Neohumanist Teacher Education is based on personal development, interpersonal competence, ethics, social responsibility, and universal love. The programs are designed to synthesize current findings from the emerging neohumanist pedagogy, developmental psychology, cognitive research and educational research.

We believe that we and our students should be prepared to structure and facilitate learning experiences that can lead to learning and teaching through inquiry, research and reflection. We believe that the most effective education occurs when it is shaped around the student. There is emphasis on individual needs and interests within the curriculum. The programs present a process of learning that is flexible and interactive. They vary from conventional courses to independent study, workshops, group studies, seminars and field experience.


This is the overall course for the Diploma Programme. It has no content of its own, but participants are automatically enrolled in the Diploma Programme courses.

This course is being offered at NH College in conjunction with the Association of Neohumanist Education of Romania (AEN). The course is being taught by Didi Ananda Devapriya . This course is designed to help volunteers assisting in Neohumanist Education projects to learn to design, implement and evaluate non-formal educational projects that utilize the holistic approach and reflect the values of the Neohumanist Education system. Volunteers will participate in seminars and do online coursework designed to help them to reflect and improve upon the practical experiences they are having directly with the children they are working with. It is a course which is therefore centered around the practical, hands-on experience of volunteering in a NHE program. Volunteers who complete the coursework will be awarded a certificate from the Association of Neohumanist Education of Romania (AEN) for “Neohumanist Holistic Education Assistant” as well as a recommendation letter that summarizes the specific accomplishments and competencies gained in Neohumanist Education.  Enrollment in this course is by permission of the instructor.

This is the Introduction to the NHE Early Childhood Diploma Programme

Module 1 - Personal Development of the Teacher

3 credits each semester

We begin in Module One asking the student to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as a potential teacher.  Then we ask them to develop an individual plan for growth, which will include the realms of physical, ethical, emotional, social, spiritual, neohumanism and service, as well as The Intellect, and The Arts in modules 2 and 3.  This reflects our belief that one of the most important foundations of teaching is the teacher's continuous process of self awareness and self-development. 

This part of the course continues for the duration of the course, so 3 credits per semester. 

Competency in Physical Health
Through a personalized action plan, the student has an understanding of healthy living habits as explained by yogic science, for the care and vitality of the physical body, and has incorporated the practice of these living habits into their life.

Competency in Ethics
Through a personalized action plan the student understands the ethical concepts of yama and niyama, has incorporated their practice into their life, and is reflecting on their impact on their life and their teaching.

Competency in Emotional and Social Development
Through a personalized action plan, the student has a knowledge of bio-psychology, is aware of their own emotions, and is observant of how their state of emotions reflects upon their interactions with others.   The student has learned effective communication skills.

Competency in Spiritual Practice
Through a personalized action plan, the student understands what is meant by spirituality and has incorporated a meditative practice into their daily life, and is reflecting on the impact this has on their life and their teaching.  

Competency on Spiritual Philosophy
Through a personalized action plan, the student has examined concepts and theories of spiritual philosophy with the aim of understanding the nature of reality and life, and to guide their movement in life.

Competency in Neohumanism
Through a personalized action plan, the student understands the philosophy of Neohumanism.  The student  is practising neohumanist principles in their life and reflecting on how these principles will guide their role and work in the classroom.

Competency in Service
Through a personalized action plan, the student is reflecting on how their own spiritual development leads to a desire to be of service to others, and is taking steps in their life and in their teaching to manifest this.

Module 3 - Creative, Artistic and Aesthetic Development of the Teacher 3 Credits per semester of work

 The teacher of young children should have a strong love for the arts and artistic process.  The student chooses an area of artistic development that they would like to pursue for the duration of the course. 

Competency in Creative, Artistic and Aesthetic Development
Through a personalized action plan, the student teacher has developed their creative, artistic and aesthetic sense through the practice of an art form, and is reflecting on how this will impact on their teaching.


Module 4 - Foundations of Holistic Education – 3 Credits

Neohumanist education is developing at a particular point in history.  Part of an emerging international "holistic" education movement, it shares many ideas with other progressive educational experiments, and offers its own unique ideas as well.  This unit is an introduction to basic philosophical and historical ideas in the field of holistic education.

