Integrating HCE

A school does not automatically become a community of humans by merely having an ethos of care. It requires processes whereby leaders, staff members, students, parents and others in the community integrate and live out human-centred values and imbibe
a human-centred culture.

Redesigning the school requires a systemic approach. we have described this process in terms of five steps:

The first is that the school becomes a learning community. A learning community is unified around a common vision and embodies a shared set of values. The more a school and its members live and embody the values of care and respect, the more such values become the very fabric of the community.

The second is that the school adopts a set of human-centred policies which will guide practice in the school. These policies will need to be agreed on by the community as a whole. To ensure that these policies have a human-centred focus is to align the main aim with the holistic development of the students.

The third step is that the school introduces elements from the human-centred curriculum, but in accordance with its own conditions and situation. Together with associated relationally enriching pedagogical and evaluative practices, qualities-focused curriculum elements can help students to grow more fully as human beings.

The fourth is that the school nurtures a human-centred culture, a culture in which there is no fear: no fear of failure, of authority, of teachers, of punishment and of speaking one’s mind. In short, as a human-centred community the school makes a deliberate collective effort to create a culture of caring, respect and mutuality.

The fifth step is that the school introduces institutional processes to train and support its teachers. The objective is that the teachers will relish their newly defined roles within the new curriculum and will welcome the new opportunities for personal and professional development and mutual support.

These steps can take place simultaneously, although we have suggested that the first be regarded as a precondition for the other four.

Once the school decides to adopt a human-centred vision, it will sensitise the staff and provide teacher training. The most important training that the teachers need is in shifting the mindset from the conventional way of teaching which is subject-based and content-oriented, to a qualities-based curriculum, relationship-centred evaluation, and care-focused pedagogy.