Posted by: theodorecosmosophia | July 9, 2012

The Chicago Wisdom Project: Become a Wisdom Teacher

The work of The Chicago Wisdom Project has grown over the last several years and is ready to expand into its next phase. We are seeking to train artists, teachers, activists, anyone with a stake in how we educate our youth–and this includes everyone–to implement this radical approach to education. As a recent news story in which we were featured suggested, The Chicago Wisdom Project provides an alternative solution to the violence that plagues our streets. But it also allows us to learn from our youth by empowering them to tell their stories as they become creators, not merely consumers, of culture.

This is a reminder that there is still time to sign up for The Chicago Wisdom Project’s “Wisdom Teacher Training” program. The class will be conducted through teleconference each Wednesday in August. THERE ARE PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE. Feel free to call or email us for more information (646-285-8263/ info@chicagowisdomproject.org) More information below or click here:  Click here for more information or to register.
For more information on the Chicago Wisdom Project, go to our website, http://chicagowisdomproject.org/
Wisdom Teacher Training
Do you feel that our educational system focuses too much on test scores?
Do you feel that our educational system is too rigid and mechanistic, with little room for exploration & creativity?
Are you looking for an alternative that addresses the whole person?
This August, on Wednesday evenings at 8:00 eastern, we will be conducting our first Wisdom Teacher Training telecourse. The comprehensive training program will do the following:
• By taking a deep philosophical look at education, we will explore the question of what it really means to be an educated person.
• Participants will learn our holistic pedagogy, including meditative practice, nature immersion, critical dialogue, and therapeutic work.
• We will explore and critique the dominant narratives of industrial civilization and learn how to empower youth to create counter-narratives.
• Participants will learn about and receive a copy of our curriculum, a radical approach to education that integrates mind, body, and soul, and includes nature retreats & rites of passage and creativity.

“The work of education, of course, is not to make better schools, but to make a better world.  Too often, I believe, educators forget this obvious and simple truth.  Discussions about education seldom reflect the kind of world we might imagine is possible; rather, they focus on achievement and success within a given paradigm.  They seem not to realize that the way we educate our children creates, reinforces, or shatters the paradigm. 

“For example, when we assume that the purpose of education is to help students find a job in the global economy, we forget that the “global economy” is not some force of nature.  Humans created it.  It exists because of the decisions we made, decisions based upon how we view the world, which is based on the way we have been educated.

“While what goes on in a school is important in itself—after all, our children spend most of their childhoods there—the ultimate relevance of a school is what kind of civilization it inspires our children to create.  A school is not “good” if its students get good test scores but are so unhappy, so disconnected, and so unable to think critically that they go out in the world and commit acts of violence and destruction.  Such schools only give more power to the mis-educated.  I think I prefer the “bad” schools.

“Modern industrial culture is ill equipped to deal with the crises of this moment.  For the first time in human history, we face a mass-extinction that threatens the viability of life on the planet.  This crisis was largely created by modern industrial culture.  Its values can only lead to more destruction.”

While we consider this work to be an organic process, one that cannot be reduced to specific outcomes, one that is different each time and for each student, and one that is full of surprises, we hope that we can say the following about our work:

  • Students should complete a creative project, giving them a sense of their ability to accomplish something meaningful
  • Students should expand their sense of who they are by seeing themselves as part of a broader community and as having deeper connections to their ancestors
  • Students should begin to see the future in terms of possibilities rather than limitations
  • Students should have the confidence, after completing their rite of passage and their project, to teach others
  • Students should have a sense of their passion, that which gives their lives meaning
  • Students should be aware of the issues that face their community and other communities around the world and how those issues are interconnected
  • Students should have a greater appreciation for nature
  • In addition, we have broader cultural goals. We believe that our students can become creators of culture, not merely consumers, and to challenge the assumptions of modern, industrial culture through the arts.
  • Through our work and the trainings we hold for teachers and youth workers, we hope to spark a debate about the true meaning of education beyond the test-centered and utilitarian focus of the current political discourse.
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