Study includes some of the major philosophical categories that need to be part of an educational theory, and the student compares and contrasts different philosophical perspectives.  Some philosophical categories and the questions relevant to them include: Ontology (What does it mean to be human?  What is the nature of reality?); Epistemology (What is knowledge?  How is it constructed?  What knowledge is of most worth?  How do we assess "truth claims"?); Axiology (What are the values we hold?  How are values derived? How do they differ from culture to culture?  How are values best taught?); Psychology (How does the mind work?  What is the relation between mind and brain?  What do we know about consciousness?).  Etc.  Different philosophical traditions (such as the traditional, the essentialist, the behaviourist, the romantic, the progressive, the radical, and the transcendental developmental) have very different ideas about each of these categories.  It is important to develop a neohumanist philosophy of education that addresses these elements. 

As part of the study of the "foundations of education", the student is introduced to educational history.  Education as we know it has emerged historically; that is it reflects the needs, desires and interests of its time.  It also reflects the conflicts between social classes, ethnic groups, and differing ideologies (such as between Marxism and capitalism).  It is important to understand why holistic education in general, and specifically NH education, is emerging at this point in the planet's history.  What are some of the characteristics of the current historical moment?  What does NH education have to offer at this point in history?

 

·        Elements of Philosophical Analysis

·        History of Education

·        Holistic Education

·        Neohumanist Education

·        Introduction to Shrii PR Sarkar and NHE

·        Philosophic Foundations of NHE

·        Principles of NHE

 

Competency in Foundations of Holistic Education

The student  teacher has an understanding of the basic philosophical categories underlying an education system and is able to apply this knowledge to their study of different education systems.  The teacher has a broad understanding of the history of education and the development and principles of holistic education.  In particular the teacher has an understanding of the principles of Neohumanist Education, how it compares and/or contrasts with other holistic education movements, and its relevance for today's world.


Module 5 - Child Development – 3 credits

 The study of human development is the study of how people grow and change over time, in response to social, cultural, biological, and psychological factors.  It is important to have an understanding of human development across the lifespan, including what theorists are saying about spiritual development.

Child development theory recognizes that children have differing needs, interests and capacities at different stages of their growth.  These have been called "stages".  These stages are not fixed, nor are they invariant. Children are unique individuals. Rather, understanding stages of growth are tools for enhancing our understanding of what children need from their education at specific times, in order to maximize their potential. 

 Child development theory has many aspects: physical development (including nutrition, general health, growth, motor development, sensory); emotional (awareness and expression of feelings); social (how the child interacts with others); cognitive (processing information, building conceptual schema, etc.  This will be expanded upon in the unit on learning theory); moral (learning "right" from 'wrong", developing compassion and sensitivity); and spiritual (a new field of inquiry).  It is recognized in the field of education that curriculum and teaching needs to be "developmentally appropriate"; that is, resonant with the level of development of the young child.  Much damage to children has been done by teaching methods that are inconsistent with developmental needs. 

 In this unit, the student carries out their first "inquiry", based on accepted methods of observation and documentation.  The readings include an introduction to this form of inquiry, as well as readings in human development.

  

I. Introduction


II. Human Development

¨      What is a human being?

¨      Evolution

¨      Expressions and Approaches

¨      Physical

¨      Physico-psychic

¨      Psychic

¨      I feeling

¨      Kosas (layers of the mind)

¨      States of Awareness

¨      Psycho-spiritual

¨      Cakras

¨      Spiritual

¨      Faculties

¨      Movement

¨      Motivation

¨      Stages of life span development

 

III. Child Development

¨      Why we study child development

¨      What is a theory of child development?

¨      Difference between development and learning

¨      Some important theories and theorists

 

IV. Early Childhood Development

¨      Physical

¨      Emotional

¨      Cognitive

¨      Social

¨      Moral

¨      Spiritual

 

V. Coursework

¨      Readings

¨      Assignments


 

Competency in Child Development

The student teacher has basic knowledge of the makeup of the human being and various theories and stages of child development, and is able to apply their knowledge to observing and understanding children of early childhood age.


Module 6 - Culturally Sensitive Pedagogy – 3 credits

At this time in the planet's history, the various cultures of the world are increasingly coming into contact with each other.  This happens as a result of changes in transportation, communication, immigration, and the export of cultural products. It is important to prepare students for the multicultural society that they will live in.  Whether the Neohumanist educator is living and teaching in a culture other than their culture of origin, or whether they are teaching in their own culture but have students from many different cultural backgrounds in their classroom, they need to understand 1) their own cultural conditioning, 2) how one studies and comes to understand a culture other than their own, and 3) how to educate all students in a culturally sensitive way. 

