Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘integral education’

The Modern Knowledge Academy, Vedantic Education and Integral Education

Debashish Banerji

The early Upanishads provide a model of education which Sri Aurobindo drew on for his system of education, which has been called “integral education.” Yet, having himself been educated in some of the canonical institutions of the modern knowledge academy, Sri Aurobindo’s views on education did not adhere to a nativist or essentialist interpretation of indigenous knowledge. This article will consider the critique of both modern knowledge as well as of nativist approaches to knowledge acquisition and dissemination implicit in Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s vision of integral education; and if or how that can be implemented in a post-secular global society.

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A Complete Integral Education: Five Principal Aspects

Jeremie Zulaski

This article reviews the five principal aspects of a “complete integral education” envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and Mother Mirra Alfassa and elucidated in their writings. This innovative, learner-centered pedagogy encourages holistic development through acknowledgment and cultivation of the five dimensions of a human being—the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic, and the spiritual. The article suggests that a complete integral education contributes a potentially corrective alternative to outmoded orthodox methods that privilege intellectual proficiency over the holistic knowledge potentially present, given authentic engagement of learning communities.

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The Value of an Integral Education: A Mixed-Method Study with Alumni of the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies

Heidi Fraser Hageman

This sequential mixed methods study examined alumni’s perceptions of an integral education in the East-West Psychology (EWP) program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and explored how they connected their unique, integral educational experience to personal and professional development. The findings revealed that their experience and understanding of integral education in EWP is mostly in alignment with the ideals of CIIS; namely, honoring multiple perspectives, the multidimensionality of being, and multiple ways of knowing were identified as key aspects of an integral education. The results of the study also point to the areas where the EWP program is doing well in terms of the education students expect and what they actually receive, and to the department’s or Institute’s learning edges. The most significant findings are the revelations of the need for: (a) more professional development, (b) more practical application opportunities, (c) more community/ mentor support for students’ personal psycho-spiritual unfolding, and (d) more training regarding the language and expression needed to communicate the value of an integral education effectively with scholars/employers outside of CIIS.

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Women’s Spirituality at CIIS: Uniting Integral and Feminist Pedagogies

Alka Arora
This paper articulates an educational framework termed integral feminist pedagogy, based on the author’s experience teaching in the Women’s Spirituality program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Integral feminist pedagogy unites the principles and practices of both the integral and feminist traditions. The strength of integral pedagogy lies in its focus on the inseparability of an individual’s mind, body, and spirit. However, integral pedagogy is often understood today in a way that divorces individuals from their social and political context. Feminist pedagogy, on the other hand, excels in raising students’ awareness of social and political context, but may neglect individuals’ psychospiritual realities. This paper argues that integrating the two traditions helps each better fulfill its vision of social transformation. In order to illuminate the core premises of integral feminist pedagogy, specific examples from classrooms in the Women’s Spirituality program are explored.

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Integral Education in Light of Earthrise

Craig Chalquist

Abstract: This article explores the relationship between integral education and the emerging terrestrial consciousness—a consciousness of interdependency, sovereignty, and earthly responsibility. It asserts that integral education is well positioned at this time when urgent environmental catastrophes threaten our planet, to help us recover an integral relation with the universe and our planet Earth, and contribute to restoration of a sense of earthly wonder and reverence.

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The Dynamic Unity of the Opposites: Haridas Chaudhuri’s Integral Method and Higher Education

Joseph L. Subbiondo

Abstract: This article focuses on Haridas Chaudhuri’s methodological principle known as Integral Dialectics and its related principle of the dynamic unity of the opposites, as an essential aspect of his unique model of integral education. Integral Dialectics is a methodological principle which is informed by the integral ontological principle asserting that human psyche and cosmological principles on the whole are interrelated and interdependent, and that holistic knowledge of reality presupposes a holistic and integrated psyche. Integral dialectics is a process of reconciliation of what appears to the mind as polarized conceptual opposites and engaging the totality of human experience, the whole spectrum of human consciousness, and educating the whole person beyond the dualistic rational methods of Western education.

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Positionality as Knowledge: From Pedagogy to Praxis

Sara Maria Acevedo, Michael Aho, Eri Cela, Juei-Chen Chao, Isabel Garcia-Gonzales, Alec MacLeod, Claudia Moutray, Christina Olague

Abstract: In this article, the authors will draw from their work in the Integral Teaching Fellowship Program at CIIS, and from their interactive session in the 2014 CIIS Founders Symposium on Integral Consciousness to better understand the epistemological relevance of positionality in integral education and critical pedagogy. A critical approach to pedagogy (drawing from theorists such as Paulo Freire and bell hooks) encourages students and educators alike to recognize their social positionings and reflect on how the institutionalization of their social identities (such as the expert, the genius, the marginalized, the disabled) not only inform the lenses through which they view the classroom, but also influence how they participate in the classroom. By employing an integral learning model (variety of modalities), a learning community is transformed into a dynamic positioning field, in which students and educators interact and co-create knowledge beyond their habitual or institutionally imposed positionings. Supported by our own experiences as integral educators in training, we conclude that developing critical reflection, including previously subjugated perspectives, and gaining the ability to reposition oneself maximizes learning opportunities.

