Innovative Education

REAL HOPES is Innovative

“If we are to reach real peace in this world
and if we are to carry on a real war against war,
we have to begin with the children”
Mahatma Gandhi

REAL HOPES is an innovative model that educates children through universal values.  It is education designed to see differently that utilises, philosophy, critical thinking, humour and experiential activities to integrate values and peaceful attitudes and behaviour.  Refer http://www.worldpeacefull.com/real-hope-program/a-new-model/

This webpage features the learning revolution, creativity in education, values education and UNESCO’s Culture of Peace for the Children of the World.

Sir Ken Robinson is an English author, speaker, and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education, and arts bodies. He was Director of The Arts in Schools Project (1985–89), Professor of Arts Education at the University of Warwick (1989–2001), and was knighted in 2003 for services to education.

Sir Kenneth Robinson is a leader in innovative education.   He is known as an inspirational speaker and is sought after by educators to learn and understand new ways of educating the children.  He speaks in the two videos below about the importance of a learning revolution and creativity in education.  He presents the case for looking at transformation in education to build resilience and happiness in children.

The Learning Revolution

Ken Robinson speaks about the learning revolution and a changing world that requires education to see and think differently. How many of us remember our years at school and found ourselves looking out the window. I experienced this years later in the workplace where I was a typist. I remember typing poetry in the breaks to escape the monotony. My frustration was that I knew I had talent but no-one was interested as they wanted a typist. I had dyslexia and often got things back to front, this lead to my belief that I wasn’t intelligent. I went through my own learning revolution and took myself to university and completed an Economics degree and then onto a Peace Studies Graduate Diploma. I realised that I wasn’t unintelligent, I just had a different learning style. My dyslexia abated and I no longer got my words back to front as I developed confidence and articulation. I then felt inspired to create a peace program that was not just lip service but effective for children. I created REAL HOPE which is an acronym for responsibility, empathy, awareness, love, honesty, oneness, peace and enjoyment. I realised the program naturally addressed all the different learning styles, was integrative, engaging and fun. I creatively wove into this education program my natural talents of performance, humour, questioning, philosophy, spontenaity, experiential activities (integrating values) and fun to ensure children enjoyed the program and connected it to the entire person not just feeding cognitive intelligence.

The learning revolution is to build resilience, critical thinking, innovation, risk taking, confidence, values, leadership, cooperation and happiness in children. For this to happen it requires educators and parents to look honestly at the current system of education and home parenting practices to find ways to develop new ways of learning and seeing the world that is also supported at home. We do this for the future of children, especially their happiness and survival. For when they express their uniqueness and full potential we as a society benefit from creative, engaged children looking forward to the future and participating as empowered citizens.

 

Creativity in Education

Creativity is not peripheral to education, it is utilising the creative part of the brain through valuing the arts in education as a means of learning to see differently and to tap into innate skills. Conformity has been a standard of education and creativity is seen as recreational, yet some of the greatest and most inspiring persons were artists, poets, philosphers, muscians and leaders. He speaks of Gillian Lynne who was perceived as a child that had learning difficulties, in reality she loved dancing and that was why she couldn’t keep still. Had her doctor not discovered she was a dancer, she would have been seen as unintelligent and missed her chance at being a great dancer and choreographer on the West End. I met Gillian and worked for her and I asked her about creativity. She said it is like a muscle you must exercise it. I never forgot that. So for myself I write poetry, clown on the streets and look for creative projects whereby I can extend my own creativity. I have never been happier. I see creativity as linking to our personal happiness and peace. It is essential for education and the future of children.

 

Values Based Education

Values Based Education is beginning to be viewed as essential in providing an integrative perspective which can help children to navigate life. Traditionally society has focused on writing and reading as essential for education. Whilst these tools are important they are skills not inherent human qualities. Tools without life skills creates partially developed humans. For example. how important is learning to read if a child doesn’t understanding that hitting and biting hurt another. How important is math’s if a child doesn’t understand or feel compassion for a child crying in the playground. How important is top grades if the child experiences sexual abuse or parents separating and feels powerless.

