Education: From Conception to Graduation – A Systemic, Integral Approach

Adams, Anne (2006) Education: From Conception to Graduation – A Systemic, Integral Approach. Doctoral thesis, California Institute of Integral Studies.

[thumbnail of AnneAdamsDissertation-complete.pdf] Text
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (1MB)


This dissertation contributes to the development of a model of education that is systemic, from a person’s conception to graduation from school. It is integral, that is, it develops and integrates the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental intelligences. This definition of integral was grounded in the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo (Ghose, 1990). The research explored nine integral educational programs, gathering interviews of high school seniors identified as representatives from each approach, and their parents. Using their narratives, this study reveals the learning experiences that helped shape the integral development and competencies of these young people. The research question is: What learning experiences support the development of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual intelligences of representative seniors of integral educational programs? Integral programs associated with the following individuals were explored to understand their particular approaches to education: 1) Sri Atmananda, 2) Krishnamurti, 3) Montessori, 4) Fox (Quaker schools), 5) Sri Aurobindo, 6) Gandhi, 7) Yogananda (The Living Wisdom schools), and 8) Steiner (creator of Waldorf schools). Integral education addresses the whole person by creating an environment in which students engage in learning processes and experiences that focus on developing and integrating the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual intelligences. In this dissertation, the qualitative paradigm serves as the context for joining integral and constructivist approaches to create a theoretical framework for understanding integral education. The methodology of narrative inquiry captured the experiences of the nine students and their parents who represent the research population. This purposeful sample is gender-balanced and diverse. Data collection and analysis utilized interviews with students and their parents, curriculum document collection, program observations, and conversations with educators in each school setting. This research provides four specific contributions to systemic, integral education: 1) a theoretical framework, which distinguishes various definitions of integral, and its relationship to holistic when referring to education, 2) a portrait of an individual educated within that framework, 3) extensive examples of learning experiences in each domain of intelligence [physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual, with corroborating research], and 4) a model for a systemic, integral educational approach.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Education > Integral Education
Depositing User: Admin User
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2020 06:38
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2020 06:38

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item