Intuition in Education

Intuitive Educators

Last month I sent a short email to the AERO (Alternative Education Resource Organization) list requesting to have conversations with educators who are interested in the role of intuition in education. I was so pleased to have 9 interviews, and could easily (and may still) have more.

I promised to share with the people I interviewed what I learned, and as I wrote the email, I realized you might be interested as well.

To the educators who spoke with me: THANK YOU!

What’s next? Community! I see a community of visionary educators supporting each other to manifest their intentions. Curious? I’ll keep you posted! You might want to join my newsletter to stay updated.

Dear Intuitive Educators,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. These conversations were inspiring and clarifying. You and the many educators like you are part of a sea-change in education, creating new learning communities for our future. Here are some of my take-aways from our conversation.

A Shared Vision and Motivation:

  • The Flowering of Humanity. 
    • While none of you used this exact language, what I heard is that you all see your work ultimately as contributing to the flowering of humanity and planet. You are doing this by thoughtfully and heart-fully imagining and creating learning communities that hold space for the learner to emerge and grow. You are all very learner-centered in your approach even those of you who are teaching specific skills or working on specific projects with your learners. 
    • Whether you are supporting self-direction in your own children, teaching art classes in your community, visioning new learning communities, initiating international movements, or engaging in deep inquiry into the nature of learning, you all spoke of creating an environment where learners thrive, are empowered, know themselves, connect in community, follow their passion and curiosity, and can effectively respond to the challenges they face. 
  • Personal experiences with the limitations of the dominant educational system (and larger social values). 
    • Everyone had a very personal experience of where they met the limitations of the educational system and/or the larger society in some way. Your personal journey to respond to those limits inspires your work and your vision. 
    • For some, that challenge happened when you saw how the system failed to serve your own children. For others, that happened when you were working inside the system as a teacher and saw the harm that was being created. Others have experienced it as you have tried to start your own new learning communities. 

One Challenge I Heard:

  • The challenge of establishing a community vs. doing it alone.
    • So many of you are visionaries! Your ideal learning communities directly challenge the dominant paradigm. The values expressed include:
      • Trusting self-directed learners, 
      • Balancing the role of the facilitator/teacher to provide just-enough structure to best support students with different learning needs,
      • Developing the skills between peers to co-create in community,
      • Teaching skills around intuition,
      • Identifying and dismantling structures in the educational system that maintain systems of oppression. 
    • Yet, with these big visions many of you are experiencing challenges in establishing community around these values. Some specific challenges you are asking:
      • how do I overcome mindset limitations of the adults/parents?
      • how will I raise the money I need for this vision?
      • I am really good at (x), but need help with (y). How do I find partners and collaborators?
      • How do we create communities that embody our values (such as inclusivity, anti-racism, de-colonized education?)?
      • How do we work through conflict?
    • Sometimes it can feel so overwhelming that you either want to figure it out all by yourself, or you give up on part of your vision, or you just feel stuck.

The Role of Intuition in Your Life:

  • How you experience intuition –
    • The two most common ways in which you spoke to me about intuition were about observation/sensing the learners you work with, and learning to notice and make personal choices based on what feels good inside of you. 
      • Sensing/observing your students/learners allows you to be responsive to the specific needs of each individual learner. Many of you spoke of how this allowed you to make adjustments to how you were teaching, or make specific suggestions to the learner. 
      • Intuitive decision-making was the other pattern I noticed in the people I spoke with. Nearly everyone expressed an understanding that they have an intuitive personal knowing and a desire to align and trust your knowing more fully.
    • Many of you have personal development practices that cultivate your own intuitive gifts.
    • Some of you are asking how to more fully incorporate intuitive knowing into the vision you have for learning communities. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you a heart-centered educator with a vision for a new learning community? What would you add to this list?

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