The potential contribution of psychosynthesis to education : an interview-based exploration of educators’ experiences of working with members of the ‘New Generations’ who are developing towards self-actualisation and self-transcendence.
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The intention behind this research was to reveal through two interpretive, inter-related studies the perceived needs of differently-labelled youth, collectively addressed in this thesis as ‘the New Generations’, exploring potentially viable ways of working with them in education. The first study focused on youth labelled Indigos, and the second study focused on exploring a possible way of working with the New Generations according to experienced teachers. Both studies drew on lived experience and opinions of educators who have acquired extensive experience respectively with the Indigo phenomenon and with the psychosynthetic educational model. The first study’s results revealed not only Indigos’ self-actualising and self-transcending characteristics and needs, but also indicated that holistic approaches to education appeared to have been successful with them. A further analysis of characteristics observed by special education experts indicated that differently-labelled youth also appear to be motivated by self-actualising and self-transcending tendencies, which highlighted the relevance of investigating holistic models for potential integration in mainstream education. Psychosynthesis was chosen for investigation in the second study, in that besides addressing self-actualising/transcending needs, it also integrates them within the psyche. The study explored how recent psychosynthesis-based educational projects might inform, and contribute to, holistic and mainstream education. Some innovative potential contributions to both holistic and mainstream education were found. Recent research on current tendencies, educational futures and global trends affecting a changing world would appear to emphasise the relevance of the contributions offered by the psychosynthesis model, hence to suggest the potential appropriateness of their fuller integration in mainstream education. However, an examination of study results and of the relevant literature on practices seems to indicate a tendency to transmit knowledge from past to future generations, irrespective of possibly changed needs, in both mainstream and holistic education. It is suggested that this potentially biased way of educating youth might need to be addressed on both fronts.
PhD in Education