By: Dr. Deborah Ooten

As 2015 draws to a close and we anticipate the celebration of a new year, several ideas stand out in my mind that might have some insight into how we proceed going forward.  I would like to share them with you so that we might continue to draw upon each other in meaningful and fulfilling ways in order not to separate, but rather to be open to all that arises.

Humanity is in a transitional place.  If we look around us, we can see the many areas of our lives that offer us reference points for change.  Yet many/most of us do not know how to influence that change.  As we attempt to move from fixed and rigid points of view to views that allow for more openness to differences, flexibility, and awareness, we come up against this inability to actually make those changes happen, thereby creating frustration and unrest inside of us.  At this time of year when it is traditional to name those desired changes, the hard work is actually incorporating those changes into our reality and being.  As a result, we project into the world that chaos, frustration, and unrest not understanding how to manifest the change we believe we desire.

The truth is that we do not have to influence or direct the flow of change.  We simply need to be in the presence of the experience itself.  What does that mean?  When we experience the experience, present moment to present moment, nothing else is required of us.  This is called Faith and Faith is a “knowing”.  It does not need proof. There is no judgment.  It is a direct experience of the presence that holds us all. The “knowing” basically allows that, whatever the present moment experience is, we do not need to name it or judge it or define it.  We just need to be willing to be open to it, allowing it to be in our experience.  

When we permit our beliefs, reactivity, and judgment to arise in the present moment, we then lose sight of the “path”, falling into Hope.  Hope, unlike faith, is about “not knowing.”  It is allowing ourselves to believe that something will be provided in the future.  It is not at all about the present moment experience.  Therefore, we then remove ourselves from the present moment experience, losing sight of the path of which I spoke.  When we let our beliefs tell us that something will be provided in the future, knowing that there is no future, but only the present moment, we give away our present moment experience as well as our knowing.  The experience of the ground of being is then lost and we mimic life with an attempt to recreate what has been lost.  The mimic, however, is false; it is the ego structure that we create in an effort to have an experience of the ground of being.  The ego welcomes our beliefs, reactivity, and judgments.  It, in fact, feeds upon them, allowing them to throw up repeated obstacles to our present moment experience and “knowing.”

The invitation then to humanity as we enter a time of Unity of Consciousness is to be more present to the experience of the present moment without any preconceived belief that we know the right way or even without holding onto our belief as the correct belief.  It is best to eradicate the belief as much as we can.  By allowing a belief, we then create an opposite to that belief against which our ego then is commanded to defend.  

Simply rest in the unfolding of the present moment, whatever it is, knowing that we are facets of the creator/god, and we are creating our universe moment to moment.  If we can do this with an open, loving, and non-dual heart, our world will continue evolving in the spiral-like fashion which has been happening for centuries, as it was meant to be.  The light and dark appear and then disappear, reappearing again and disappearing again…ad infinitum…

Do not get attached!!!!

 
 
We have often heard that raising a child is a thankless job.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  While gratitude may not be forthcoming in words, it can be felt and sensed when we raise a well-adjusted, happy child.  

I was once asked by a swimming psychologist, whom our team had hired to speak to the parents of our swimmers:  “What do you most want for your child?”  The answers stemmed from “a college scholarship” to “success” to “happiness.”  Since no one I ever knew made a living from swimming, and my swimmer spent countless hours in the pool training, and doing it voluntarily, I mostly wanted her to be happy.  After all, her chosen sport cost me much in terms of my own self-sacrifice.  There were five AM practices to which she had to be driven, and weekend-long swim meets sitting on hard bleachers, and $$$ spent on swim suits, goggles, transportation, travel, meals, and entry fees, not to mention the anxiety associated with it all.  

And her happiness weighed in at the top.  She loved the sport.  She was dedicated and committed to four seasons of training.  And I approached it all with a compassionate understanding that whatever became of it, she would never earn a dollar from her swimming.  It was a passion I could share and support and to which I could contribute, but the intrinsic value was hers alone.  Therefore, I wanted her to be happy with and in it.  

