Ecosystems of Education
a 13 session, online Course
February 26 through May 2017
It's Time! REGISTER NOW!
Registration Deadline February 15th
"The experience of the Ecosystems class felt more like the beginning of a journey than a class that you would take to simply learn material. It was a journey both back to myself and beyond myself into a new way to think about teaching and working with children."
Emily, New Mexico 2015
Public School Teacher, 10 years
Education, like all other aspects of life, functions as an ecosystem with each aspect impacting all others. This is true whether we attend to it or not; the only issue is whether we will work consciously with it so the child's whole experience is in service of our educational goals and we all have a sustainable and healthy experience.
We will be offering the Ecosystems of Education course beginning February 26th, 2017. This is one of the two course in the Enki Teacher Training program that can be taken as a stand alone course. This is a 13 session program, is designed for the adult learner - undoubtely a juggler of many balls! - and, therefore, it is spread over 16 weeks to account for holdiays and weeks with greater course workloads.
So what is an Educational Ecosystem? Any Ecosystem has principles that cannot be ignored or violated without paying a high price. For plants, one could say that it is the interaction of sun, water, soil (type and life), and nutrients that make up the Ecosystem. All plants work with these elements - not all in the same way, but all must work with them. Picture what happens when we speed up the fruiting of vegetable plants - chemical fertilizers, herbacides, and pesticides impact the natural ecosystem; the impact is there whether we pay attention or not. The same is true in education; when worked with harmoniously, the core principles create a self-sustaining and vital system that serves health and well being for all.
Just as different plants must work with these underlying principles differently if they are to reveal their true nature, the same is true in education. In this course, we work to uncover each student’s unique outlook on education and explore how she or he can better manifest that vision through understanding of the principle of ecosystems. We do this through study of the Enki Web - the underlying structure of the Enki Education ecosystem using it as a tool to look at educational ecosystems in general.
Each week students are given short exercises to do at home to give them a personal experience of the particular "web thread" in focus, as well as specific reading on the topic. Then in a workshop format, we explore the participants’ personal experience with the exercise. From that,, together, we develop ways each can bring this new understanding into their teaching or life situation. In this way, the students each have their own, personal experience of each of the principles of the educational ecosystem and are better able to apply these to their own situations.
The web principles explored (and shown at left) are: Core Goal; Essential Energy/content focus; Rhythm; Child Development; Integration of Body, Heart, and Mind; Rhythms of Learning/discovery learning; Unity and Diversity; Environment; Teacher -Health and as a Model; Community.
Because our focus is on the underlying principles at play in learning and growing, the experience and understanding gained are applicable to any situation.
Tuition: $650 includes the 13 week course, and the books; scholarships available on a limited basis.
For more information , click here to email your questions and needs and we will get right back to you. Or you can simply call 603 4968605 to register directly.
Yesterday, I received the information about the Enki Ecosystem course. As I read it, it was through the lens of my current work as a midwife. What struck me immediately was that all I have learned and experienced in my work with Enki, has informed the work I do as a midwife - in fact, it has touched all aspects of my life.
As I enter the birth space, it is critical that I open to what is arising; I am reminded of learning to do the same as I entered the space of movement, or lesson, or project. The many hours spent in open observation - of myself, the children, the environment, the activity - now guide me as I work with birthing women.
On top of that, now, as I teach new midwives, I grapple with questions such as, "How did I know what was needed?" As I look for answers, I see that the Enki Web still serves as a framework for exploring and understanding so I can guide others to do the same. Looking from the Ecosystem model explored and experienced in this class has become a way of life for which I am grateful.
2005 to present
Midwife 25 years)
The Ecosystems Course is the foundation of Enki Education. Studying, and understanding this course, has not only been an educational endeavor, but also a personal, spiritual journey. Through this journey, I came to reconnect to parts of myself I have long buried.
This reconnection allowed me to reawaken my vitality in ways I never thought possible. The course study, at times, was challenging. It requires a deep clearing of old patterns. The work was well worth the effort. What blooms in you, and what seeds it plants for your children, is something much needed in our world today.
Enki education is truly one of the most beautiful and humane educational philosophies! It has been a great honor, and privilege to be able to study directly under Beth Sutton, the founder of Enki Education. Her level of expertise, and her attention and focus to every intricate detail, is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced in my 30 years of teaching.
(Special Needs Teacher)
This has been an immensely enlightening course for me and what I’ve learned is valuable. Firstly, I’d like to note the recursion that I’ve experienced in the way in which this course was ‘taught’; the content of the course was shared with us using the paradigm that was laid out in the course content. In this way, I feel I have experienced the process, first hand, of how the Enki Web enables me to engage in the process of meaningful learning and teaching. I don’t think I have ever learned something at such a slow and deliberate pace, making and taking time for intake and digestion of the material. The result has been astounding. I feel like I have a real grasp of the course content, more so than in other courses I’ve taken. This confirms for me, the value of engaging in teaching and learning from an ecosystemic perspective.
(25 year alternative educator)
Even though I have studied Enki over the last 5 years while bringing this philosophy to life in my classroom, the ecosystem course revealed even more of the core of Enki. My understanding of the elements of the ecosystem that makes Enki what it is, broadened and deepened through discussion, through experiential exercises, and through rereading the guides. Engaging with a group brought inspiration and encouragement to fully experience the exercises and share openly even in an online format. Beth has a unique way of bringing participants together, connecting with personal challenges and triumphs, and sharing the insight so valuable to parents and teachers.
Perican 2015 (Enki teacher 5 yrs
alternative educator 10 yrs)
" . . . I can finally dive into rereading the guides. I reread the first two sections yesterday and it is really amazing, after the class, and of course my cumulative time spent with Enki, how much more I understand what the guides are saying!"
