Reframing human development in public education: Equity, achievement, accountability (and human actualization) through whole person teaching and learning
This investigation of human development in public education grew out of a research interest in the social, economic, and political factors that influence educational policy and practice. The investigative concerns represented in this study are grounded in two broad areas of educational research: (1) the human conscious and human learning motivation as these concepts relate to the development of humanistic, emancipatory, and transformative educational systems; and (2) the role of experiential knowing, indigenous wisdom, and dialogic instruction in generating sustainable and multi-cultural education and educational leadership. Reflecting both areas of concern, the focus of this investigation was concentrated on the role of human development in realizing the social, economic, and human actualizing goals of public education.
The presentation of the problem and the review of the literature expose the guiding objective of this investigation as directly linked to constructing meaning for the purpose of advancing transformative social action. By addressing the disconnect between the standardized and de-humanized educational policy that is currently mandated and the transformative and re-humanized educational policy that is needed in an era of social and educational crisis, a primary goal for this investigation was to promote the promise of holistic cognitive, social, and moral human development for all persons through public education.
Using a qualitative two-stage survey design, college professor, legislator, superintendent, principal, and teacher perspectives were collected from first stage in-depth interviews and second stage free response questionnaires. Content/thematic, inductive/constructive, and logical/cross-classification analyses yielded an understanding about participant perspectives in terms of the purpose for public education; core elements of human development; pedagogical methods linked to human development; the perceived importance of human development in relation to student achievement and the purpose for public education; educational policy and practice linked to human development; and the potential of human development as an accountability measure. Data analysis also revealed participant understandings about the external socio-cultural motivators and the internal consciousness motivators that impact human development. A whole person education model developed from these findings is introduced and implications are discussed in terms of social and structural change, teacher education and instructional change, and educational leadership change.
0620: Developmental psychology
0758: Developmental biology
0998: Education philosophy