Values based education is at its core, life education. It is learning about yourself and others and how to interact peacefully. It is developing a deep understanding of values which guide children throughout their lives and provides the foundation for functional societies. Increasingly we see in the media programs imbued with violence as entertainment. It is increasingly acceptable to use violence to reach an end. In addition, the nature of the violence is becoming explicit and young children are less protected from this form of emotional assault. There is seldom a focus on conflict resolution and learning how to communicate with each other clearly. Force or manipulation are methods most commonly used to reach ends. Thus children learn that power over someone works. This is evident in violent video games and real life wars shown on television. In reality, violence is an outcome to: frustration, suppression, repression, anger and powerlessness. Ultimately, it is a response to either make another do what someone wants or to punish another for not doing what is wanted. It is not the badge for the brave, it takes more courage to look at oneself honestly and work through problems then to force or hurt another.

The main question to focus on in this day and age is ‘who we are’ not ‘what we have’ and to explore ‘who we want to become’. This defines where we as a society are going. Do we create a society with values of: integrity, honesty, responsibility, empathy and love? Or do we reward behaviours and attitudes where the end justifies the means, justice is winning, wealth at any cost is power, career defines the value of self, status means better than and intelligence is valued over kindness. These are the choices we are faced with today.

Values based education is critical and will shape the type of world we envisage.

Values in respect of the Australian Government is outlined below.

The Values Education for Australian Schooling initiative was funded by the Australian Government. The project resources encourage all Australian schools to provide values education in a planned and systematic way by:

  • articulating, in consultation with their school community, the school’s mission
  • developing student responsibility in local, national and global contexts
  • building student resilience and social skills
  • ensuring values are incorporated in school policies and teaching programs across key learning areas
  • reviewing the outcomes of their values education practices.

The Australian Government contracted Education Services Australia (ESA) to:

  • undertake the national Values Education Study
  • develop and maintain the Values Education website
  • develop and publish print, digital and online curriculum and professional learning resources
  • manage the Values Education school grants projects which have directly engaged 464 schools across 74 school clusters, and over 20 universities and academic advisers.

The Values Education website is the national portal to resources for values education. It includes:

  • news, events, articles, links, national forum presentations, school forum snapshots,
    lesson plans and co-curricular activities
  • the National Framework for Values Education
  • Values for Australian Schooling curriculum and professional learning resources
  • Values Education Good Practice Schools Project reports
  • the Values Education Study.

Visit www.valueseducation.edu.au.

UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) proclaimed 2001-2010 as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World. UNESCO aims to foster a culture of peace through education by:

  • revising the educational curricula to promote qualitative values, attitudes and behaviours of a culture of peace, including peaceful conflict-resolution, dialogue, consensus-building and active non-violence.

Towards a global movement

In proclaiming “the year 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace” (A /RES/52/15) and the decade 2001-2010 as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (A /RES/53/25) the United Nations General Assembly defined the culture of peace as the ” (…) values, attitudes and behaviours that reflect and inspire social interaction and sharing based on the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, all human rights, tolerance and solidarity, that reject violence and endeavour to prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation and that guarantee the full exercise of all rights and the means to participate fully in the development process of their society” (A/RES/52/13).

The culture of peace is a concept that inspires the work of individuals, groups, organizations and institutions around the world whose actions correspond to those of the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace (A/RES/53/243):

* to foster a culture of peace through education
* to promote sustainable economic and social development
* to promote respect for all human rights
* to ensure equality between women and men
* to foster democratic participation
* to advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity
* to support participatory communication and the free flow of
information and knowledge
* to promote international peace and security

Addressing governments, civil society, and the United Nations system, the General Assembly has asserted that ” partnerships between and among the various actors (…) should be encouraged and strengthened for a global movement for a culture of peace” (A/RES/53/243). This calls for the creation of a “grand alliance” of existing movements that unites all those already working for aspects of the culture of peace.

UNESCO has played a leading role in Culture of Peace since its beginning and,as focal point of the International Year for the Culture of Peace (E/1997/47), has been designated as “the lead agency for the Decade” (A/55/47).

For more information refer http://www3.unesco.org/iycp/uk/uk_sum_decade.htm