Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Soulful education cultivates the whole person

Rob Haines, Barque community member and English language teacher, blogs Soul in Education, incorporating ideas of Thomas Moore, James Hillman and others who encourage soulfulness in education. In his January post, "When two worlds collide", he quotes Thomas Moore's tweet (@thomasmooreSoul) from 13 January 2011: "Straddle this line: facts and knowledge on one side; dreams, intuitions, mysteries on the other. The goal is to live in both realms always." Haines writes:
"A curriculum of soul work would truly prepare us to live in the real world instead of an abstraction we call reality. We would learn , not merely how to function in society and get jobs but rather how to live communally and find our life’s work, our calling. To paraphrase Moore, care of the soul is not about fixing problems or curing ills. Soul work is about cultivating the ordinary experiences of our daily lives to add depth, richness, and meaning rather than just accumulating experiences and achieving Herculean tasks for the sake of profit or ego.

Soulful education would emphasize the study of images (art, for example) and philosophy. Careful consideration would be given to the overall aesthetic of our schools, physical design, food served, and leisure activities. Instead of impulsive reaction to trends and slavish attention to the bottom-line, we would aspire to beauty and holistic learning that cultivates whole human beings who care about their lives and respect others."
Read his complete post and the thoughtful responses from readers interested in education. Add your own reflections to the discussion.