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Neohumanist Educational Futures (2006)


Neohumanist Educational Futures: Liberating the Pedagogical Intellect

Edited by Sohail Inayatullah, Marcus Bussey and Ivana Milojević

Tamkang University Press, Tamsui, Taiwan, 2006

To create an alternative futures which embraces transcultural and transcendental sustainability, a new educational philosophy and practice is required. Neohumanist Educational Futures explore such new philosophy and practice by linking neohumanism (the expansion of humanism to include nature and deep spirituality) with pedagogy and futures thinking.



Neohumanist Educational Futures: Liberating the Pedagogical Intellect

Edited by Sohail Inayatullah, Marcus Bussey and Ivana Milojević

Tamkang University Press, Tamsui, Taiwan, 2006

Neohumanist Educational Futures breaks new ground by linking neohumanism (the expansion of humanism to include nature and deep spirituality) with pedagogy and futures thinking.

Inayatullah, Bussey and Milojević, all educators, theorize the ethics of inclusion and exclusion; situate neohumanism in Tantric and transcultural futures; map out issues in neohumanist pedagogy (including, education for world futures; from information to wisdom; social cohesion in South Africa; speciesism and vegetarian pedagogy in Sweden; alternative indicators for neohumanism; integrated intelligence, peace and non-violence, partnership education; and the politics of historiography) and provide case studies of neohumanist educational practice. Interspersed throughout this text are short pieces by Indian mystic and author, P.R.Sarkar; Gurukul Vice-Chancelor, Shumbushivananda and an interview with Paulo Freire conducted by social activist Maheshvarananda.

Along with Inayatullah, Bussey and Milojević, contributing authors include Vedaprajinananda Avadhuta, Tobin Hart, Marcus Anthony, Riane Eisler, Marlene de Beer, Helena Pederson, Vachel Miller, Peter Hayward, Joseph Voros and Mahajyoti Glassman.

The authors argue that the current paradigms of uni and multiculturalism have reached their limits (and the tensions between them) – a new approach, as in neohumanism or transcultural and transcendental sustainability, is required for humanity to move forward, and while doing so include those it has pushed aside.

To create this alternative future, a new educational philosophy and practice is required; one that inspires but does not become yet another method to be tamed and imitated.

Neohumanism intends to awaken the intellect from its narrow boundaries (nationalist, religious) toward planetary spirituality. Education in this future would be holistic – physical, mental and spiritual; ecologically and technologically driven; global and local in its orientation, and person based, meeting the changing evolutionary and developmental needs of each child and adult, teacher and student-learner.

Length: 393 pages

1 review for Neohumanist Educational Futures (2006)

  1. metafuture-admin1


    Having taught in mainstream education for some 15 years before taking the brave step away from what was safe, comfortable and for the most part relatively easy. I am excited that such a resource is available for other educators who might be questioning current practices within mainstream education. Neohumanist Educational Futures offers invaluable insight into both the theoretical and practical elements of a curriculum that focuses on human potential rather than limited quantitative learning. In addition, it affirms many teachers existing belief that there are better ways to educate and live.

    Chiray Fitton, Principal, Alcheringa Montessori College, Buderim, Australia

    If we wanted to protect the future for our children and theirs, how would we do it? First we must imagine better futures, then work out how to create them. But who would we entrust with such a task? Whose “better” futures? There’s no-one I would rather trust with the futures of my children and theirs than the authors of this amazing book, each of them enriched by deep scholarship and humanity, and refreshingly free of attachment to ego or dogma. In a dazzling succession of illuminating concepts, they offer new ways to think about ourselves and our global futures. Together, they describe a system of wisdom-centred education for global citizens that really does have the potential to save the future.

    Jan Lee Martin, Founding Chair, Future Foundation, Sydney

    Neo-humanist Educational Future contributes to the work of creating a global renaissance in education and culture. I believe that readers will be pleasantly surprised to find in neo-humanism the best vision of a bright future for the world.

    Dada Jyotirupananda, Editor, New Renaissance magazine (, Mainz, Germany and London, England.

    If our planetary future is to embody anything other than a global commodity culture with recurrent technological, political, environmental, military and social crises, then consciousness itself, and the acts of thought that flow from it, must shift radically. Education is a crucial component of any such “paradigm shift,” yet current educational discourse is almost exclusively concerned with test scores, bureaucratic accountability, the standardization of knowledge, and the preparation of students for the global economy. In this arid landscape, Neohumanist Educational Futures: Liberating the Pedagogical Intellect offers a deep breath of invigorating intellectual air. These essays, synthesising ancient and postmodern understandings of compelling depth and richness, constitute a “wisdom-centered” paradigm of educational thought and practice that might turn us away from the looming dystopian future toward a dynamic new ethical era of peace, sustainability, social justice, and the cultivation of human potential.

    Dr. Kathleen Kesson, Professor of Urban Childhood Education at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University, and author (with Jim Henderson) of Curriculum Wisdom: Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies.

    This important book should be read by all those who care about the future of education. Embracing the enlightenment of both east and west, the authors of this book offers us a future worldview that is truly integral–an educational narrative that is both pragmatic and visionary, both spiritual and rational.

    Roar Bjonnes, Author, columnist, and former editor of Prout Journal.

    Neohumanist Educational Futures is a vital new addition to the emergent literature on educational approaches which honour the inner dimensions of the child. Although not as well known as the major European spiritually-oriented educational alternatives, such as those initiated by Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori, the neo-humanist pedagogy developed by Indian philospher and mystic P R Sarkar deserves much wider recognition. A diversity of such integrated approaches are a salve for the global cultural spirit in these urgent times when the factory model of mainstream Western education is being insinuated into cultures everywhere, in spite of its failure to meet the needs of the world’s youth. This significant book elucidates Sarkar’s educational contribution to the world, introducing neo-humanist education to the largely spiritually-starved contemporary educational discourse.

    Jennifer Gidley, Educational Psychologist, Steiner school founder and Co-Editor of The University in Transformation and Youth Futures.

    I am immensely touched and grateful for this work and offer these words as reflection: How may humankind cocreate an educational environment which develops the whole person and sustains life? Would a foundation of deep spirituality and respectful relationships with Nature be the answer? Imagine a collective human identity formed through strength from the Source of All that is, gratitude, understanding of self, inner guidance and motivation for life purpose. Would that self image sustain life? With clarity, a deeply spiritual foundation and a heart-felt ecology of mind, this book considers multifaceted, multidimensional perspectives and visions collaborative evolutionary possibilities. Even within the context of humankind’s morphogenetic legacy of increasingly inclusive, respectful paradigm shifts e.g. in gender and human rights, neohumanism is a big jump. It invites us to the future PierreTeilhard de Chardin foretold in the 1940s in his words: “The day will come when after harnessing the energies of sun, wind and tides, we shall harness for God the energies of love. On that day, for the second time in the story of this planet, we shall have discovered fire.” For Neohumanism aims to relocate the love and devotion for ALL beings in the Universe, to become the natural heart centre of each person in partnership education. An inspiring, motivating world view. May this indeed be the ground from which all our actions spring.

    Skye Isaac Artist. Writer. Teacher. Te Awanga, New Zealand.

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