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Holistic Education
Pedagogy of Universal Love

By Ramon Gallegos Nava.
Translated by Madeline Newman Rios and Gregory S. Miller

Catalog Number 4174, $16.95
Volume Five of the Foundations of Holistic Education Series

Holistic education is a thoughtful response to the ecological, cultural, and moral challenges of our age. It aims to inspire young people to live wisely and responsibly in a sustainable and compassionate society, and to contribute to the building of such a society. Dr. Ramon Gallegos Nava is a young Mexican sociologist who has introduced hundreds of Latin American educators and scholars to holistic thinking through annual conferences and a Masters degree program in holistic education. His enthusiasm and intellectual leadership have led to the formation of an active network of holistic educators across Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries, and we are very pleased to make this new, superb English translation of his writing available in the U.S.

Dr. Gallegos spells out, with unusual clarity and focused passion, how holistic education differs from conventional schooling in modern "mechanistic" cultures. He artfully describes the spiritual, scientific, and philosophical principles that gave rise to the holistic model and explains how these are relevant to educational practice. "A major revolution in knowledge is bringing about a global cultural change," he explains. "Based on recent scientific evidence, new views are developing on the nature of the universe, the planet, and human beings, which are replacing the positivist paradigm of mechanical science. Over the past ten years, a holistic vision of our realities has been taking shape in the fields of ecology, biology, and physics." This vision complements, rather than denies, insights gained over the centuries through meditative practices and contemplative traditions. A holistic worldview embraces the wholeness of our humanity, and integrates, rather than isolates, our diverse human possibilities.

Holistic Education addresses the tension and confusion that many of us are experiencing during this period of historical transition to a new worldview. Educators are seeing the need to bring a spiritual dimension to their teaching, yet they apparently cannot do so in public sthools without violating basic Constitutional principles. Dr. Gallegos cogently explains how holistic thinking resolves this dilemma: Spirituality is not religious dogmatism, and secular education needs to be freed from scientific dogmatism. "In scientism any non-scientific knowledge is rejected as false or inappropriate in an educational setting. So, when a child asks 'Who am I?' or 'What is death?' the false secularism or scientism disregards the questions due to their lack of academic or scientific context. The child who asked the question is considered to have made a mistake." Yet these are the most essential questions of a young person s life, and if education is to prepare our children for lives of purpose, responsibility and compassion in a complex and challenging world, we must honor their yearning to make meaning of their lives.

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