There is/was some gratitude we, as parents, felt toward the sport and toward our part in providing for our daughter (and son as well) the opportunity to do something that cost us in terms of both money and precious time.  It was also, as I look back, part of the many, many people and things that helped us to raise our child into the happy and conscious person she is today at age 36.  

When in the trenches of raising a child, it is often difficult to remember that she will grow up so quickly.  As young parents, everyone tells us that.  I wish I had a penny for every time someone said that to me, and likewise as often as I have said that to someone!  They grow up fast!!!  

Now I have grandchildren.  In particular, I have a grandson who is very athletic, reminding me a lot of his mother, who loved sport and the excitement of competing.  He has the very special advantage of being around sport-loving people, parents and grandparents, who teach, encourage, and support him in almost all sports.  He regularly attends sporting events, watches sporting events on television with his dad, and spends time with his grandparents throwing balls, batting, golfing, playing tennis, and you-name-it.  He takes swim lessons and soccer lessons, watches his dad play recreational volleyball, and enjoys physical activity that is beyond the realm even his mother knew as a child.  (And I thought we provided everything possible to her!)

I was with him over the weekend while his parents were away.  We played something almost non-stop during his waking hours.  We played baseball, (he loves to pitch as well as bat, so he shared both positions with me equally), volleyball, golf, and basketball (my favorite).  I noticed that he has some very strong feelings about “rules” and “rules of engagement.”  And he wants to win!  It even causes him some suffering when I don’t quite engage “properly” with him or when he does not exactly approve of how I tossed that pitch to him or how I managed to get around the bases before he was able to retrieve the ball and get me out.  

It got me to thinking about how I taught my own children to compete, win or lose, and to be happy with it.  This blog is not about how we teach sportsmanship or if we should or shouldn’t be that soccer mom who stands on the sidelines yelling at her kid to “kick the ball!”  We are all human and all come from different places with our own “stuff” that pretty much dictates how we parent/teach.  

What this is about is whether or not we “hear” our children speaking through words and behavior telling us where they are in terms of being happy…and whether our messages to them are that we want them to be happy.  

Happiness does not mean they win every race or beat every competitor.  Happy means that they love the competition regardless of the outcome.  It means that they relish the wins and learn from the losses.  They enjoy the training and the journey of constant improvement.  For me, that is why swimming was “gratitude” I could sense.  She swam against herself every time.  Her race was against her own best time.  Whether she won the race or not, she could look up at the clock and see her time and gauge her swim based upon her last best time.  That brought its own sense of accomplishment.  And it was a lifelong lesson for her that insinuates itself in her life to this day:  have I done my best?  Assessment time every time in everything she does.  Comparing herself, not to others, but to her own best.  And I often see a smile slip across her face when she tells me about something she’s done or some part of her daily journey that makes her particularly happy.  

And for me, that’s a happy moment, too.  

I was watching Daniel Tiger on PBS this weekend with my grandson.  The lesson was about catching a ball.  As you may know if you have any young people around who enjoy Daniel Tiger, he teaches a lesson and sings it in song.  Daniel was learning to catch a ball.  It was quite the difficult endeavor for him since he dropped it or missed it every time.  He was advised to keep his eye on the ball, catching it, and then giving it a hug (in order to secure it and not drop it).  He finally got the knack of it and was quite satisfied with his accomplishment.  The lesson was not only how to catch the ball, but to be patient and practice.  I saw the lesson even beyond that.  I saw a satisfied and very happy Daniel.  No doubt, such life lessons, as so many, translate far into our lives and ultimately, into our happiness.  I knew so many years ago as a parent that my daughter’s happiness was tantamount.  It was never the win.  It was never about a college scholarship.  It was always about the present moment and about her and about whether or not she could deem any satisfaction from having been in that moment.  And today, so many years later, I see that what I wanted for her was exactly what she achieved!  HAPPINESS.  

Hallelujah!

