understanding and so goes beyond the supposed dichotomy between individual freedom and social responsibility. True freedom is possible only if the individual is fully developed. To be fully 'human' it is essential that we set ourselves free as 'inwardly free'... free from social conditioning which creates fear and inner conflict, free from egocentric wishes and desires which prevent us from perceiving the holistic reality which extends beyond the limits of the ego-self or 'ego'.  Only then can we understand the perception of the 'other' and allow for the positive, creative and therefore peaceful and adaptive approach to the intelligent resolution of our human conflicts of interest which create our human problems.  For this reason we must provide universal education which fosters the development of intelligence which is creative because it is involves holistic perception and is therefore adaptive. In order to cultivate creative intelligence we must provide children with conditions of freedom as freedom from conditioning or 'inner  freedom'.... the freedom to become integrated human beings with the human attributes of personal integrity.Their birthright is education for human excellence. The 'right' education is education which ensures complete psychological development and so aims to develop the person as a whole.

So-called 'holistic education' engages the psychological energy of motives for learning which are intrinsic to the organism... 'intrinsic motivation'...including metamotivation by the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'.  Holistic education is not concerned with what adults would like children to be. It does not condition them for mediocrity and conformity but respects them for who they really are - spiritual beings who learn from their human experience... who have the potential to become mature, integrated, morally and therefore socially intelligent...  ethical, responsible and civilized adults able to cooperate effectively in their peaceful efforts to resolve their human problems.

Holistic education is based on trust in children to trust their own sense of responsibility to themselves, to trust their needs for the development of their own personality and their own potential. This is simple to do if one was trusted as a child so has learned to trust oneself; difficult to do if one was not trusted as a child so must first learn to trust oneself.

"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 ed. The Renewal of Meaning in Education: Responses to the Cultural and Ecological Crisis of our Times)

The paradigm of traditional education  as 'schooling' was justified by the principles of behavioural psychology  and is essentially ineffective because it is ultimately based on the intrinsic mistrust of the human personality or 'human nature'. So what is human nature? Human nature can be characterised in terms of an understanding of the the human species (homo sapiens) as a social species and the human organism as a social organism.  Human nature is a  moral,  spiritual or social nature with  instincts (‘social instincts’) for effective adaptation to changing social conditions. Positive or creative socialisation depends on cultivation of core human values  which result from complete moral or ‘spiritual’ development ….  social values, moral values, spiritual values or  'virtues'. Awareness of one’s human nature ('self-knowledge') is awareness of the self beyond the persona, 'ego-self' or 'ego' i.e.  'transpersonal self', 'true self', 'authentic self',  'higher self', 'greater self' or  'Self'.  Creative or positive socialisation  depends on the  intuition and critical thinking skills … moral reasoning of moral consciousness or  morality of 'rational' or 'mature' 'conscience'  i.e. moral intelligence , 'creative intelligence' or 'social intelligence'. Social intelligence  is required for  accurate evaluation of  the social environment,  intelligent decision-making,  creative socialization,  solidarity,  peaceful cooperation,  creative adaptation,  self-preservation and  survival.  Social intelligence is a function of understanding and social responsibility,  compassionate wisdom or 'empathy',  universal unconditonal love or  'lovingkindness' ('agape love'),  knowledge as 'truth', 'freedom' as freedom from conditioning, freedom from fear  or ‘inner freedom’,  'justice' as moral justice, beauty as essence… In a complex process of normal moral or ‘spiritual’ growth and development,  instinctive value choices or ‘operative values’  are built into the biological constitution of the organism in the form of inherent tendencies or  motives for  learning behaviour … preferences of behaviour which operate in the complete integration of the personality as a whole and are implicated in the unfolding of human powers in a process of complete psychological development leading  to the achievement of human potential (self-fulfillment or  ‘self-actualization). This intrinsic organismic valuing process includes instinctive yearnings,  aspirations, capacities and talents which make up the inner core of  human nature. The individual makes value choices and decisions in accordance with these natural developmmental laws.  If development is hindered, the result is  irrational conscience and socialisation which is negative because it is destructive and causes asocial behaviour.