(Enki Homeschooler 3 years)
The experience of the Ecosystems class felt more like the beginning of a journey than a class that you would take to simply learn material. It was a journey both back to myself and beyond myself into a new way to think about teaching and working with children. One of the things that I truly appreciated was the camaraderie of walking this path with others. It was helpful to hear others' stories because they shone light on the subjects we were discussing and helped my understanding. Enki and other holistic educational models are not mainstream (yet!) and so it was very special to meet other parents and teachers cut from a similar cloth. They are a resource I still have even though the class is over. Another gift of the class was that it left me with a deeper understanding of Enki and the Enki web than I had when I read the manuals. We got to examine most of the strands, and to experience them in our own lives.
(Public School Teacher 10yrs)
The ENKI Ecosystems coarse was eye and heart opening, It guided me through a personal journey that left me with such gratitude for what ENKI brings to my children and to the classroom. Before taking the coarse I understood ENKI in a topical way, but after moving through the Ecosystems with Beth, I felt it really come alive in me, and began to understand the depth and rhythm that ENKI creates in a tangible way . . . I look forward to learning more
(Homeschooler, Class Teacher
Developer Applesong School)
Parenting as Path: one day workshop
This time it is YOUR child whining in the grocery cart and reaching to pull the candy off the rack. With a smile on your face covering clenched teeth, you cheerfully move her hands back into the cart. She hits you and quickly knocks the magazine rack down. You calmly explain why she mustn't hit, while you put the magazines back and pay the cashier.
But underneath the smile you have had it. You are frustrated and angry - enough already.
Tomorrow is the Spelling Bee (karate competition, gymnastics recital, or any other "performance"). You know your child can win and it would make him so happy - and validate your decision to spend extra time on his practice. But he is in his room alternately whining and stomping and saying he won't go. You gently encourage him, patiently telling him for the umpteenth time that he is the best and to just imagine how happy he will be when he wins.
But underneath the calm encouragement, you are anxious and full of dread - can't he just do this!
A decision has to be made - graduation is near and there is no such thing as letting this one go - any action or inaction is still a decision. You know the choice he wants to make is going to lead to trouble - but you know the sound of that door slamming, the ugly yelling, and the stamping out and not returning till late. So you say very little and put relevant articles you have cut from the paper on his bed (usually to find them crumpled on the floor later!). But you are treading carefully, giving him his wings.
But underneath the calm and quiet, your heart is racing, you aren't sleeping - after all, in the end he is still your baby and you have been through this!
How many of us actually feel good and energized after smiling through scenes like these? I often tease that it seems like children come in with a "cheat-sheet" for how to trigger their parents into their most off-balance selves. They do; at the top it is labeled "Hope and Fear." The unimaginable love that is parenting triggers hope and fear like few other experiences in our adult life. In turn, personal blocks we've carried with us since our own childhood years come roaring onto center stage. Therein lies our opportunity, hiding in the very feelings we think are undesireable, is a voice of extraordinary wisdom.
Consider the examples above. Where is the vitality in these scenes? So often we think the forced smile and surface calm show our strength and willingness to be who we should be. But, in truth, the frustration or anxiety is where the energy is, so that is where we find our own wisdom. Something deep within is using all its strength to try to guide us in a genuine and positive direction. If we can free that hidden voice, our reactions do not spill out on anyone else but instead reveal a deeper and wider knowing. From that place, anger and dread (or any other overwhelming and unpleasant emotion) become doorways to wisdom and guides for clear, supportive, and non-resentful action.
In this one day Parenting as Path workshop, through activities and discussion, we will begin exploring both the wisdom and the blocks, and look at ways we can use all of them to enliven our lives and enjoy our children as we walk the path of parenting.
$265 includes the one day workshop and a follow up consultation.
For more information or to arrange a workshop at your location, click here
. . . and when there is no village?
You still deserve support! It has become clichéd to say that it takes a village to raise a child – no one knows this better than parents in the trenches. But what happens when there is no village? What then? That is the situation most parents face every day.
In the more than 40 years that I have been working with children and parents, I have talked with many parents about the challenges presented by the lack of community in our lives. There is much the modern world offers and each of us treasures the independence of our lives, but it does come at a real cost.
What is it that community life offered in years past that we, in the modern world, experience as such a soul level loss? Is it practical help with caring for the children? Is it the relief of sharing the frustrations and delights with other adults who live in those same trenches? Certainly those things are a critically important part of a healthy family life, but I believe another very important aspect of community is the availability of those who have walked the path of parenting before us – those who have walked it but who are no longer living in the intensity and relentless demands of the childrearing years.
Why? When we are in the “parenting-trenches” it is hard, if not impossible, to take the long view, and harder still to trust ourselves when the stakes are so high and the demands so relentless. It is hard to know whether the explosive two year old or the outrageous 15 is just a passing phase, i.e. something you need to make peace with, or if the anger it rouses in you is your deep and wise alarm system letting you know help is needed. Without the perspective that was once a given in the multigenerational village life, what do we have to help us distinguish between the normal frustration of our very human adult struggles, and the voice of our wisdom alerting us to a deeper need?
Time and space certainly help – but of all the things in short supply for parents, these two top the list! So it becomes imperative to make better use of the time and space we do have. Over the years, many parents I have consulted with - whether by phone or in person - have described the consultation experience as one that provided an expansion of time and space that they didn’t believe possible. In a life where everything seems urgent, they found a fresh perspective – not just any perspective, but one that brought their own wisdom to the forefront.
If you would like to share in this sort of experience, I now offer consulting time for any interested parents – independent of work with the Enki curriculum. As well, if you would like to immerse yourself in a full day of “village” living, I invite you to attend the Parenting As Path Workshop. Click here for details for both private consultations and the one-day event.