By Dorothy Hatic




 
 
Following Her Return from the International Enneagram Conference In San Francisco, California, July, 2015

By 
Dorothy Hatic

I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Deborah following her return from the International Enneagram Conference in San Francisco, followed by a week’s side trip to Banff, Alberto, Canada for her son’s wedding.  Also, just days prior to our sit down, Dr. Ooten had an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on her neck.  She was resting comfortably and was feeling much improvement.  

I asked Dr. Ooten what the highlights were for her of this year’s IEA conference.  

“Before I get into the highlights of the conference, I want to tell you how well our books were received. As you know, Robin crafted the art for the folded cards that Mary Barr Rhodes envisioned to announce our Books of Nine.  We made the cards available to the conference participants and presenters to promote the Collector’s Edition of One Hundred Books of each character’s journey of self-discovery.  The cards were beautiful and received enthusiastically!  Many people were so very impressed with the art and were excited about the completion of the books, wishing us continued success in getting the enneagram out to younger audiences.”

“The Collector’s Editions of the Books of Nine are now available on our website and following this link:  http://n-1games.com/the-books-of-nine.html.  Remember, only one hundred collector’s copies of these books will be made available.  Get your set ordered today.”

“Thank you for allowing me to mention the books before answering your question.  I am so excited about them.  At last, young people can learn about themselves in a genre that speaks to them.  While enjoying storylines that are intriguing as well as relevant to our world, our young readers can seriously ponder questions at the end of each chapter that will bring understanding and awareness to them.  Now.  To the conference.”


“I was delighted with the conference this year.  There was a renewed sense of camaraderie, collaboration and connection that was the best in years, as evidenced by the fact that so many of the excellent presenters were more willing to share their work.  They were very generous with their work and this felt extremely collaborative…so much more than in recent years.”

“A second highlight was getting to teach with Beth O’Hara on transformation and change and helping people to work through their various issues.  I am always pleased to teach with Beth…to prepare our presentation and bring it to fruition at the conference.  The audience is engaged and engaging…a definite highlight for me always, and again this year.”
“I also had an opportunity to enjoy several of the other presentations, all, of which were quite interesting and thought-provoking this year.  I especially enjoyed Bea Chestnut’s presentation on the subtypes, of which I took copious notes, and Patrick O’Leary’s history of the IEA and the modern enneagram movement.  Another wonderful presentation was the endnote by Uranio Paes, which did not disappoint!”

“Those were the main three highlights for me, although there were certainly more.”

I asked Dr. Ooten if anything else, in particular, stood out for her.

“On a more personal note, I was especially pleased with my continuing personal and working relationship with the South Koreans.  We were able to solidify the School of Conscious Living Korea while I was there and I have a trip to South Korea set up for January.  I will be joining Young Ja Kim and her group to teach the enneagram and the spiral with Beth O’Hara for a week in January, and then again later in the year.”

“Also, the days of the conference were some of the most physically challenging and trying times for me.  Beth O’Hara, particularly, and Lance, Diane, and Ben White, as well as many others, helped to take care of me while I was there.  Without them, I would not have been as able to enjoy the conference as I did, and I want to thank everyone for helping me through a most difficult time while I was there.”

Our thanks to Dr. Ooten for sharing her thoughts on the 2015 IEA conference.  

 
 
By: Dorothy Hatic

The F.A.C.E. nine character of N-1 the Awakening is Rayna.  Rayna’s story is one of deep commitment to the character, Ramthor, who is a F.A.C.E. type eight.  Ramthor and Rayna are dear, dear friends of the N-1 Games group because they brought us all together in many ways to launch, what was to become, N-1 the Awakening.  

Originally, Deborah Ooten heard their story from its originator, Robin Grant, our artistic director and partner.  He was in Las Vegas at his first International Enneagram Association conference.  He and Deborah and some friends were in the swimming pool and Robin told Deborah the story of Ramthor and Rayna.  Deborah cried when she heard it.  Roughly, it went something like this:

Ramthor had been captured and imprisoned by the Paragons, the bird creatures from Orix’s home world called Paragonia, who are driven into Ramthor’s world in a desperate search for water.  These angry birds are known for their rigid adherence to laws and conformity.  They are, therefore, not above imprisoning Ramthor in order to impose their values and moral virtue upon him.  And Ramthor is a powerful creature, not at all of the same mindset as the Paragons, believing himself to be the fierce and totalitarian ruler of all.  

