History and Curriculum of Education
The Founding Teaching of the Dragon Tribe International School
Leadership Curriculum of Education
Throughout the entire curriculum, we encourage students to engage in leadership roles whether they are learning to lead their tribe through the wilderness and survive in the wild or running a business with a team of people. In order to do so, the curriculum consists of the following elements: transpersonal psychology, tribal (Coyote) education, contemplative education, integral education, and interdisciplinary scientific education (similar to Evergreen State College).
In my book The Journey and Initiation into Transcendence, I show the transpersonal curriculum’s ultimate goal is to help students transcend personal limitations in confronting personal barriers. We incorporate it into the curriculum where students are challenged to think past personal bias by examination of their thinking patterns. As a part of being a leader, we learn to see clearly our biases and reprimand it. When we recognize biases, we reframe the situation, which leads to transformation. Through changing it, we prompt others to change. Thus, the transpersonal curriculum is about changing ourselves from within and without, in our community and beyond. It acknowledges the possibilities and abilities beyond our own current comprehension and thus, the goal is to use those latent abilities as tools for learning.
Tribal (Coyote) Experiential Education
Coyote once showed in his wilderness curriculum exploration begins with playfulness and questions. We explore topics which interest us, including ones considered taboo to contemporary society. The goal is to teach members to gain thorough knowledge about the situation they investigate. In a democratic society, informed citizens make better decisions than when they are uninformed. The goal is to make learning a living experience and a tool for personal development in students, staff, and parents.
“The point is not to abandon scholarship but to ground it, to personalize it and to balance it with the fundamentals of mind training, especially the practice of sitting meditation so that inner development and outer knowledge go hand in hand. . . . A balanced education cultivates abilities beyond the verbal and conceptual to include matters of [the] heart, character, creativity, self-knowledge, concentration, openness and mental flexibility.”
—Judy Lief, former Naropa University president [ref] Contemplative education. (2016, October 24). Retrieved January 02, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemplative_education [/ref]
Community members contemplate how the information has taken impacts their well-being. Such practice combats and unravels bias opinions and beliefs. With practice, members can better examine their present states of mind and program themselves to make personal changes. From then, community members build courage and empathy for people. Through empathy, members then become compelled towards solidarity for people and take more active approaches in other’s lives.
There are many ways to see the truth. Because it is vast, it is hard to see through one lens. Thus, members seek to see through multiple lenses and combine disciplines to understand the problem comprehensively. Through the integral approach, we take into account of knowledge diverse and valid in all walks of life. When the credit where the source is reliable, then it does not matter if it is a myth or a scientific research, it is still worth attention. The approach takes on the intersubjectivity, subjectivity, objectivity, and inner objectivity model from Wilber’s AQAL Model and much more (to all pioneers of the Integral theory who contributed to the pool of knowledge).
By learning how the truth can be found in the minds of people and culture, members interview people from different backgrounds and conduct service learning to deepen their knowledge about how certain events impact people’s lives. In seeing how it impacts the environment, members use scientific approaches to find solutions to remedy the problem or find out the source of the problem. It is through full utilization of diverse bodies of knowledge which changes us how we see the problem or approach it.
Just like the integral education, the interdisciplinary education allows members to look at the situation through cross-referencing different disciplines from both the science, the arts, the humanities, and education. By putting multiple disciplines together into one theme, we avoid the pitfall of creating uni-model solutions which solve everything. Instead, we create more complex and dynamic solutions which can benefit over time and requires mindfulness over time.
History of the Intentional Community
Beginnings of Dragon Tribe (From Perspective of the Founder)
The history of the Dragon Tribe community started out first as the Naturopathic Elixir of Life community in 2008. Originally, I desire to create an organization where health care access to alternative treatments is accessible to all. However, during my time at Naropa University and the Evergreen State College, my perception changed. I found health relies on not only personal effort but also communal involvement. People desire belonging and inter-dependability to enhance their wellbeing.
The Transformation of the Founder and the New Intentional Community
It is through this knowledge I changed the mission of Dragon Tribe. While I am writing my book, a vision came to me about the community. Immediately, I jot down my ideas. Through those ideas, I created the creed and the educational philosophy I want to teach. Furthermore, with the need to create great and inspirational leaders for generations to come, I came to create the Dragon Tribe community.
Thus, in 2016, I have come to learn Evergreen State curriculum’s effectiveness. I see the bigger picture of learning and it gave fuel to my passion for social welfare and equity as the curriculum transforms me towards being a social leader myself. I learn that through leadership comes with learning and through learning comes exploration. Thus, it is how the community came to incorporate such curriculum, along with many others, into its ways of teaching which led me and many others to create this community. If you like to read about our mission and vision statement, please click here.