Transportation. Food. Education. Health. Technology. Justice. Waste. For better and for worse, our life support systems and how we think about them are transforming before our eyes. For those in the regenerative living movement, these changes are often a combination of rediscovering timeless practices (in agriculture: permaculture, and in education: the Maker movement, as examples) and incorporating technology as a nearly unavoidable center of daily life.
The rediscovery of timeless practices is a result of the fact that, while our paradigms, cultures, and invisible structures may change over the course of our lives, the rules which govern the foundations of life itself (how plants grow, how ecosystems function, how kids learn, what human bodies need for good health) are much slower to change, and may not have done so significantly for thousands of years. Instead, the changes we see today are changes in the tools we use to manipulate, understand, and coexist with the world around us. The regenerative living movement is based in the goal of working with the rules of life in order to improve the health of the systems that support us.
In education, the movement toward regenerative living is manifesting across the globe with a huge number of variations, including homeschooling, unschooling, Montessori, Waldorf, STEM, STEAM, Making, Design Thinking, problem-based learning, project-based learning, social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and many more. Together, I consider these pedagogical lenses part of one movement toward educating the whole child, a movement I call the integral education movement.
Educating the whole child is a goal which acknowledges that a healthy world is one which each part is healthy, including each part of each individual within society. This may seem an obvious goal, but it is far from the implicit or explicit goals of most education systems today. Indeed, I can vividly remember a professor and mentor in college telling me that I should seek a career that satisfied two out of three criteria (in addition to the single mandatory criterion of making me money): something I enjoy, something that gives me autonomy, and something I am good at. This professor was acknowledging that, in his view, the education system he worked within was created to serve at most 66.7% of each person within it. For my part, I think we can do better than that.
Luckily, I am not alone. From ProjeKt Inspire in Tanzania to the burgeoning of grant opportunities from organizations like 4pt0 schools in the US, there is a growing network of educators and parents worldwide who believe that we can educate our children for the world we want to see. Below I offer a list of some of my favorite movements within education that are building the framework for the new way. In future posts I will dive into these movements, as well as many others, highlighting some of the amazing work being done across the globe to make these movements move.
- Mindful Scholar Network