When Rayna stumbles upon Ramthor in a dense forest clearing, imprisoned in chains and without any clearly defined power or stamina to help himself, Rayna is struck by this powerful creature and his utter helplessness.  However, she can also see that his chains are merely tethered from above and his helplessness is self-induced.  He repeats the words of his captors that he is too weak and too powerless. Unbeknownst to Ramthor, the Paragons have been lacing his food with a powerful drug that keeps him from knowing his own strength.  

And then appears before him, the quiet and demure, golden goddess, Rayna, who bears a key for his release.  However, Ramthor must retrieve the key himself from Rayna and unlock his chains by his own power.  The horned creature that is Ramthor hesitates, not understanding his own power or knowing that his freedom lies within him.  Ramthor must endure much physical and emotional pain, as well as a complete trust and vulnerability, to take the key, which will ultimately secure his freedom, from this stranger.  

And Rayna will return to her foggy world where she falls asleep to herself and to her people, living in a self-induced fog of her own.  Both characters temporarily give away their own power to others, believing themselves to be powerless.  And each will react differently to his own personal awakening.  

Will Ramthor and Rayna meet again?  Will Ramthor return the gift of life to his beloved savior, Rayna?  Will Rayna ever awaken from her foggy, island existence?  Does she even want to awaken?  What will become of the Paragons who desperately need water for their drought stricken world?  Join us as the story unfolds for both your reading pleasure and for the sheer delight of understanding the F.A.C.E. types eight and nine.  Their journeys will entice you to know about the entire N-1 Galaxy and the hidden treasures and delights that are N-1 the Awakening.  Coming soon!

 
 
Congratulations to Kyle Olsen on winning a brand new iPad Mini in the recent N-1 Games contest. To win, Kyle had to play all levels of Ramthor's Tower: Maze Defense. And, if you're wondering . . .  yes, that does include the Insane Level!

Kyle has created a gameplay video of his personal experience. Check it out!
#Ramthor'sTower #Games #Apple #iPad
 
 
Picture
by Mary Barr Rhodes

Ronin, my grandson, is three and absolutely loves Super Heroes. His Dad, Jesse, grew up playing with Marvel action figures, so he is passing down all of the stories to Ronin. I am amazed as I listen to Jesse explain the characters to Ronin. They all have their stories, and Ronin knows them all. He tells me about the good guy and the bad guy and why they are battle each other. Even at this early age, he always makes me be the bad guy.

Jesse is teaching Ronin what is noble, what is good, and what is worth striving for. He talks about specific characteristics that are admirable and worth emulating, and that heroes are just people, like us, who are helping other people, and who are making a difference in the world. 


As I listen, I wonder if Jesse even realizes that he is teaching Ronin about such virtues as honesty, civility, courage, perseverance, loyalty, self-restraint, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, fairness, respect, and responsibility. But then I hear Ronin say, “I am courageous,” then taking his superhero stance as he prepares for battle. Jesse plays along, encouraging his son to embody the virtues of Captain America, Leonardo, or a local firefighter. The learning comes in the actual play. Jesse communicates values and beliefs with a real superhero pow! 

Storytelling comes alive with superheroes. Such dynamic stories open the door to talk about kindness and respect, honesty and trust, and helping those less fortunate than ourselves. Ronin may not completely understand that being generous ultimately brings us happiness, but he certainly understands that superheroes spread goodwill. Before he can read, Ronin has learned values and beliefs through the oral tradition of storytelling.

Psychologists warn parents that children need to know the difference between the real world and the fantasy world. We certainly don’t want Ronin jumping out windows trying to fly or participating in evil play. So, he does need to realize the difference between the real world and the fantasy superhero land. I think fantasy play has to be balanced by time to explore the real world with his bug box in hand, his microscope, and his shovel. Then, he learns to play in both worlds. 