Creative intellligence of rational conscience is developed and cultivated naturally as a result of educating children in conditions which respect their instinctive needs... the 'human needs'...  and provide for  freedom for growth through learning. The human needs can be characterised in terms of their varying degrees of urgency or 'prepotency' depending on whether or not they inhibit motivation by other needs. According to humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow the human needs range from the most to least prepotent on a 'scale of sufficiency' 'or 'hierarchy of needs'.  The most prepotent needs are the physiological and physical needs for survival and safety such as food, water, shelter  ('survival needs'); next are the basic psychological needs for security ('security needs'); next are the basic psychological needs for care and affection or unconditional love ('belongingness needs'); next are the basic psychological needs for self-respect and self-esteem ... persona or  'ego' ('ego needs'). Then there are the  so-called ‘higher’ psychological needs for  moral development and personality integration which is essential for responsible socialisation. These are the  subconscious needs for  living being  beyond desires of the ego i.e.  self-transcendence ( 'Being-needs',  'spiritual needs' or 'metaneeds').  Metaneeds are subconscious needs for awareness of the human values for living... needs for needs for truth,  moral intelligence... morality as free morality, goodness,  beauty,  justice,  perfection,  kindness,  happiness,  serenity,  wisdom,  love as lovingkindness or 'compassion',  social harmony or 'peace',  simplicity,  lawfulness etc. ... 'social values' or human values'. In the process of normal spiritual growth the subconscious metaneeds rise to the conscious level of awareness. At the highest level of consciousness (transcendental realm), the being needs become the 'being-values', the  higher human values or 'metavalues' each of which represents a different facet of the human conscience or human 'spirit'. The function of the human conscience is tor  maintain personality integration while adapting to changes in the social environment. Effective adaptation depends on perception of the socal reality as a whole.... 'holistic perception' which is independent of the distortions resulting from egocentric fears and desires. Spiritual growth is a function of motivation by the metaneeds i.e. growth motivation or 'metamotivation'.

 

Denial or frustration  of the metaneeds...  (punishing of children is in fact social conditioning which creates fear and hostility thus interfering with their inner psychological and therefore moral or 'spiritual' development...) leads to unbalanced psychological development which translates into psychopathological thought and behaviour patterns and the wickedness of human behaviour or ‘evil’.

The  inaccurate perception of human nature translates into the  fallacious assumption that the interests of the individual and those of society are mutually exclusive. This dichotomous view of the social reality perpetuates suffering, oppression and destruction because it creates social problems which are in fact  unresolvable 'pseudo-problems'. These  must be approached from the more accurate holistic perception of human nature as a social nature.  Cultivation of human sociability depends on humane education based on the respect for children's instinctive drive to grow through learning which is creative because it engages the intuition of moral intelligence ('spiritual intelligence' or 'social intelligence')... moral consciousness or 'conscience' i.e. their natural intuitive intelligence... potential for creativity or 'creative intelligence'. Creative intelligence of rational conscience is prerequisite to human socialisation or 'peace'. Peace is a function of respect for human motives or  human needs - for human development (complete development of the moral or 'spiritual' dimension of human nature) - 'holistic education'  or 'peace education'  depends on conditions of freedom  - moral freedom, inner freedom, responsible freedom or 'true freedom' - and allows for the discovery of human potential. It  is thus the source of self-control as 'self-mastery' or 'self-empowerment'. Self-empowerment is a function of guidance for living by the so-called 'higher' values ('human values')... universal love, truth, justice and so on.  Problem in education is described in  terms of lack of drive for  learning or 'problem of  motivation'. "The highest function of education is to bring about an integrated individual who is capable of dealing with life as a whole." (Jiddu Krishnamurti Education and the Significance of Life)

For children growing up in the complex world of the global village effective educational practice depends on an appropriate philosophical framework or 'paradigm' . Educational theory is logical and reasonable if it is based on natural law and guided by the 'morality' of rational conscienceThe formulation of natural principles can be translated into informed and effective moral practice or 'praxis'. (The practice of theory which is not based on natural principles results in the perception of false dichotomies and unresolvable 'pseudoproblems').  Effective educational praxis is based on the understanding of learning ('experiential learning' or 'natural learning') as a natural function of the human brain, a social brain which is specialised for understanding of the significance... meaning... of experience.  Experiential learning is meaningful because it engages the individual’s instinctive responsibility to themselves for their own growth and development.   Children are natural learner s and they all have the right to educational experiences offered in conditions which allow them to enjoy the freedom to exercise their responsibility for active  participation in the planning of  learning environments. The practice of freedom in education...  as the practice of theory which is informed and effective because it is based on natural law and guided by rational conscience.  

