Many educators and visionaries including Matthew Fox and the Dali Lama believe that education is in crisis worlwide. Politicans and critics have called for more courses in math, science and additional testing. In his new book on Eckhart, Dr. Fox outlines an innovative, alternative approach that has been tried in some public school systems in the United States and Latin America with contemporary youth.
Here are my notes on the values and fundamentals of his innovative approach to a more holistic approach that integrates body, mind and spirit.
Values in Designing an Alternative Education System
A) Move away from patriarchy, control and domination into creativity, joy and mutuality
B) Incorporate Body, and Feminist philosophy and compassion
C) Cosmological worldview. Our lineage is 13.8 billion years long, What does this mean for our theology, spirituality, ministry etc?
D) Begin with awe- What is awesome about being a teacher, doctor, priest?
Ten Fundamentals for Educational Alternatives-Moving from Knowledge Factories to Wisdom Schools:
1. Cosmology/Ecology- Our universe is our home. What does it mean? How do we respond to ecological challenges?
2. Contemplative- Learn to BE! Get into – body and find silence.
3. Chaos and Darkness- There is great potential in chaos- birthing and creativity include chaos.
4. Creativity- Truth comes from inside us. Dancing, painting, singing, writing poetry help us to get in touch with wisdom inside of us.
5. Compassion: We all possess compassion and this includes our quest for gender justice, eco justice, racial justice, political and economic justice
6. Community- rights of groups in balance with rights of individuals in order for communities to flourish
7. Critical thinking- ability to do critical thinking needs to be integrated with intuitive and mystical, right and left brain
8. Chakra and Character Development How we develop our imperfect selves, ethics and morality?
9. Courage-How do we develop courage, move beyond fear and become empowered?
10. Ceremony and Celebration- Ritual is essential in the life of community To re-create community we must develop rituals that appeal to body, mind and spirit.
(Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart, A Mystic Warrior for our Times)