Fantasy is a great introduction to the laws of physics. Superheroes defy the normal laws of motion, gravity, and light, to name a few. Ronin has entered into dialogue about mass and energy. And, most critically, Ronin is beginning to understand the difference in natural law and the clearly defined laws of magic. Possibly in the future, he will enter conversations about art, science, and religion with such confidence.

As the grandmother, I was concerned that even though superheroes are portrayed through cartoons, Ronin is introduced to violence and even weaponry. Our world is filled with violence each day and as parents and grandparents, our role is to teach our children to resist violence. Most importantly, children need to learn at an early age to talk about their emotions and to learn to deal with them in non-violent ways. Children are taught how to react by their parents. So, if children are raised in a safe and loving home, receive constant attention and supervision, they will react lovingly with compassion for themselves and others. As a result, Ronin will be armed with the communication skills to verbally battle against evil. 

As Ronin matures, name-calling, bullying, and physical violence may threaten Ronin’s well-being. There are concerns for boys, in particular, that they may see themselves as heroes or victims. However, through parental conversations, they can realize that there is a full spectrum of stories that they can tell themselves. They get to choose if they want to be good or evil, a hero or a victim. As they develop, these early conversations can grow into more mature conversations about their self-worth and well-being. Hopefully, he will remember what the superheroes taught him . . . that sometimes you have to be brave enough to stand up against evil. 

Are superheroes teaching consumerism as well? Without a doubt, superheroes are marketing ploys. Ronin always wants another action figure, a supporting character or weapon. He loves the movies, the video games, the comic books, and so on. His costume box is growing each year. So, consumerism is being learned early. Parents can get caught up in that as well. But, they can actually use this desire for a new superhero to teach their children about healthy buying habits.

Overall, I think superheroes are the good guys. Fantasy teaches children to dream big. Ronin is able to communicate about his values and his beliefs at a very early age. He understands metaphor and how to use it in other applications. Developing a sense of play is a trait that is valued in all creative work. Not only is Ronin communicating about superheroes; they are now showing up in his artwork. As the grandmother looking in, I am thrilled to see Ronin’s imagination soaring to new heights each day. 

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” - Thoreau




 
 
Game-Creating Beings! They just get it!

Can I be one with a gamer? Well, according to the Big Bang, yes. Fr. Richard Rohr puts it like this:

Scientists tell me that everything was created in the Big Bang. There are the same number of atoms now as there were then. Nothing has died. Everything has simply been in 14 billion years of change—changing forms, but not substance. Nothing goes away. When you die, you don’t leave. There is no place to go to. This is it! You leave the encapsulation of this finite body which you and I take far too seriously because it’s the only one we have known. 

It is hard explaining to folks exactly what N-1 Games is really all about.  More often than not, people get a glazed over look when we talk about us. 

For me, N-1 Games has been a journey in healing every day. I get to work with brilliant people, both young and old. I have learned that gamers are not just folks who live in their basements, staring at Grand Theft Auto, but are, rather, self- taught, self -exploring, visionaries, who hold much of our future.  Gamers are beautiful beings who are very much one with everything.  

But do they get N-1 Games? Well, I personally have come to find out, that better than any other being, gamers get it.  

I was gob-smacked recently by a group who got it instantly. Their name, Schell Games*.  Yep, that’s right! Those beautiful game creating beings. We had a pretty extensive presentation to give them; however, less than half way in, this group simply jumped right in and started talking concepts and learning, using words like “transformational gaming” and “universal consciousness.” They immediately understood Full Awareness of Character and Essence (F.A.C.E), the Life Evolving Guidance System (L.E.G.S.), and Furthering Awareness of Consciousness Experiencing Transformation (F.A.C.E.T.).  

The Schell Games’ team easily soaked up the concept, and completely dove in with questions of exploration… not only questions about the game, but of themselves and the different levels of consciousness we all live in. 