 

Freedom in education is true freedom as 'inner freedom' based on natural biological principles is 'responsible freedom'.... freedom to work and freedom to learn. Freedom in education means freedom from fear and conflict, 'responsible freedom',  freedom to learn as freedom to cultivate one's own learning skills and mental powers, freedom to doubt, freedom to inquire, freedom to make mistakes, freedom to recognise mistakes, to admit mistakes, to learn their value, to learn from them and to correct them. Freedom in education means freedom for  privacy, for  solitude, for personal learning... freedom of self-expression, to concentrate on creativity and productiveness or 'work' which is meaningful because it engages curiosity which is intrinsically motivated by the moral or 'spiritual' needs or 'metaneeds' .

 

 'Metamotivation' by the metaneeds facilitates the development of moral consciousness or 'conscience' (character)  while it cultivates the human potential for excellence.  Both are  foundational to a culture of peace and true democracy. In this context it is the responsibility of the educator to foster individuality in the cultural context - to facilitate learning in such a way that the individual can perceive the social, political, and economic contradictions in their environment so that they can take action against oppressive elements and then adapt effectively. The effectiveness of freedom in  education depends on our ability to trust ourselves so that we can trust children to take responsibility for their own growth through learning. Learners must be trusted with independent study, with challenges, with problems to solve and with appropriate social responsibilities. They will respect the understanding teacher and will respond to respect for their humanity, their intelligence and their natural sense of responsibility to themselves, to their community and to their environment... complete human development and the production of compassionate and responsible adults with a rational or 'peaceful' approach to the  resolution of their human problems.

 

Freedom in education is responsible freedom because it aims to provide the right conditions required to free the human spirit in order to develop conscience as rational conscience or 'free conscience'... freedom to think, freedom to learn, freedom to engage in personal growth and development of one's human potential for creativity and productiveness or ‘work  allows children to build their self-confidence,  self-respect, creative intelligence and moral courage thus  fostering  their natural growth into mature and responsible adults living by the universal human values. .. depends on education which allows for fulfillment of the needs  for spiritual development ... 'spiritual emergence'.   Spiritual emergence is the natural function of human nature.   

 

"In the most general terms, spiritual emergence can be defined as the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature and the cosmos. An important part of this development is an increasing awareness of the spiritual dimension in one's life and in the universal scheme of things. Spiritual development is an innate evolutionary capacity of all human beings. It is a movement towards wholeness or 'holotropic state', the discovery of one's true potential." (Stanislav Grof)

.

What are the implications for education? Meaningful education is based on trust of human nature and recognition of the conditions required for development of human potential....the integration of learning with life.... 'peace education'. In view of the fact that the development of a civilised society depends on rational or  'civilised'  human beings, then the needs of the individual and of the society are mutually dependent and interrelated.  Consequently the function of education is to provide optimal conditions for the development of each  person as a rational and integrated whole through  cultivation of their human potentialities -  physical, cognitive,  intellectual, artistic, psychological, emotional and moral or 'spiritual' . Spiritual development is a function of engagement of the person's instinctive sense of responsiblity for their own development of  their human potential.... conscience. Development of conscience depends on education for the development of the whole person as a moral or 'spiritual' and therefore rational and peaceful human being i.e. 'holistic peace education' or 'holistic education'. Holistic education is the practice of freedom for creativity and productivity or 'work' which is meaningful because it involves motivation for growth through learning or 'intrinsic motivation'.  (Holistic education is motivating at all ages because the learner is asked to engage in meaningful work.) Holistic education is therefore based on  respect for  human dignity as manifest in meaningful work. It calls for the planning and provision of natural learning environments characterised by conditions which enhance the learner's freedom to learn. The role of the teacher is described in terms of facilitation for learning. The teacher as 'facilitator' understands the nature of  human nature as a function of the cultivation of creative intelligence and development of rational conscience.  Holistic education is meaningful education because it involves the creation of opportunites which integrate learning with life and allow for personal growth and development through learning which is meaningful because it involves development of human potential and  self-determination or personal empowerment  which is a function of 'moral freedom'... the freedom  for guidance through life by the higher human values... the moral values as the transcendental values  or 'spiritual' values  of ego-transcendence'.  Freedom as 'freedom of thought' , 'inner freedom' or  'spiritual freedom'...  freedom from the rigidity of thinking which results from the tyranny of dogma and dogmatic belief is  foundational to social understanding and social responsibility required for peace, cooperation and the true and  real freedom of true and real democracy.  

