Odyssey, An Integral Learning Community in Asheville, North Carolina
By Himayat Inayati
Universal Awakening is supporting the formation of a new lifelong learning/transformational program called Odyssey, through the UA Incubator project program for a minimum of six and a maximum of eighteen months. Odyssey will be based in Asheville, North Carolina. The program will be a school for preschool to high school students and will include an integral learning community for their parents and the larger adult community.
The integral model of education holds within it the holistic paradigm, the spiritual evolution/maturation of the individual, human society, and the greater field of life on the planet. The integral model embraces and nurtures developmental sequencing of the various strands of the human experience. The integral model is an open system supportive of all no matter their faith, spiritual path, or lack there of. It holds that life is precious, sacred, ever seeking fulfillment - on both the individual and the collective level. It appreciates that each child, each aspect of life, is a unique creation - supporting the fruition of all with unique and deeply meaningful gifts.
This new educational community will attend to the cognitive, cultural, recreational, service, and spiritual needs of its members, while always being supportive of each member's chosen religion or personal path of spirituality. It will be a community that supports our children and supports us, their parents, as well as other interested adults. It will offer the possibility of enriched community and friendship for the adult memberseven after our kids graduate on to lives of their own.
The academic needs of our students (preschool - 12th grade) will be addressed as much as possible by applying the following components of a holistic interpretation of education. This model assumes six Developmental Strands: aesthetic, emotional, mental, moral, physical and spiritual.
Essential Learning Skills: * thinking and working creatively and critically * collaborating with others * communicating effectively * learning independently * using appropriate resources to access and apply knowledge * taking risks to succeed * creating options and making choices * exhibiting authentic self-confidence
Mysteries Council: In Mysteries Council, children are supported in addressing topics deemed relevant to them using the eye and the ear of the heart.
Multiple Intelligence Theory: Linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Visual-spatial, Kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalistic.
Multi-age Continuous Progress Classes: Student-led Portfolio-based Assessments; Reflective Moments; Personal Mentoring; Goals Notebooks; Individual Projects & Mega-thematic Instruction
Attending to the Biology of Learning: We propose that the human actually operates and learns with three brains: the head, the heart and the gut. We will always be seeking to apply practical applications of research in education and neuroscience to our student's ability to learn better and to orient them to learning possibilities offered by each of these brains.
Diversity of Life Studies: Diversity of life studies affirm that the well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves. These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes
Mythology in the Classroom: Myth never was, but always is. Storytelling will be a thread of illumination spun throughout our classes.
Adult Centered Learning/Community: An essential component of this new learning community is the development of a strong, heart centered, adult community that attends to celebration, recreation, service, alternative health resources and spiritual nurturance/awakening for both the parents of the children, community staff, and any other interested adult.
Himayat Inayati, spokesperson for Universal Awakening, will direct this project along with Kalyan Volpa and a group of interested parents and Asheville area residents. For further information about this integral learning community, contact Himayat at: firstname.lastname@example.org