N-1 Games will be first in the industry to incorporate growth through gaming in the mind, heart, and body, bringing total balance and a true sense of universal consciousness to the players. Schell Games is unique in that they create not only games of learning, but of growth and transformation. The universe could not have set up a better match!

These game-creating beings really get it. Thanks, Schell Games, for once again showing me that we are all truly ONE.  AND just getting it!

* http://www.schellgames.com/

 
 
Picture
Dr. Deborah Ooten
From the moment I stepped off the plane in South Korea, I felt held, supported, loved and nurtured.  I was met at the Incheon Airport by the South Korean IEA president, Mi Hwa Kim, and her daughter.  They are both incredibly loving individuals.  They greeted me with warm hearts and lots of information, both of which helped to ease the transition from the gruesomely long flight.  The first couple of nights of my stay, I was at the AvenTree Hotel in the historic district.  It was the absolute perfect experience of history, tradition, and nightlife filled with great food and wonderful touches of their culture.  I was able to experience a Traditional Temple meal at a beautiful restaurant/museum.  Several women shared traditional dress and dance with us all.  There is such amazing beauty in their traditions…

There is also much sadness in this culture.  The South Koreans are among the highest to engage in what they call “self-dying” or suicide as we refer to taking one’s own life.  At dinner on the last evening I was in town, a very affluent woman explained that the country has grown too quickly, causing great turmoil to them.  She is an artist, preserving the past traditions.  She feels very anxious that her art will not sell and is naturally cautious about entering into the face-paced life of business in South Korea.  After all, she is a housewife and mother.  How she was able, she says, to find her own voice was that she was desperately looking and exploring the enneagram, Spiral Dynamics and her life through those lenses, but still felt very sad with a great sense of longing.  

Meeting her and others, I experienced the culture as a mix of steady tradition (blue meme) and very advanced technology and immense wealth (orange meme).  Everyone seemed to be rushing from one place to the next, and it appeared that hard work and working hard were definitely requirements for survival.  

After a couple of days, we moved to Times Square Marriott, which was a welcomed sight for this weary traveler.  The rooms were large enough in which to spread out.  Double beds, not twins, with extra space to hang and store clothes, as well as purchases made, made for more comfort and better organization.  The Marriott was much more “Americanized” and almost everyone in the hotel spoke fluent English.  However, again, I was overwhelmed with the sadness that lay just underneath the surface beneath the smiles and “nice” interactions.  What I came to understand was that the traditions were suffocating the longing independence which most of the more affluent in the society were seeking.  


 
 
Picture
By Tanner Higgin, Graphite

When I was in school, game-based learning was a novelty. This was the era of Math Blaster!, Lemonade Stand and Oregon Trail, when game-based learning meant digitized practice problems or clunky, paper-thin simulations. Still, my classmates and I liked these games. For many of us, this was the only exposure we got to video games outside of arcades. Even as consoles increasingly took up residence in living rooms, computer games still felt special–just a bit more advanced and interesting.

But when my family got a computer, something changed. The edutainment we’d play in computer labs were still a nice spark in a typical school day, but the games felt different. What we were playing at school felt out of touch and out of step, not just in style and polish, but also in what they asked the player to do. While Oregon Trail might offer the appearance of a history lesson, it’s hard to convince a kid of that when she’s going home and designing a metropolis in SimCity, or adding another page to her notebook full of hand-drawn Metroid maps.

Game-based learning, and the developers who identify with it today, have come a long way since then and gotten much closer to closing the gap. And there’s still a need to communicate core content through games, a need that the consumer market just doesn’t have incentive to fill. Yet at Common Sense Graphite, when we evaluate games for learning, what we find is that many of the highest scoring ‘learning’ games aren’t aimed at the educational market. They’re more at-home, consumer-oriented games. Because these games are free from the constraints of school standards and traditional curriculum, they flourish, featuring rich cross-disciplinary and truly 21st century learning experiences.