Freedom in education: cultivate one's own learning skills and mental powers, freedom to doubt, freedom to inquire, freedom to learn, freedom to be aware of mistakes, freedom to make mistakes, freedom to recognise mistakes, to admit mistakes, to learn their value, to learn from them and freedom to correct them, freedom for  privacy, for  solitude, for  personal learning

"Real freedom is a consequence of development; it is the consequence of latent guides, aided by education. It is the construction of the personality, reached by effort and one's own experiences; it is the long road which every child must take to reach maturity". (Maria MontessoriTo Educate for Human Potential)  

  The aim of education,  in the fullest and deepest sense of the word, is to provide the conditions to free the human spirit in order to cultivate naturally meaningful human intelligence i.e. intuitive intelligence for creativity or 'creative intelligence'. Creative intelligence is a function of the integrated development of the person as a whole... natural education based on principles of human development hence 'integral education' or 'integrative education' also known as 'free education', 'libertarian education', 'libratory education', 'progressive education', 'new education', 'open education', 'cosmic education', 'child-centered education',  'learner-centered education', 'person-centered education', 'problem-centered education', 'humanistic education', 'humane education', 'confluent education', 'peace education', 'transformative education', 'soul education', 'democratic education' and 'holistic education'.  Holistic education is the practice of freedom for the the pursuit of  'knowledge' as 'truth'  and engages the  instinctive motives for growth through learning...  is a natural truth finding process which is  active because it engages the so-called 'higher' soul needs , spiritual needs or 'metaneeds' and thereby cultivates intelligence...  not only mechanical intelligence of conditioned learning but also intuitive intelligence (spiritual intelligence) or 'creative intelligence'  which allows for social cooperation and the creation of humane societies. Holistic education is 'humanistic' because it is true to the social nature of the human personality or 'human nature'. Holistic education is education for human development and therefore education with conscience... education for responsible freedom or 'self-empowerment' as the pre-condition for creative and effective adaptation to changes in the social environment i. e. 'adaptability'. Human adaptability depends on 'true freedom'... the freedom to interact with the environment... to inquire, to discover, to think... to make personal meaning of experience or 'learn', the freedom to understand the realities of nature and human nature while attaining the highest levels of awareness or 'self-knowledge', the freedom to engage in meaningful creativity and productiveness or 'work'. Meaningful work is a function of curiosity, cognition and the wisdom of 'compassion'... engages development of 'moral consciousness' or 'conscience' - the human 'soul'.  Holistic education is for development of rational conscience which is required for the mastery of life and respect for the lives of others. It is 'education for life through life' (Ovide Decroly). The cultivation of creative intelligence depends on the freedom to engage in active experiential learning motivated by the natural curiosity of inquiry  and understanding of the physiological mechanisms underlying the natural learning process ('biology of learning' ) ... engages the intrinsic drive (intrinsic motivation) for creativity and productiveness or 'work'. Work is meaningful when it engages the person's development as an integrated whole...  engages development of moral consciousness or 'morality' of rational 'conscience' also  moral development.

  Conscience is the source of guiding values or 'human values' required for accurate evaluation of changing environmental conditions, effective decision-making ... and behaviour  which is adaptive because it is creative.  

