Neohumanism reaches East Asia
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 East Asia.
From Beijing University to Early Childhood Centers all across Asia, there is a growing interest in neohumanist pedagogy and kids yoga teacher trainings. 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. Following seven aspects of NHE are currently being shared with teachers of established institutions in Malaysia, Taiwan, Nepal, China, Vietnam, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia and East Russia.
- 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 entire East Asia 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 East Asia have helped mobilize resources 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.