The Regenerative Education System and Practice — Part 3

To get caught up, start with part one of this series here.

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Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Premise Three: Realize Individual Potential

Most education is based on assignments to student organized by what the teacher thinks they need to know. The material is broken into lesson plans and taught in a linear flow with appropriate examples, experiences and evaluation to determine the progress. The first two premises have created the dismantling of the pre-formed curriculum, teaching methods and roles. But there is much more necessary to have the new century have systems and processes that prepare citizens as innovators; significant and meaningful is what matters. The design and conducting of education is very different from this perspective. It has to be a system one develops for all humans toward the transformation of society as its central aim, as well as transforming great institutions and organizations in the process. For this people have to be eager to learn in order to take on big ideas and bigger commitments.

The next door for that the education system and processes will offer is an idea that arises from this premise, which is to see what can be offered that is at a significant new level; one this beyond what was first conceived and beyond the ability of the learner to deliver at the moment. This means they come to see potential in themselves, uniquely, that they had not seen before. They have to see that they can make a huge difference in the life of their communities, nation, and planet — even when very young.

That new door is to step up to promising to do things that are beyond what are being called for, asked for by recipients or even seen by the people and beings in the new arenas that was opened up in premise two when set out to disconnect categorization of humans, and other living forms from ways of learning. This is about specific, known people, groups, or species. Learners commit to making life better for them. Not to do better what they do now or have others do for them. But to understand the recipients so well and how they live, their aspirations to live, that we can see a void in their ableness that needs to be filled. It is either an extraordinary next evolution of their life, or a gravely gaping hole.

This nature of questioning and seeing awakens the potential that learners have to step into. And this requires bringing their own essence to it. But filling the gap for others is beyond what the learner can deliver from their current capability. It now is something that requires new learning and development, particularly to be able to deliver at a higher order outcome. Each learner makes a promise that demands they grow to deliver it, stretching them into nourishing and uplifting their own specific unique potential and that of the beneficiaries. Never do the same thing twice in the same way. Keep seeing the next level of capability and potential.

The education system has to make these promises beyond ableness a part of the education content. It is the substrate for the learning and personal development of each learner. And each teacher/mentor/staff. The educators must be able to support them, to be a resource on the learner’s path to pursue and achieve that promise for that stakeholder. And to help design and deliver what the learner has now specified they need to learn. Educators become great experiential designers for one or small groups of learners (learners often end up clustering together on early and complex promises). How will the educator teach the foundational and advanced learning that is needed for the task, maintaining the philosophy of the first two premises. This is a new world for the vast majority of educators.

Why this is needed for the 21st Century Nations

We have come to a time when we need to get beyond a few heroic citizens, leaders, and creators. We need most if not all citizens to take on these big challenges. The citizen needs the confidence to take on big ideas, to have the mental ability to design a path, to have the discipline to stay or correct the course. They need to be self-directed in the context of other self-directed but collaborative work. They are working in a value adding process and so it is like real life but as a new exemplar of citizen, leader, and contributor. Which prepares us for premise number four for the Regenerative Education System.

Premise Four: Development of Minds and Beings

In premise three we set up the learning to be designed based on the learner’s promise to create specific value for another entity/being. It is a whole being development including will, being, and function. This is the process redesign in how a teacher, administrator, or resource to the system works. Every role has a developmental plan to grow themselves to support and contribute in the new paradigm infrastructure. Not only is new content and material being based on the learner plan, but the idea is to gain more than is needed for the task, the promise, at hand. The learner wants to be even more able for the next promise. Because when one is completed, evaluated, and appreciated, a next one is taken on. All roles in the learning and development process of the promise, are made more able for the next engagement in how they do this one. That happens in no small way by leading themselves in how they do this promise. Of course, they gain what they need to do well and evolve in ableness for the one they are in. But there is an intentional multiplier effect.

The core of this premise is building living systems critical thinking skills with framework thinking and personal development toward being a self-determining human.

The outdated paradigm is a gap that makes it hard to see the new levels of capability to be developed. People are most often seen as fixed in talent and ableness and so therefore life predetermined what is possible for them. This fixed view is a hint that the old mind is the paradigm at work. If what I describe earlier seems impossible or at least limited to a few high performers, that is the fixed lens being applied to learners. Or it is thinking that you can just give people experiences or provide advanced levels of instruction to the talented ones. The growth paradigm for a few. The belief is with opportunities that are challenging, learners will rise up to difficulties and yet they will all succeed, as usual. As a result they will be smarter and more skilled as a result. This paradigm view, fixed and growth, holds us in a world of categories of different abilities to learn and perform.

How does the system do this?

Teams of students in the value adding process worked with teams of “educators’” who may be resources, mentors, instructors, and other needed roles, based on the nature of promises held in the group. This means that the teacher has to have their own promises beyond ableness, developmental plans to pursue them, and be backed up by the system to achieve them.

Why the 21st Century Nation needs this nature of learning.

We want everyone to get imbued with the idea that their life is about moving themselves out of a rut based on contributions they see they can make, based on what is needed for the beneficiary to evolve (and more we will see in premise five). We are creating a citizen/learner development process that is based in the core human capacities, but which need to become capabilities which are accessible on demand (from the self). First, Internal Locus of Control is where each person takes responsibility for their effects in and on the world with no excuses or victimhood. Second, is external considering where each person can see what changing their perspective and engagement with others can make possible. We have a kinder, more empathetic, compassionate and caring society. This fourth premise makes this human potential possible.

Premise Five: Work within Nestedness

Material and processes are embedded in experiencing and engaging within community and planetary understanding. The idea that life is nested starts with doing meaningful work with the promises to beneficiaries. But with very little effort you go beyond the direct beneficiary to those that are affected and have a stake in the outcome. Earth, local and regional communities, neighborhoods and families. This requires adding a set of reflections into the planning of the promise, its execution and evaluation, and the setting up of the next promise. The learning adds into their plan the desire to more actively affect these greater-whole stakeholders. Then you are not teaching this as a separate subject called sustainability, or well-being, but it is learned in the value adding process in which the learner is nested. They have an experience of the fifth premise if the other four have been instituted.

The old paradigm sees the world at flat. That is we cannot see beyond the world related to me and my lived life. So it does not exist in daily experience in current school experience. Everything revolves around us, our family, our nation, our religion. “Our” is the key term here. It is only relative to us. This is called solipsism. And our hubris thinks that view is all that matters.

What does the education system do?

They have connections into the communities and resources that break down the usual walls we think of learning institutions. These are built into development plans and system design.

Why does the 21st century Nation need this?

We have learned in the last 50 years how interconnected we are as humans. But also as planetary citizens that have an effect on the place we call home. We also need to learn to see the effect we have on societies in which we live and how we can make them work more effectively for all. That happens more easily in learning/contribution settings where we are driving the work and happens less easily in processes of advocacy and regulation with enforcement required. We can have citizens who are exposed to those ideas in what they are already pursuing and learn about the nested nature of life and their personal effects on it.

Join The Regenerative Education Community to become part of the redesign at systems level and for each learner. Questions: carol@carolsanford.com

Sr Fellow Social Innovation, Babson | Best Selling/Multi-Award Winning Author | Regenerative Paradigm Educator

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