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” (Robert M. Hutchins)

The paradigm of holistic education has larger scope than the traditional paradigm of authoritarian education for control of the individual with its view of the learner as passive receptacle motivated by external factors... 'extrinsic 'motivation'... 'teacher as instructor'. Methods, techniques, teaching methods of the mechanistic model have become completely obsolete. The holistic paradigm.offers learners the flexibility they need to engage their personal growth and development. In fact,  the learner is an active participant who is motivated by the intrinsic drive to grow through learning... 'intrinsic motivation'...  which is understood  and  respected by the teacher as facilitator. Effective learning is a function of the learner's active engagement in a process of adaptation to the environment. Human adaptability is a function of the capacity to create meaning from experience or 'learn'. Natural 'experiential learning' is a function of the brain’s capacity for perception of connections between systems of wholes and the parts which make them up i.e. 'holistic perception'. Holistic perception actively engages the person as a whole in their instinctive striving for mature growth or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualisation depends on natural education which engages the individual's sense of responsibility for their own growth i.e. 'intrinsic motivation'. Intrinsically motivated learning depends on the provision of conditions which integrate learning with life and allow for development of human potential and human empowerment as self-determination or 'freedom'. . Freedom in education is freedom from dogma, freeedom from ignorance, freedom from from conflict... 'inner freedom', 'spiritual freedom', 'moral freedom' or 'true freedom'. True freedom is obedience to rational conscience... a function of human development as 'moral development'. Freedom in education engages children's integrated development in harmony with their instinctive sense of responsibility for their own spiritual growth and development i.e.  'human nature'.  Natural principles of human nature are foundational to  education of the person as a whole or 'holistic education' Holistic education aims to nurture children's human aspirations for personal fulfillment or 'self-actualisation' and self-transcendence. Holistic education provides the conditions of freedom which are appropriate for growth through meaningful learning. It engages the development of  their natural potential for their intuitive, moral or 'spiritual' intelligence as 'creative intelligence'. Creative inelligence is adaptive because it produces creative solutions to human problems.

 "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).

In the paradigm of holistic education the role of the teacher is defined in terms of the 'facilitation of learning'.  The teacher's function is to understand the psychological value of creativity and productiveness or 'work'...  to facilitate the construction of conscience through development of human potential. The teacher is a 'facilitator of learning'. The facilitative teacher designs learning environments which are compatible with respect for the instinctive motives for human learning behaviour i.e. 'human needs'. These include basic  'lower' psychological needs for security and self-esteem ('ego needs') and the so-called 'higher' psychological needs  for  spiritual growth beyond the 'ego' level of consciousness or 'self-transcendance'.  Human needs for self-transcendance are the spiritual needs, soul needs or 'metaneeds'. Motivation by the metaneeds or 'metamotivation' engages growth through learning and personal development in terms of the interrelated aspects of the complete human personality - physical, emotional, intellectual, psychological, social, political, creative, artistic, philosophical and spiritual i.e. 'holistic growth' and therefore the development of the human potential for creativity and self-fulfillment or 'self-actualisation'.  The cultivation of creative intelligence depends on the freedom to engage in active experiential learning motivated by natural curiosity of inquiry. "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)

Holistic education for children means a future of peace for humanity. "We must learn to trust human nature and educate children in such a way that they can develop their human potential. This is the only way we can bring real peace to the world. There is only one problem, and it is human development in its totality; once this is achieved in any unit - child or nation - everything else follows spontaneously and harmoniously.''   (Maria Montessori. To Educate the Human Potential )    The only means to a world of peace and understanding is through the proper education of children into emotionally and intellectually mature and thinking adults, respectful and tolerant of other cultures" (Norman Goble. The Function of Teaching  UNESCO Paris 1977) "The organization of human communities and the establishment of freedom and peace are not only intellectual achievements but spiritual and moral achievements as well, demanding a cherishing of the wholeness of the human personality." (Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society)  

 

Maturana biological view: http://www.univie.ac.at/constructivism/pub/seized/educat.html

......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

"Present-day Western materialist culture and schooling exaggerate the importance of the physical at the expense of the spiritual and thus tend to suffocate individual  initiative and personal responsibility in favour of docile compliance with external authority vested in ever-larger political bureaucracies. This de-humanising trend can be reversed only by the voluntary combination of well-balanced individuals who have taken the trouble to explore their own potential and are ready to live freely in harmony with natural law rather than as slaves to a political system". ( www.ardue.org)

