What is the Living Curriculum Philosophy?
Myrtle Fillmore believed our mission was not to “entertain the children, but instead, to draw them out.” The Living Curriculum is an approach or philosophy that we use at Unity of Garden Park which affirms that the curriculum–that which is to be learned or known–already lives within the adult, child or teen, themselves. It moves us past the belief that teachers have all the answers and need to impart them to the students. Instead, there is a realization that all of us are uniquely unfolding on our spiritual path, having access to the Spirit within.
The Living Curriculum is a process of spiritual support used to assist children, teens, families, and the church community in co-creating successful living. It honors the inherent wholeness and wisdom within each one of us and utilizes storytelling and experiential creative expression to “draw out” the Truth we already know. The process helps us to explore spiritual principles and to become aware of how the principles operate in our lives.
The Living Curriculum as used in our programs includes:
The Issue - What is the issue, theme or principle that is to be explored? An intention is created for each lesson that will assist the children in engaging both their head and their heart.
The Vehicle - The vehicle (story, video clip, song, poem, life experience, etc.) is the experience that creates the common ground so that everyone present can feel a connection to the lesson intention. Creating common ground also helps the group to bond and to know that they are not the only one to experience such life issues.
The Discussion - The discussion is the heart of each lesson. The questions used invite the children to see how the issue is happening to the characters in the story, how it is happening in their lives, and in the world around them. This helps them come to their own conclusions as to how to experience life from a deeper, more connected place.
The Creative Experience - The creative experiences are open-ended activities like art, music, movement, games, journaling, etc. that invite the children to play in what they have heard and shared and to explore how it is relevant to their lives.