Worldview Literacy Project

June 11, 2013 at 10:30 am | Posted in Collage, Education paradigms, Integration, Well-being | Leave a comment
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The Institute  of Noetic Sciences “Worldview Literacy Project”™ introduces an experiential pedagogy designed to increase students’ awareness of their worldviews. They aim to open a conversational space of exploration where diverse worldviews are welcomed with curiosity and wonder, in service to creating the deeper collective understanding and more effective sense-making required to navigate life in the internet-dominated post-industrial age. Designed to be used in middle school and high schools, the curriculum explores the pivotal role that worldview, perspective or point of view plays in perception, information processing and behavior. Educating for awareness of worldview can help students to discover critical connections between lived experience and habits of mind.

Excpert  from the

Worldview Transformation and the Development of Social Consciousness paper by  Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Cassandra Vieten & Elizabeth M. Miller

“In 1997, a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) initiated a series of studies focused on the process of worldview transformation. The goal has been to understand the process by which people experience fundamental shifts in perception that alter how they view and interact with themselves and the world around them.  The team investigated factors that facilitate the kind of worldview transformations that result in increased social consciousness and prosocial behaviour.”

” Social consciousness in the IONS used to denote conscious awareness of being part of an interrelated community of     others. When used this way, social consciousness refers to the level of explicit awareness a person has of being part of a larger whole. It includes the level at which one is aware of how he or she is influenced by others, as well as how his or her actions may affect others. It also includes an understanding that there are many factors shaping experience that lie below the threshold of conscious awareness.While it is clear that people are social beings from the very beginnings of life there is developmental variability in the extent to which people are explicitly aware of the impact that culture and society have on them, and that they, in turn,can have on their environment. ”

“When worldview shifts from a primarily self-centred mode to one in which the self is experienced as an integral part of a larger whole, people report becoming more compassionate and service-oriented, and inspired to act as agents for positive change in their immediate communities and beyond.”

“Shifts in consciousness need not wait for random life-changing experiences, but can be invited through intentional practice and experiential education .Based on these assumptions, our team has created a curriculum to facilitate the development of ‘worldview literacy’. By describing worldview as a kind of literacy, we acknowledge it as a skill set and capacity that can be both taught and learned.”

“The Worldview Literacy Project, is designed to catalyst the development of social consciousness by helping to increase awareness of the relationship between perception and experience. It also aims to help students appreciate different worldviews and ways of
knowing about the world and their place in it. The programme is administered as a set of fifty-minute drop-in modules for high school students (and others) that utilize inclusive dialogue and experiential activities to help them comprehend and communicate issues related to worldview. It is designed to be compliant with educational standards and to integrate with currently existing curricula in a broad spectrum of classroom settings. ”

“The pedagogy is expressed through multi-media lesson plans, grounded in engaged conversation, experiential activities, explorations of positive role models, and collaborative learning projects. The programme is designed to offer adolescents, teens, and lifelong learners the ability to understand how their worldview affects their perception and behaviour, and by extension, how others’ worldviews affect their perceptions and behaviour. Such exploration is intended to support young people becoming effective leaders, able to meet social, cultural, political, and environmental demands with strength and purpose. It also offers a methodology for creating a generative and life-affirming system of learning that encourages exploration of prosocial behaviour within a comparative and non-dogmatic environment.”

“Qualitative results from pilot programmes in five inner city Oakland, California, classrooms suggest that the curriculum and pedagogy have beneficial effects on students’ development. It provides a platform from which they can better navigate complexity, be more
self-aware, make choices with greater discernment, and have greater social and emotional intelligence. they have found that students discover a greater capacity for self-reflection and empathy. They report experiencing more comfort and less reactivity in unfamiliar situations, perceiving less separation when faced with diversity, and expanding their sense of in-group and community identification. In addition, teachers report that students are more engaged in the learning process, demonstrate greater attentiveness and class participation, are less prone to absenteeism, are taking an active interest in making a positive contribution to their school and home communities, and are expressing sensitivity to issues of global concern.”

Click the link for the Full paper  Worldview Transformation and the Development of Social Consciousness by  Marilyn Mandala Schlitz, Cassandra Vieten & Elizabeth M. Miller


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