In order to outline our plans and hopes for Enable Me To Grow, we thought it would be useful to share our vision for the resources we plan to develop.
Radiant Hearts is the first in a series of resources we plan to develop over the next few years (click here to visit the program’s main page). They are all aimed at either mothers or young children, and the goal of each is to provide inspiration or a practical tool in order to nurture the spirit. In short our mission for all of our resources is:
To provide an avenue for engaging in reflection
and preparing to take action
on an element of the Baha’i Teachings.
We believe one of the most important qualities of any resource we develop is that it be aimed at building capacity, that is empowering individuals to:
- Reflect on the Truth;
- Set personal goals based on the purpose of life;
- Develop virtues and skills to transform self;
- Teach the Cause; and/or
- Offer service in a learning mode which will strengthen resolve as well as promote growth through experience.
Now mothers, as adults with their own life experience, can obviously decide whether or not they wish to use a resource. Children, however, are susceptible to whatever their parents or teachers expose them to and provide them with.
For this reason, we will be very purposeful in developing resources, especially for children. This includes considering carefully the main aim of the resource, what impressions it imprints on the child, and what outcomes it produces.
We will endeavor in earnest to offer resources that are true to the spirit of the Faith (as best we ourselves understand) in a form which also respects the nature of the human soul (as a “mine rich in gems”).
Most importantly, our resources will be simple (ie not requiring many materials; although there is obviously room for adaptation if parents wish to make activities more intricate) and focused on direct engagement with the Word of God. We will also focus efforts on developing resources that help to enrich family relationships (respecting boundaries, encouraging our children to ask questions, sharing unconditional love of God, etc).
We feel there is a wealth of guidance in the Writings as well as direction from the Universal House of Justice, to call upon when developing new materials inspired by the Baha’i Teachings. Therefore we will continue to deepen our own understanding (of Baha’i Education, essentially) and welcome your thoughts and ideas as we produce new resources.
We feel the following quotations are especially pertinent to our endeavors:
[quote]In all such matters, those serving as teachers and animators alike are called upon to exercise discretion. Education is a vast field, and educational theories abound. Surely many have considerable merit, but it should be remembered that none is free of assumptions about the nature of the human being and society. An educational process should, for example, create in a child awareness of his or her potentialities, but the glorification of self has to be scrupulously avoided. So often in the name of building confidence the ego is bolstered. Similarly, play has its place in the education of the young. Children and junior youth, however, have proven time and again their capacity to engage in discussions on abstract subjects, undertaken at a level appropriate to their age, and derive great joy from the serious pursuit of understanding.[/quote]
(Universal House of Justice, 12 December 2011, page 5)
[quote]An educational process that dilutes content in a mesmerizing sea of entertainment does them no service. We trust that, in studying the institute courses, teachers and animators will find themselves increasingly equipped to make judicious decisions in selecting any materials or activities necessary, whether from traditional educational sources or from the wealth of items, such as songs, stories, and games that are sure to be developed for the young in the Baha’i community in the years to come.[/quote]
(Universal House of Justice, 12 December 2011, page 6)
Do you have any points or thoughts to add? What type of resources would help you live a Baha’i life and teach the Faith to your children?