Presentation at SAND16 Conference, San Jose, Ca. (Oct. 19 – 24), “Education and Transformation.”

When walking through the aisles of Barnes and Noble we find books rethinking almost every aspect of life today from health, wealth, and the environment, to spiritual awakening. Yet there are still very few that are devoted to rethinking education. The ramifications of globalization on the field of education may be less visible than others, but new ways of thinking about what is important to learn, to know, and to be also requires a groundbreaking paradigm shift if our children and youth are going to “thrive” (Arianna Huffington 2014) in the 21st century.

The pedagogy of transformation is neither from the East nor the West. It was essential to the perennial wisdom of the Greeks, as well as the purveyors of the Sanathana Dharma, the ancient wisdom of India. John Dewey, the father of modern education, suggested “education is life itself.” What is “life itself?” That’s a spiritual question with important implications for education. What is important to learn, to know, and ‘to be’? How do we nurture that? Dewey posited answers, one of which is, “Education is a science, the science of the formation of character.” Robert Coles, Harvard professor of psychiatry and medical humanities and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, defines character as: “… a process, not a possession, but something one searches for: a quality of mind and heart one struggles for…” Vivekananda believed that “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already existing in man.” In the context of education as transformation, an interest in ‘science and non-duality’ leads one to the pursuit of that, of nurturing the inner awareness, capacity, and manifestation of the human values that constitute virtue or character – a prerequisite of spiritual aspiration, without which twenty years in an isolated hut may not bear fruit. “If the meditator is able to use whatever occurs in his life as the path, his body becomes a retreat hut.” Jigme Lingpa, 18th century Tibetan terton. Ronne uses a 5+5+5+5 Pedagogy:

5 Domains of Human Development: physical, vital, mental/emotional, discriminatory knowledge/intellect, and spiritual;

5 Universal Human Values: Truth, Right Action, Peace, Love, and Nonviolence;

5 Traditional Wisdom Teaching Techniques (integrated with contemporary research based teaching innovation): storytelling, music and song, inspirational quotations as cognitive organizers, mindfulness meditation, and experiential activities;

5 Global Curriculum Themes:Human Needs and Rights, Environmental and Economic Responsibility, Ceiling on Desires and Diversions, The Unity of Faiths, and The Interdependence of Life.

Her presentation will demonstrate how all 5+5+5+5 can be easily integrated into any curriculum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s