Practical examples of conventional curriculum topics that have been converted to becoming spiritual.
Intended audience: Teachers, Pre-service Teachers, Curriculum and Instruction, Education
Instructor: John Bickart, Ph.D.
Web Page: redshirt.org
Recommended Reading: The Next Version of You
Abstract for the Intuitive Education Workshop
Recent research in neuroscience highlights both horizontal integration of the brain as well as vertical integration of the body, brainstem, limbic areas, and cortex. Horizontal integration means connecting “our left hemisphere’s narrator function with the autobiographical memory storage of our right hemisphere” (Siegel, 2010, p. 74). In other words, the right hemisphere uses our intuitive abilities for observations while the left hemisphere uses our analytical abilities to narrate what we have observed. Other brain research suggests that humankind used to lead with our naturally intuitive heart, then pass information to our head for the purpose of analysis (Dispenza, 2017; Dispenza & Boyce, 2016; Dispenza, Knight, & Encephalon, 2005; McGilchrist, 2009). This is why we need intuitive education – a way to let children remain in an intuitive state of observation before they engage their analytical ability to narrate and reflect – an integration of the modern human with the ancestor.
To be completely honest, I think that education is often facing 180 degrees in the wrong direction … and the youth knows it. Education needs to lead with the right brain. We need to replace exclusive left-brain thinking that basically says, “To have a good life, you must get things – and school is the place to learn how to be successful at getting,” and integrate this with the right-brain tendencies of including and giving. Also, we need to replace the habit of exclusively having the older generation teaching the younger. The very fact that the new kids already know that the only hope for humanity lies in learning how to give is evidence that we need to learn from our students – now more than ever. At this crucial time in history, we need to leave certain habits behind and re-learn the truly ancient way of giving to each other – to the earth – and to other beings.
Recent research from my Ph.D. Dissertation concludes the need for intuitive education.
When educators are trained to disregard intuitive world views, there can arise losses of inclusion of paradigms of thinking from our past (Kuhn, 2004), appreciation of indigenous thought (Whorf & Carroll, 1964), and understanding of ancient Eastern (Nisbett, 2003) and African (Asante, 1991) philosophy. … In addition, character education could suffer in a decreased appreciation of social diversity resulting in lesser awareness of the ‘other’ in education (Dewey, 1910, 1916/2005; Freire, 1998a, 1998b, 2000; Freire & Freire, 1994), less sensitivity to sustainability of the environment (Senge, 2008), and decreased attention to family and community (Bruner, 1960, 1983, 1986, 2004; Foucault, 1971). We are already seeing these changes. (Bickart, 2013, pp. 112-113)
Description for the Intuitive Education Workshop
This workshop is given in 60, 90, or 120 minutes. I describe how I used intuition in a number (3, 4, or 6) of specific lessons. Each description stays grounded and practical as it shows a ‘before-and-after’ picture of a conventional lesson that has been converted into a spiritual one by using intuition.
The objectives of the workshop are for each participant to be able to perform the following.
• Distinguish between your intuition and your intellect.
• Know when you are observing as opposed to when you are analyzing.
• Demonstrate several ways to be the adult in control, yet let the students provide intuitive wisdom.
• Read the book of nature … which means letting interpretations of natural processes speak through poetry, history, science, mathematics, and common experiences.
• Run discussions that allow students to turn expository lessons into didactic ones.
• Be alert to the aspect of a lesson that might inform students of their purpose in life.
• Seek the connection of the psychological to the factual.
• Convert information to transformation.
The workshop will show that teaching in a sacred, spiritual way is really quite simple. First, know that you, yourself are already a good teacher with an innate ability to be intuitive. Second, look for chances to learn from your students, so that they can see your gratitude for them. And in the end, if once in a while you get inspired and have fun with your students, then you are already celebrating the sacred, the highest, and the best anyone could ask of you.
Bio for the Intuitive Education Workshop
Led by John Bickart. John is an over 40 year veteran teacher of both children and adults. He is also an educational consultant. His goal as a teacher is to work in the background while letting good ideas speak for themselves. He believes that teachers and students know what they want and that we empower ourselves when we listen to our hearts. He values helping his students transform personally over simply passing along information. His professional offerings include: higher ed. pre-service teacher preparation, in-service teacher workshops, high/middle school science and math for youth at risk, science topics for incarcerated individuals, and educational software development.
The sacred or spiritual in my life … what does that mean? I think it means looking at nature and being grateful for whatever is fun or inspiring or beautiful for me. You know – whatever engenders wonder and awe, as I experienced when I was a child. I think being sacred is simply being present, observing, and enjoying. I’ve taught children in private and public schools, and adults in schools, corporations, and state prisons. What they have taught me about spirituality can be summed up in three sentences.
One way to see the genius in your student, is for you, yourself to continually be grateful as you learn new things from everything around you, including your student; but sometimes this means that you have to stop your thinking and just observe.
“If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.” (Goethe, 2016/1882)
“The simple reason why the majority of scientists are not creative is not because they don’t know how to think; but because they don’t know how to stop thinking.” (Tolle, 2011)
Asante, M. K. (1991). The afrocentric idea in education. Journal of Negro Education, 60(2), 170-180.
Bickart, J. (2013). The possible role of intuition in the child’s epistemic beliefs in the Piagetian data set. (Ph.D. Dissertation), UNCC, Charlotte, NC. DAI/A 74-11(E) database. (3589794)
Bruner, J. (1960). The process of education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Bruner, J. (1983). Play, thought, and language. Peabody Journal of Education (0161956X), 60, 60-69.
Bruner, J. (1986). Actual minds, possible worlds. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Bruner, J. (2004). A short history of psychological theories of learning.
Daedalus, 133(1), 13. Dewey, J. (1910). How we think. Boston: D.C. Heath & Co.
Dewey, J. (1916/2005). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. New York: Cosimo Classics.
Dispenza, J. (2017). Becoming supernatural: how common people are doing the uncommon. Carlsbad: Hay House.
Dispenza, J., & Boyce, A. (2016). You Are the Placebo. [United States]: Author’s Republic : Made available through hoopla.
Dispenza, J., Knight, J. Z., & Encephalon, L. L. C. (2005). Mastering the art of observation. Rainier, WA: Encephalon.
Foucault, M. (1971). The order of things: an archaeology of the human sciences. New York: Pantheon Books.
Freire, P. (1998a). Pedagogy of freedom: ethics, democracy, and civic courage. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Freire, P. (1998b). Teachers as cultural workers: letters to those who dare teach. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press.
Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th anniversary ed.). New York: Continuum.
Freire, P., & Freire, A. M. A. (1994). Pedagogy of hope: reliving pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.
Goethe, J. W. v. (2016/1882). The Autobiography of Goethe: Truth and Poetry From My Own Life. Dinslaken: Anboco.
Kuhn, T. S. (2004). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago [u.a.]: Univ. of Chicago Press.
McGilchrist, I. (2009). The master and his emissary: the divided brain and the making of the Western world. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Nisbett, R. E. (2003). The geography of thought : how Asians and Westerners think differently — and why. New York: Free Press.
Senge, P. M. (2008). The necessary revolution : how individuals and organizations are working together to create a sustainable world. New York: Doubleday.
Siegel, D. J. (2010). Mindsight: the new science of personal transformation. New York: Bantam Books.
Tolle, E. (2011). The power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment. Sydney: Hodder Headline Australia.