A new project to try and define holistic education as practiced here – both within the Findhorn Foundation, the Findhorn College and in the wider community – has recently been initiated by Dave Till, a co-worker in the Findhorn Foundation. With the help of people actively involved in holistic education and learning, he aims to create a comprehensive document that can be shared with other holistic centres around the world.
Dave explains, “This is a long-term aim. My interest started when I helped set up the Findhorn College with Malcolm Hollick and we started to define what holistic education meant to us in practice. The catalyst for re-starting this work now is the Holistic Centres Gathering that Christine Lines has helped to bring here in 2012.”
During his involvement with the College, Dave shared his background in Higher Education, (at what is now Salford University), and worked extensively with the Findhorn Community Semester (the US student programme). He then began recording the techniques, resources and knowledge that both made up holistic education as practiced here, and define it as different to mainstream education.
So what is holistic education? Dave defines it as, “Education that involves the whole person – body, mind, spirit and emotions, plus a fifth element; the relationships between people and groups. In holistic education, the spirit leads the process, good to know, because the community we live in was founded as a modern spiritual centre – a centre of learning about spirit found within oneself.”
Although the Findhorn Foundation specialises in spiritual education, there is still a lot more to explore in holistic learning in this ever-growing field and many opportunities to expand on the various holistic aspects that are rooted in the routines of this community.
Dave explains in more detail, “A brief sharing before a work shift begins moves a person into emotional learning, as does staff supervision – now widespread here – which certainly addresses relationships. Attunement gives a spiritual input to decisions. Conflict resolution, focalisation training and work as love in action (an essential component of our guest programmes), all include aspects of the person that may well be marginalised in a conventional mind-led educational environment.”
The aim of the project is to provide a focus for gathering information about what people are doing here that is part of the holistic learning movement. A working document has been circulated amongst co-workers, an article published in our community magazine, The Rainbow Bridge, and an email request sent to those involved in education, training or skills acquisition requesting their help to remind Dave “if he has forgotten anything we currently do.”
Dave plans to create a more complete document based on input from all those involved in education practice within the Findhorn Foundation, then to explore the topic further via this blog, for input and dialogue with other holistic communities, and share the combined results at the Holistic Centres Gathering here next year.
This is an exciting subject which we all live, so please feel free to get involved if it inspires you, by sharing your views on holistic education, subscribing to this blog to stay up to date with results from this initiative or by booking your place in the Gathering 12 – 17 May to join in the dialogue face to face!