Vol. 33 No. 2
The Heart of Education
Cristina Perea Kaplan, Editor
In recent decades, K-12 education has cycled through periods of largely creative, student-focused, and progressively-oriented phases and conservative, mechanistic, and outward-focused phases. In this issue of ReVision, eclectic practitioners and thinkers focus on the “Heart of Education,” the topic of a panel at a conference on indigenous and shamanic traditions that proposed that the heart of education is tied to the health of planet Earth.
Vol. 33 No. 2
Berkowitz , K., and Perea Kaplan, C. Restorative Practices: Healing Hurts, Remediating Wrongdoing as an Alternative to Traditional School Discipline. ReVision, 33(2), 13-23. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.4.13-23
Kerri Berkowitz and Cristina Perea Kaplan explore the use of Restorative Justice Practices, or RJP, which are based on indigenous practices of repairing harm, alternatives to punitive consequences for misdeeds in the public school setting. Together they examine the positive implications of creating school-wide values, fostering trusting relationships, and using affective language to express the emotions behind behaviors and conflicts. Kerri also recounts her experience as a white South African who immigrated to the U.S., but who continued to follow the progress of Nelson Mandela’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She offers insight from Desmond Tutu on the RJP process.
Kaplan, C.P. On the Heart of Education: An Introduction. ReVision, 33(2), 13-23. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.4.13-23
Cristina Perea Kaplan explores the need to transform public K-12 education from a standards-based, business-oriented enterprise to a more balanced and psychologically focused one. She discusses holistic, humanistic, and earth grounded philosophies of education using the metaphor of the heart. Archetypal, cultural, and social-emotional competencies are explored as well as CG Jung’s concept of shadow. Issues of freedom, choice, control, and strategies to empower students and teachers, such as Restorative Justice Practices are also examined. Outdoor education and a focus on nature are emphasized as the survival of humanity hangs in the balance; education lags behind and fails to connect students to nature. Yet, empowerment and transformation remain possible.
Krippner, S. The Shamanic Heart of Education. ReVision, 33(2), 13-23. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.4.13-23
Modern societies, unlike indigenous ones, suffer from a lack of play. Freud characterizes the ability to play as one of three necessary for mental health. Schools are depriving children of time for play, art, and recreation in favor of college preparatory coursework. Schools can assist special-needs children by teaching techniques to improve focus, like mindfulness, playfully. Autistic children have brains that function differently rather than defective parents, as psychiatrists once thought. In this brief article, the author reviews his experiences with indigenous people, shamanic practitioners, and special-needs children. He compares the education of the shaman with that of the special-needs child in that both require a type of education that allows them to focus their attention to reach their full potentials for their, and society’s, benefit.
Millay, J., PhD. The Heart of Education. ReVision, 33(2), 13-23. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.4.13-23
Dr. Millay believes elementary school children must learn about the electrical and magnetic properties of their own life force using bio/neurofeedback for “Self-Discovery Science”(Self-Discovery Science is available free from: www.I-ASC.org). Children learn to increase their ability to focus attention, essential for all other subjects. Corporations, using this science, discovered ways to entrain brainwaves with the hypnotic lights and sounds of TV to exert “mind control” for increased sales and to influence elections. We are electric and magnetic beings on an electrical and magnetic earth that spins within an energetic galaxy. We are all connected in energy to the consciousness of life of the whole biosphere. This is the fundamental heart of education, and must be learned early to avoid dangerous mind control.
Ögren, J. Writing the “Stories” to Right the World. ReVision, 33(2), 13-23. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.4.13-23
This article explores the power of stories. It shows how changing our inner-dialogue (the stories we tell ourselves) affects our view of ourselves, and others. There are exercises to both demonstrate the influence of stories on performance and to provide tools for change. “The Butterfly Girl,” a story showing a variety of learning options, is used to illustrate how stories can help personally and be used for teaching. This story also explores differences in learning styles, to normalize and support all individuals in their quest for “knowledge.” The final exercise provides tools to encourage a more healthy and creative self-image.
Santisteban, J.-A. , and Lewis, L. Working with Young People in Nature: We Plant the Seeds and See What Comes, ReVision, 33(2), 13-23. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.4.13-23
Juan-Antonio Santisteban, in dialogue with Lucy Lewis, explains his outdoor education work with young inner-city students in Oakland, California. He recounts the transformation of an area of neglected redwood trees on his campus into a “magic forest” where his students learn and practice biodynamic gardening, permaculture, and become aware of the voices of the trees. He discusses the difficulties of maintaining nature-based educational activities, which must compete with “academic” curricula, for student time and participation.
Sarris, G., and Perea Kaplan, C. Learning to Belong to the Multicultural Chorus. ReVision, 33(2), 7-12. doi:10.4298/REVN.32.4.7-12.
All students, including indigenous ones, must be allowed to bring themselves, their subjectivity, into the classroom. When teachers act as authorities, students are silenced.