Here are just a few favorites that reviewed well on Graphite this year:


Never Alone

There’s little debate that games have not represented indigenous cultures well. As a result, it’s been best for students to learn about topics like Native America via traditional means. Never Alone, however, sets a precedent for respectful representation of indigenous people. It was co-developed with native Alaskans, and it illuminates Inupiat stories, themes and values, weaving into play important concepts like interconnectedness and valuable skills like cooperation. Best of all, it features documentary-style videos of the Inupiat people who provide first person context for the conceptual and cultural learning embedded in the game.

Valiant Hearts

Look no further than the aforementioned Oregon Trail for an example of how tough it’s been to teach history well through games. That’s because it’s next to impossible to beat a good book or primary source material when digging into the details of the past. Valiant Hearts doesn’t try to simulate World War I or overwhelm the player with facts; instead, it tells a deeply affecting story that builds empathy, contextualizes the war, and, most importantly, offers a thought-provoking critique of war itself. And when it does offer facts and primary materials, they’re extensions–collectibles, really–that end up being far more palatable to players given the story-first approach that invests player’s in finding out more.

My intention here isn’t to argue that games have learning value. Educators don’t need convincing of this. Rather, what these three ostensibly ‘non-educational’ games show us is that there are many more options out there than we realize; we just need to shift out perspectives on what learning looks like. Our students already have, we just need to catch up.

Tanner Higgin is Senior Manager, Education Content at Common Sense Education, a nonprofit organization and creator of Graphite ™, a free service that helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with edtech, and connect with expert educators.  This post is part of a series featuring highly rated games on Graphite. Go to Graphite to read the full reviews of games and find out how teachers use them for learning in class.

 
 
Picture
By: Dorothy Hatic

When I was in college, there was a debate swirling around about whether or not the “school” should follow or lead society.  The old Sabre Tooth Tiger Curriculum was often cited by those who believed that the educational “system/institution” should lead society.  That logic was based upon the story of how, in the days of the cave man, when man’s very survival was threatened by such things as the Sabre Tooth Tiger, man needed to know his enemy and how to protect himself.  So, the tribe taught the young how to kill Sabre Tooth Tigers.  And then the Sabre Tooth Tiger became extinct, but the tribe was still teaching its children how to kill the Sabre Tooth Tiger long after its demise.  Certainly, a great example of how teaching and learning, as well as the Sabre Tooth Tiger, can become lost in the patterns of how we repeatedly do things!

I am not sure that the school can really lead society, although it should do a better job of keeping up with it.  And I am not sure that I personally know the answers to any, let alone all, the pitfalls that education faces.  I do know, however, that N-1 Games and our team at Conscious Dimensions are designing curriculum to make some headway in that direction.  We are not working on math projects or history lessons.  We do not intend to offer science project ideas or suggest to anyone how to teach grammar or proper sentence structure.  What we plan to offer are unique and fun ways to start dialogue about issues that very much impact our kids and society.  

What if a classroom teacher had tools at her disposal that could be used to, say, for instance, teach children about bullying?  Or what if students had a forum where they could discuss issues that affect their young lives, but which do not surface because there is not a safe place or a context in which to discuss them?  What if a child had the opportunity to see himself and others connected in more ways than they imagined?  What if teachers had fantasy characters that speak to students in non-threatening ways, teaching them about love, peace, humility, vulnerability, truth, justice and other virtues? What if students could journal about their inner landscapes without fear of judgment?  How might these possibilities spill over into the various subject areas, and most importantly, into the society-at-large?

At N-1 Games and Conscious Dimensions, we believe these possibilities all lie with uniquely patented intellectual property embedded within unique curriculum.  Coming soon on our website will be nine stories, told in nine books, which will be offered for sale.  We will be making available to interested educators assistance, in the form of training, to learn how to use additional materials for sale, which complement these books.  With a little creativity, there are no limits to the ways in which a classroom teacher might engage individual students in self-awareness as well as appreciation for individual differences in others.  At N-1 Games and Conscious Dimensions, we can think of no better way to help educators lead our children to a relevant understanding of themselves and how they impact their society!