My Considered Philosophy

My view of learning, teaching, and the well-being required to carry that out, can be summarized by the implied meaning of the Latin word, Educare: to draw forth the innate potential thereof. While it is obvious that the art of teaching and the act of learning are inextricably joined and highly interdependent, what isn’t as obvious are the evolutionary, anthropological, and neurobiological underpinnings of this dynamic process. It’s taken me a good while—decades of teaching and learning in fact—to acquire a reasonable grasp of this complex and ultimately mysterious process. From that most enjoyable multidimensional and multiyear undertaking, I have arrived at some very considered conclusions (however lightly held, in anticipation of new learning and ever-evolving understanding) about the purpose of education as it relates to what is known about the nature of human potential.

 

In the service of drawing forth human potential, I offer a framework, the purpose of which is to provide a semblance of meaningful order on what otherwise might appear as a chaotic and potentially confusing or conflicting sea of disconnected information. The framework consists of sound theory, solid research, and practical application. My guiding interest lies in what it means and how best to lead forth the innate potential that constitutes our genetic inheritance and birthright. It is this framework, and its various aspects, that provides the context for what I have to offer.

 

The framework, metaphorically speaking, is perhaps best thought of as a holographic field, in that any aspect of it reflects and connects to every other aspect or element. To explore movement, for example, is to enter the field from one of the major organizing principles of the brain. Likewise topics such as play, emotional intelligence, the so-called “attentional systems,” the role of downtime in learning and balancing the nervous system, all reflect organizing principles of brain- mind development, and it is urgently important that we get it right—and without delay. For it is no exaggeration to say that with the myriad and mounting crises we face, we need the most authentically educated, creative, and confident generation of young people that we are capable of sending into the freighted challenges and unimaginable opportunities awaiting them in the not-so-distant future.