 Metamotivation is an intrinsic part of human nature. consequently the techniques of so-called subjective biology ...contemplation or 'meditation... apply to human education.  The human capacity for metamotivation as 'experiential richness' is 'teachable' in the sense that an educational program can be designed around the instinctive needs of 'subjective biology', not only the physiological and basic psychological  needs but the 'metaneeds' as well.  Metamotivation is enhanced in a social environment which recognizes the social or 'spiritual' nature of human nature. The individual's capacity for metamotivation can be fostered through the acknowledgement, encouragement and enforcement of the individual's instinctive yearning for love, truth, beauty etc... the education of the spiritual needs or 'metaneeds'. A social environment which respects the biologically based metaneeds fosters mature growth or 'self-actualisation'. Self-actualised individuals have self-respect, self-discipline, self-directedness and a sense of purpose and worthiness - characteristics of metamotivation for spiritual growth. It is possible to design an educational program based on the respect for metaneeds and the cultivation of metamotivation rather than sacr

ificing them in favor of the ego-needs and deficiency motivation i.e. 'holistic education'. Holistic education teaches young people not only how to make a living but

 

 

also how to make a life.

 

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

                                                                                                 Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has". (Margaret Mead)

The problem of ‘human nature’:  What is the nature of the human personality or ‘human nature?  The human organism is a social organism and human nature is a social nature which is intrinsically motivated for complete development of moral consciousness or ‘conscience’ in order to adapt successfully to the complexities of a changing social environment. The conscience is the ‘human spirit’ and development of the conscience is a function of moral or ‘spiritual’ development. Moral development is a function of the complete unfolding (‘emergence’) of human potential or 'self-actualisation' involving complete personality (character) development and the 'mature mind'. Maturity is a function of complete development of the human conscience or ‘humanisation’. (The 'immature mind' is the product of arrested development and does not represent the true nature of human nature.) Self-actualisation is a growth process which depends on activation of motives for behaviour (motivations) or  'human needs'. Human needs include the obvious physiological needs for survival of the organism and the species, the basic psychological needs for self-esteem and belongingness or 'ego needs’ and the psychological needs for moral development or spiritual needs ('metaneeds') are psychological needs which are biologically based and so intrinsic to the human organism. Metaneeds are needs for the values required for mature socialization and ethical living. The values of the ‘value-life’ are the moral values or ‘spiritual values’ ('metavalues') of truth, creativity, beauty, goodness, justice, compassion, serenity, kindness, courage, honesty, wisdom, unconditonal love...  values which ensure successful adaptation to the  complexities of a changing social environment.The human value life is an aspect of biology and the human spiritual values define the intrinsic nature or 'essence' of human nature. 

"We can certainly now assert that at least a reasonable, theoretical and empirical case has been made for the presence within the human being of a tendency toward, or need for growing in a direction that can be summarized in general as self-actualization, or psychological health, i.e. he has within him a pressure toward unity of personality, toward spontaneous expressiveness, toward full individuality and identity, toward seeing the truth rather than being blind, toward being creative, toward being good and a lot else. That is the human being is so constructed that he presses toward fuller and fuller being and this means pressing toward what most people would call good values, toward serenity, kindness, courage, honesty, love..." (Abraham Maslow Toward a Psychology of Being  p.40)               

The ‘problem of evil’: What is evil, where does it come from and why does it persist? Evil is the human wickedness resulting from human social behaviour which is destructive and therefore non-adaptive. As a question of human wickedness the'problem of evil' can only be understood in terms of the psychology of human development.  Normal human psycholgical development leads to the construction of moral consciousness or rational 'conscience'.  Developed conscience or the ‘human spirit’ is the source of empowerment required for adaptation to changing social conditions. Human adaptability is compromised when development of rational conscience is arrested at the level of ego-needs for security and self-esteem. The result of developmental arrest is dysfunctional or ‘neurotic development’. Neurosis is a function of a pervasive sense of powerlessness becomes the source of negative emotions and internal conflicts leading to the construction of irrational conscience of immaturity and the addictive nature of power and control over others. It is the failure to develop rational conscience of maturity which constitutes the source of evil and poses a threat to the continued evolution of humanity.