These are exciting times at my house. Today as we were walking home from the hardware store, my husband and I stumbled into a conversation that lead us back to a dream that started before we were married. It was a vision of a learning center, an environment that fosters our inherent desire to learn, one that nurtures learners at all age levels. In the vision, learners and facilitators are collaborators who support one another in their educational journey. Subjects are integrated, covering all areas of development, including material (the development and support of healthy daily living), human (human progress and civilization, such as arts, sciences, trade, government, invention and discovery), and spiritual (the development of the higher nature, or virtues such as truthfulness, compassion, courage and tolerance). Students, their peers and instructors assess learning to identify strengths and opportunities for further study.
What is most exciting now, though, is that, because of recent conversations and my re-introduction to the digital world, the vision has become more concrete. It includes a picture of students learning in discussion circles, both locally and at a distance through blogs and personal learning networks. And because of our family’s needs, my vision is a dual language environment, so that learners can become fluent in both English and Chinese.
Maybe we’ll only start by designing such an environment for our family. Maybe it will extend to a few others who would like to supplement their children’s education as well. But maybe a vision has been re-awakened that will grow into a dynamic, flourishing enterprise that is self-sustaining and contributes to the greater community, locally, nationally, globally.
For the time being, I am going to write…about this, about other things. It is a vision that deserves time and lots of dialog. But I’m interested in what others think about this vision.
References to three types of education, “material”, “human” and “spiritual” come from the writings of the Baha’i Faith.