meaning — relationship — self-awareness
These principles are fundamental to the development of a competent, ethical, compassionate, and purposeful life.
Meaning enables students to reach beyond the obvious and superficial to what they cannot immediately perceive. It requires them to form connections among the pieces of what they learn. It asks them to provide explanations as well as answers. Those students who practice patience, problem solving, analysis, and philosophical inquiry will achieve a stronger sense of purpose in what they learn.
Relationship is the awareness that meaning exists in the connections we make, among ideas and among people. The learning community depends on its relationships to achieve its goals; when learning happens in a context of caring and collaboration, it can bring positive transformations to the whole community. Knowing how to negotiate and sustain relationships is hard won, but it opens countless opportunities throughout life, and it develops greater harmony in the world.
Self-awareness allows people to make the choices that will support their own growth. Knowledge alone cannot give guidance; the beliefs and values of the individual will determine the paths that one chooses. How do we educate for beliefs and values? Repeated reflection on their experiences can help students form identities with more power and more positive futures.