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Integral Education: Founding Vision and Principles

Bahman A.K. Shirazi

Abstract: This introductory article gives a brief account of the founding vision and ontological and epistemological principles of the integral framework expounded by Haridas Chaudhuri and some of his original collaborators at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). A brief biographical account of Sri Aurobindo and Mother Mirra Alfassa, originators of integral yoga and education, is provided and some of the principle tenets of an integral worldview that informs the philosophy of integral education are discussed.

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CIIS and American Higher Education

Joseph L. Subbiondo

Abstract: In this article a brief history of the California Institute of Integral Studies and its predecessor institution, the American Academy of Asian Studies is discussed, and several key founding figures of both institutions are introduced. It is argued that the role these unique institutions of higher learning have played have been crucial, initially in the cultural life of San Francisco Bay Area and the social and cultural movements it inspired, and currently in the context of the role that an integral, whole-person oriented education plays in higher education.

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Trans-Dance: Disciplinary Cross-Dressing and Integral Education in a Language and Sexuality Course

Matthew C. Bronson

Abstract: This article showcases an integral approach to education through the lens of a transdisciplinary graduate-level class on Sexuality and Language. The graduate-level class was co-taught by two CIIS faculty whose backgrounds span the fields of social and cultural anthropology, psychology, sociology, social policy, linguistics, education and drama-centered expressive arts therapy. The class brought together students from six separate academic programs and drew from a wide array of performative and arts-based modes of inquiry to create a deep context through which to unpack the complex relationship(s) between language and sexuality. These practices were interwoven with theoretical exposition and discussion in a hermeneutic spiral leading up to students’ planned research projects. This “disciplinary cross-dressing,” where diverse students and faculty engaged each others’ points of view rigorously in a common inquiry, created powerful teachable moments and served as the foundation for a transgressive mode of scholarship and advocacy.

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Connecting Thought and Action for Beginners: A Meditation on Integral Philosophy and Experiments in the Yoga of Love, Action, Knowledge

Maureen Dolan

Abstract: This paper has a two-fold purpose: to examine some of the main precepts in chosen works of Sri Aurobindo and Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri regarding the philosophical basis for integral understanding and to describe concrete ways to introduce the integral paradigm into practice in the U.S. within a particular undergraduate course titled Body, Mind, Spirit: Yoga and Meditation at DePaul University in Chicago. The introduction includes a brief description of the cultural milieu of 21st century American realities for adult students, identifying some of the conditions which can serve as impetuses to integral thought and action. The main text contains certain basic tenets of integral wisdom, which combine Eastern and Western thought in revolutionary ways, and examples from an introduction of integral yoga into higher education for adult learners. This can serve those who are just beginning to explore integral being and evolutionary action through intellectual, psychological, physical, and spiritual pursuits and those who already teach the integration of love-action-knowledge.

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Integral Intelligence: A 21st Century Necessity

Anne Adams

Abstract: This article explores the critical role education plays in the attitudes, behaviors, results produced, and ultimately our every day experiences of our world. Integral education is introduced as a catalyst for transformation, moving our emphasis in education from gathering knowledge to growing consciousness. Expanding awareness provides a paradigm shift from epistemology to ontology, which would fundamentally alter where our attention is focused, from having and doing to being—providing an opening to directly experience ourselves as the creators of our reality.

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Teachings From the Deep South: North-South Contributions to Integral Education

Adrian Villasenor-Galarza

Abstract: The present paper addresses the need to incorporate often ignored perspectives and formulations derived from what I refer to as the “deep south” into the field of integral education as currently practiced at the California Institute of Integra Studies (CIIS), in San Francisco, CA. The deep south, or the metaphorical conglomerate of wisdom ascribed to the global south and associated epistemologies, is used as a broad framework from which I propose, through the exploration of shamanic practices and symbols, the creation of an organizing vertical metaphor, a North–South axis of dialogue. I start with a brief exposition of the one of the main challenges that integral education faces, a cognicentric focus, and proceed to explore alternatives to it by addressing some repressed aspects of the field, the notion of multidimensionality, and the symbol of the axis mundi. The paper ends with an invitation for a marriage to take place between the East–West and North–South axes of knowing and learning as an adequate and necessary development for integral education.

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A Transversal Dialogue on Integral Education and Planetary Consciousness

Markus Molz speaks with Jennifer Gidley

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