Neohumanism values diverse cultural expressions.  It also embodies a critical understanding of the ways in which the politics of colonialism, imperialism, racism, consumerism, and ethnocentricity have served to oppress people and destroy the unique cultural expressions of humanity.  Neohumanist education seeks to heal the wounds that have been inflicted by the abuse of power.  A starting point in this project is the affirmation of the cultural expressions of the locality in which a Neohumanist school exists.  The principle of "unity within diversity" is important too.  What is meant by universalism, and what is the connection between the universal and the particular?

 In this unit, the student learns to "think like an anthropologist", and investigate how to go about learning about the values, beliefs, stories of origin (cosmology), legends, arts, habits of mind, customs, and daily rituals of a culture.  They are then asked to think about how to design culturally relevant learning environments, and how to teach in culturally sensitive ways. 

 

¨      Globalism

¨      Undoing Cultural Conditioning

¨      Understanding Diverse Cultures

¨      Designing Culturally Appropriate Curriculum

¨      Pseudo-Culture

Competency in Culturally Sensitive Pedagogy 

  • The student has investigated their own cultural roots and is aware of their own cultural orientation and biases. 
  • The student is able to study and understand a culture other than their own. 
  • The student understands the elements of a culturally sensitive curriculum and learning environment
  • The student is aware of the dangers of pseudo-culture

Module 7 - Learning Theory – 3 Credits

How do young children learn?  What do we know about the human brain and how it assimilates and adapts to new information?  Building on what was learned in the Child Development module, the student examines different ideas about how learning occurs and what are the optimum conditions for learning. 

 Important theorists to study in this module are Jean Piaget, Howard Gardner (theory of multiple intelligences), and Vygotsky.  The acquisition of language is an important consideration at this stage of development.  How to children learn to speak?  How do they develop conceptual schema about the world (principles of quantity, shape, size, distance, time and space, etc.) What is the role of fantasy and play in learning?  

This module will examine how our conceptions of intelligence have changed through time, and some of the problems associated with conventional understandings of  "ÏQ" and the emphasis on testing.  The student becomes acquainted with current theories from brain research, and what they have to tell  us about creating "brain-compatible" learning. 

 Much of learning theory (with the exception of Gardner's theories) has been concerned with the development of reason , logic, and other capacities associated with the intellect.  In addition to the development of reason and logic, Neohumanist Education is also concerned with the development of creativity, imagination, intuition, and other faculties.  How do we create learning experiences that awaken the subtle human capacities? What is the role of the kosas in early learning?  What is meant by "integrated learning", and why is it important?

 

I. What is Learning 

II. How Learning Occurs

¨      1.Yogic Science:  Process of Learning

¨      2. What Brain Research is Saying About Learning

  •  Importance of Early Childhood
  • Hands-On, Integrated and Co-operative
  • Role of Emotions
  • Movement and Learning
  • Play and Fantasy
  • Multiple Intelligences
  • Language Acquisition 

III. Some Important Theorists

¨      Erikson

¨      Froebel

¨      Montessori

¨      Piaget

¨      Vygotsky

¨      Dewey 

IV. Learning Approaches in NHE

¨      Basic Philosophy and Principles of NHE

¨      Fundamentals for Learning

¨      Learning Approaches 

V. Coursework

¨      Readings

¨      Assignments 

COMPETENCY IN LEARNING THEORY

The teacher has workable knowledge of learning theory and understands

¨     what learning is

¨     how learning occurs

¨     what fosters learning

¨     what impedes learning  

The teacher is able to combine their knowledge of child development with that of learning theory to understand and recognise developmentally appropriate learning opportunities and experiences for children.


Module 8 - Curriculum and Teaching – 3 Credits

 

 This module will focus on the development of curriculum and methods of instruction that are appropriate for young learners.  General topics to be covered include thematic curriculum development, teaching through storytelling, creative drama and play, developing a "curriculum of place" (one that is sensitive to the local environment), inquiry learning and exploration, and the role of the arts in the curriculum. 

The focus of the conventional early curriculum is on literacy - learning the symbols of the culture and gaining facility in expression.  This is certainly important.  In a Neohumanist education, the acquisition of these capacities must take place in a context that also fosters a sense of the sacred, of the interconnection and interdependence  of all life, of the value of all human beings (as well as other species), of a sense of justice, and the feeling of compassionate awareness.  

This module explores the possibilities of teaching early math, science, literature, and the arts in the context of this wider framework.  

