Neohumanism in China
By Rutger Tamminga
Neohumanist Education is the natural evolution in an education that expands from academics into the area of personal growth and transformation. Under the motto of “Education for Liberation” Neohumanist Education is in contrast with mainstream education. But the good news is that the NHE message is reaching more and more educators throughout China and Taiwan.
Now in Shanghai there is a Neohumanist Education Association, in Pindingshan (Henan Province) where we have long term cooperation with 4 local ECE institutions as well as the local university to train their interested students in NHE methods. In Beijing, the Beijing University has accepted our Kids Yoga Teacher Training as part of their course and diplomas are issues with their name. We also are soon to finalize a new textbook series for language centers, a program called “KidsWorld”. This material also opens doors for greater interaction on a very practical level with educators and different institutions of learning.
For us to move ahead there are basically two options: start our own schools or help others change their existing institutions. Actually both are happening. In Zhangzhou one of our firm sympathizers has bought a school, which is now slowly getting transformed along NHE lines. At the same time we are moving towards consultancy models whereby we introduce practical steps to implement the following seven aspects of NHE:
- Consciousness based Psychology
- Ideal Based curriculum
- Character training
- Quiet Time Exercises
- Social Outlook (local festivals, service activities)
- Community School (school connected to local area’s needs)
Lao Tze said that “One idea is more powerful than a thousand facts.” In the past, most teachers wanted to learn new teaching methods, not a whole new vision. But that is changing now. The concept of Neohumanism is beginning to inspire teachers to change their approach to teaching children. We hope that in the coming years we can help more schools in China to change along these guidelines and become more Neohumanistic. This is a gradual change that needs much nurturing and endurance. But the beautiful thing is we see it happening before our own eyes.
At the same time we are glad to say that all these efforts of working in China have helped raise substantial amounts of money which are used for the construction of NHE schools around the world, most recently in India and Africa. So far we have assisted 15 plus schools in developing countries with school construction.