Whenever we are asked where we think integral thought could make the biggest difference in the world, we always answer the same way: education. After all, the integral map represents an all-encompassing, all-inclusive survey of the human experience, offering the most comprehensive record of knowledge, intelligence, potential, and development that we have ever seen, making this an exceptionally fertile time for a full-scale renaissance in education.
We’re all familiar with the harrowing statistics on education in America. Last year, 69% of all U.S. eighth-graders scored below proficient in Reading. Also in 2010, 68% of U.S. eighth-graders scored below proficient in Math.* That’s a whopping two-thirds who, at 13 and 14 years of age, lack the bare bones skills needed for high school.
But on the heels of the documentaries that brought these numbers to light – Davis Guggenheim’s documentary Waiting For Superman (2010) and Vicki Abeles’ Race to Nowhere (2010) – comes Igniting Brilliance: Integral Education for the 21st Century, a book that shifts the conversation away from education’s failures, to education’s potential.
Edited by Willow Dea, Igniting Brilliance brings together education thought leaders from around the globe, all of whom are part of an emerging and transformative field: Integral education.
“Integral education combines the character and personal development of ‘hippie’ schools, with the academic rigor of prep academies. We in the integral community recognize that academic performance and qualities like kindness, creativity, etc. aren’t mutually exclusive. In our classrooms, we want to create global citizens for the 21st century.”Willow Dea
Part primer on integral theory, part “greatest hits” stories about integral education in the classroom, and part instructions on application, Igniting Brilliance offers essays from education’s brightest voices: Nancy Simko of Manhattan’s Blue School (co-founded by Blue Man Group CEO, Matt Goldman), John Gruber, recipient of a Teacher Recognition Award from the United States Presidential Scholars Program, and several members of the Next Step Integral Education group.
A breath of fresh air for teachers from Waldorf elementary schools to public high schools, Igniting Brilliance is an inspiring guide that surprises readers with its creative pedagogy, then confidently takes their hands, and shows them how to transform a classroom.
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics, “Special Analysis 2010.”
Image by Diane Calvario [+view gallery]
About Willow Dea
Willow Dea, M.S. OTR, is deeply inspired by the impact of transformational practices in emerging educational systems. Her thirst for working with systems began with the human body. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in occupational therapy, the science of human performance.
About Ken Wilber
Ken Wilber is a preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development. He is an internationally acknowledged leader, founder of Integral Institute, and co-founder of Integral Life. Ken is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative world philosophy, aptly named “Integral Theory”.