I.  Introduction 

II. What is Curriculum?

III. NHE Curriculum Specialities

·        Philosophy and Principles Applied

·        The Teacher

·        The Kosas

·        The Subjects

Language Arts

Social Studies

Science, Ecology and Environmental Studies

The Arts

Mathematics

Technology

Health, Hygiene and Safety

Life Skills

Spiritual Practice and Philosophy

Applied Learning

 

III. Developmentally Appropriate Curriculum Goals

·        3 Year Olds

·        4 Year Olds

·        5 Year Olds

 

III. Building Successful Curriculum

·        Learning Approaches

·        Play Based Learning

·        Self and Teacher Directed Learning

·        A Model for Teaching and Learning

·        Interests

·        Learning Styles

·        The Family’s Role

·        Teamwork

 

IV. Designing Curriculum

·        4 Levels of Curriculum

·        Curriculum Planning

·        Establishing a Daily Schedule Framework

·        Constructing a Lesson Plan

·        Lesson Plan Checklist

·        Assessing the Experience

·        The Learning Environment

 

V. A Few Curriculum Development Models

·        Literary Model

·        Thematic Model

·        Open Ended Model

 

VI.  Coursework

·        Assignment

·        Student Teaching

·        Practical Skill Learning Areas


 

COMPETENCY IN CURRICULUM AND TEACHING

The teacher is able to design a curriculum that addresses the goals of Neohumanist Education (as outlined in module 4), specialties of NHE (as outlined in the Standards), is developmentally appropriate (as outlined in module 5) , and incorporates holistic Learning Approaches (as outlined in module 7).

 

ADDITONAL TOPICS IN MODULE 8

 STUDENT TEACHING - TIME IN THE CLASSROOM – 6 CREDITS

If you are not already associated with a kindergarten or work with children 0-6, you will need to find a way to start doing so.  Assignments from modules 5 and 7 already required time in the classroom, and that time can count towards total time.  The total requirement is one semester or it’s equivalent.  Please work out with your coordinator what your classroom experience has been, and whether or not you will need to arrange for further time in order to meet this requirement.

 

PRACTICAL SKILL LEARNING AREAS – 1 CREDIT EACH

The skill areas listed below are important for an early childhood education teacher to have some proficiency in.  If you are already working in a school, chances are you have already attended many workshops and seminars and have gained a working knowledge of many of these areas already. 

If some of these areas are new to you, there are many ways that you can go about gaining knowledge in each of these areas.  You may choose between workshops and seminars offered by NHE sources, other approved practical workshops in outside facilities related to Early Childhood education, apprenticeship with other teachers, or self learning.  For self learning, resources for each topic are included in the general NHE Resources web pages www.nhe.gurukul.edu/resources.html, under each of the topic headings.

You will need to give evidence of knowledge of applying these areas in a classroom with children aged   0-6.  This evidence can be submitted in essay form, photos, tape or video. This work does not need to be completed with module 8, and can be done over the remainder of the course.

 

Skills Areas:

 Story telling

Drama

Dance and Movement

Music and Songs

Play and Games (indoor and outdoors)

Arts and Crafts

Astaunga Yoga and Meditation

Morning Circle and Celebrations

Physical Education

Practical Life and Sensorial

Language Arts and Literacy

Math and Technology

Social Studies

Gardening & Ecology

Science and Environmental Education

 

The following areas will be addressed with Module 10: 

Emotional Health and Personal Development

Discipline & Classroom Management

Communication with children and Conflict Resolution

Safety, Nutrition and Health


Module 9 - Assessment of the Child – 3 Credits 

There are many ways to measure whether learning is taking place and whether a child is growing and developing at an appropriate rate.  This module will examine the pros and cons of various methods of assessment, and provide you with skills and knowledge in authentic assessment.

 Purposes of Assessment

Observation

·        Important Aspects in Effective Observation

·        Methods for Observing and Recording Observations

 

Types of Assessment

·        Standardized

·        Curriculum Based

·        Authentic


Using Assessment Information

The Observer-Mind of the NHE Teacher

Coursework

 

COMPETENCY IN ASSESSMENT OF THE CHILD 

The teacher understands the purposes of assessment, and is able to use a variety of methods to assess growth, development and learning as defined and outlined in module 4 -  holistic education, module 5 - child development and module 8 - curriculum.


