Wisdom Education

Icon of St. Sophia.
Icon of St. Sophia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Over the past month, I have taken a course on Wisdom Education, which is based on the work of theologian, Matthew Fox, who is famous for Creation Spirituality, among other things.  The course was developed by Theodore Richards, the director of The Chicago Wisdom Project.

In a nutshell, Wisdom Education is a means to help students, first, get in touch with their body's wisdom, learning techniques to de-stress, then, second, allow them to find a creative means to express themselves. 

What I loved about this pedagogy of teaching is that it works for students of all ages because it takes us back to Wisdom.  Teaching in aboriginal or indigenous cultures is steeped in Wisdom.  In fact, the "teachers" are often referred to as Wise Women or Wise Men.  

Matthew Fox teaches that Wisdom Education incorporates the 10 C's - Contemplation; Character/Chakra Development; Cosmology & Ecology; Chaos & Darkness; Compassion; Community; Critical Consciousness & Judgment; Courage; Creativity; Ceremony, Celebration & Ritual.  Each of these elements grows from the other.

For instance, as a person practices contemplation, they are able to connect with Universal Energy/Light/Power, which enables them to develop their character on a level path.  At this time, the person becomes aware of his/her connection to the rest of the world.  Through this connection, the person learns how important chaos is to the balance of all things (think yin/yang).  [We in the Western world tend to have a negative view of Chaos and Darkness.  However, without it we do not have Creativity or Light.] This awareness enables him or her to learn how compassion connects them to community or to use the translation of the word compassion - how to "feel with" others.  Living in community means the person must also learn how to look critically at what he/she are told, hear, see, etc., which means learning to make sound judgments and having the courage to make changes, if needed.  Through creativity these changes come into being. [Creativity is more than being taught to draw or sing.  Creativity is the ability to see multiple solutions to a problem by using a variety of modalities.] Finally, as a way to share what the person has created with the community, there is celebration/ceremony and/or ritual.

Grant it, this is a quick and perhaps, simplistic description, but it gives you an idea of how it all works.  For more information on the 10 C's, I highly recommend visiting Matthew Fox's website

So, what do I hope to do with this new found knowledge I have gained from working with Ted for five weeks?  My hope is to develop a program that reaches out to the immigrant/refugee community, helping them to learn what to do during hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards and flooding.  

As the days progress, please keep me in your thoughts and prayers that I may be able to make this idea become reality.

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