Module 10 - Social Context of Learning – 3 Credits

In this module, the student begins to examine the child in connection to the wider society.  The child's world consists of first, the family, then the extended family, significant others, and finally the community.  Many social problems have an impact on a child's learning.  These include poverty, racism, divorce, abuse, and neglect.  In many cases, the school provides a safe haven for the child from difficult social conditions.  In this module you will learn how social conditions affect children and their learning, how to identify problems that might be occurring in their lives, and what are appropriate interventions to take.  

This module will also include the study of gender and how to create an educational atmosphere that is not biased in any way.  It will also look at the importance of fostering positive relationships (between children, between parents and children, between teachers and children, teachers and parents, etc.).  It will examine the role of the school in the community, and how to create an environment that serves as a centre of community activities.

I.  Introduction

 II.  Creating Emotionally and Socially Healthy Schools

·        NHE Teachers and Staff

·        NHE Principles and Curriculum

·        Fostering Emotional Health and Safety

·        Fostering Positive Relationships, Communication and Conflict Resolution

·        Rules and Discipline

·        Nurturing Empathy and Generosity

·        Creating a Non-Biased Atmosphere

·        Health and Nutrition

·        Families and Teachers Working Together

·        Role of the School in the Community

 

IV. Identifying Problems

·        Negative Effects of Poverty

·        Learning Disabilities

·        Language Communication Disorders

·        Emotional, Mental or Behavioral Disorders

 

V. Appropriate Interventions

·        School Policies

·        Child Study Teams

·        Family Counseling

·        Addressing Physical and Sexual Abuse

·        Grief Counseling

·        Contacting Parents

·        Community Working as a Team

 

Competency in Social Context of Learning

The teacher has basic knowledge of the elements of an emotionally and socially healthy school and how to foster them.  The teacher has basic knowledge of the impact of negative environmental and societal factors on child development and learning. The teacher is able to identify children at risk and apply appropriate interventions. The teacher is aware of models and resources that try to counteract these negative influences.


Coursework for Module 11

The Learning Environment in Early Childhood Education

 In this module the student explores the child appropriate physical arrangements for indoors and outdoors. They examine educational material from different educational theories and consider the cultural and social importance while choosing the set up of a learning environment. This module also covers safety of equipment and the aesthetic aspects of educational  material and the environment.

I. Introduction

II. History of Early Childhood Learning Environments 

III.  NHE Learning Environment Design

  1. Children, Families and Community
  2. Building and Grounds
  3. Aesthetics
  4. The Natural World and Ecological Awareness
  5. Flexible Space –Indoors and Outdoors
  6. Educational Materials and Learning Centers

IV. Use of Learning Environment

V. Safety and Maintenance

VII.  Course work

Competency in Setting up of a Neohumanist Learning Environment

  • The student has a clear understanding of the elements of a design of a Neohumanist learning environment for Early Childhood. 
  • The student is able to set up a learning environment adjusting to the given circumstances and culture. 

 

 


Coursework for Module 12

Administration of Neohumanist Schools 

Here some topics address the teacher as a colleague and the teacher as a citizen ( public relations, sociology, politics). Other topics would be related to the organization and administration of a educational project, classroom or facility.


I. Introduction 

II. The Administrators

1. Acarya

2. Director

3. Teachers

4. Evaluation

 

III. Management of Administrative Tasks

1. Legal matters

2. Finance

3. Documentation

4. Correspondence

5. Day-to-day management

 

IV. Overseeing Building and Grounds

1. Physical Premises and Learning Environment

2. Maintenance of Property and Assets

3. Cleaning

 

V. Overseeing the Teachers and Staff

1. Staff Employment, Training and Supervision

2. Evaluation and Inspection

3. Communication 

 

VI. Overseeing the Children and the Program

1. Enrolment

2. School Policies

3. Curriculum

4. Evaluation of Program and Students

 

VII. Outreach

1. Public Relations and Communication

2. Notice Board

3. Parent Involvement

4. Communication with Parents

5. Association with Other Organisations

6. Link with the Wider Community

7. Educational Counselling, Guidance and Support Services

 

VIII. Resources

1. Organisational Guidelines for Schools

2. Resource Information Handbook

3. Library

 

IX. Coursework

 

COMPETENCY IN ADMINISTRATION OF A NEOHUMANIST SCHOOL

The teacher has general knowledge of school administration as discussed in this module.  The teacher has skills for communicating with colleagues, parents and community members. 


This course is for teachers and staff working in Neohumanist Schools. It is a basic introduction to the ideas of Neohumanist Education for Early Childhood in particular.