NHE 100: Introduction to Neohumanist Philosophy (2021)

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Course Description

This course will provide an in-depth introduction to the Neohumanist philosophy that underpins the Neohumanist Education movement, primarily based on readings and reflections from foundational source texts.  Once these concepts are clearly understood, they provide a framework that allows for flexible, culturally appropriate and innovative application in educational practice.

The course will take a broad view of the evolution of human social consciousness and its emerging direction towards a future in which we conceive of ourselves as inextricably interconnected with the “other”. Together, we will explore this interconnection, not only with other humans, regardless of the artificial divisions that national, racial, religious, and other identities have created, but also with the entire planetary biosphere. We will examine the historical antecedents for the emergence of Neohumanism, as well as its particular relevance as a deep, holistic response to the present context of climate collapse and accentuated social inequalities.

We will apply the practical tools offered by Neohumanism to begin to identify, challenge and free ourselves from the fears, attachments and limitations that subconscious cultural conditioning imposes on us, in order to express our humanity more fully. We will also explore the concept of human spiritual potential from a rationalistic standpoint, and the importance of undertaking a personal, transformational inner journey in order to embody these Neohumanist concepts on more than just an intellectual level of understanding.


Students will:

  • Deepen their understanding of the core concepts of Neohumanist philosophy through a close reading of the original source texts written by the founder P.R. Sarkar
  • Explore the connections between Neohumanist philosophy and educational practice and theory
  • Reflect on personal application of Neohumanism to overcome limiting conditioning and to achieve a fuller expression of one’s own humanity


Close reading  /reflection

  • Close reading skills will be fundamental to this course.  We will be not only reading, but analyzing and reflecting on specific passages in the source texts to gain deeper understandings. For this, strong reading comprehension skills in English are needed, as sometimes a particular word needs to be carefully explored in order to gain a precise understanding of the author’s intent.
  • Double entry journaling: The double-entry journal is a two-column journal (you can make this in Word). In the left column, you will write a piece of information from the text, such as a quotation or a concept, which you want to expand upon, understand better, or question. In the right column, reflect on the information that is written in the left column (usually no more than 200 words).
  • Choose one quotation from each article that stands out to you.  Cite the page number on which it can be found.
  • Active participation in discussion and debate. You will be assessed primarily on your active participation in both live discussions and online interactions in the forum.  You are encouraged to question, critique and offer your own interpretations, being aware to give space for others participation as well.
  • Cognitive skills of reason and critical thinking will be emphasized.  We will practice differentiating between fact, opinion, and logical thinking, and explore the role of intuition and ethics in constructing knowledge.
  • Online postings and journal reflections will not be assessed for writing quality – it is the IDEAS that are important.
  • You will learn and practice APA (American Psychological Association) citation format.


  • Class will meet for eight 1½ hour sessions (12 contact hours). You are expected to attend every session.
  • You will be expected to do 1 – 1 ½ hours a week of work outside of class (reading, reflective writing, posting to online discussions, assignments).
  • Participants will turn in all assignments on the due date and post online reflections and responses in a timely way.
  • Participants will observe all co-created ground rules for both verbal and written discussion.


  • I will communicate clearly, explain concepts thoroughly and answer all questions.
  • I will respond to your written work in a timely way; most often before the next class.
  • I will give you honest and fair feedback about your work.
  • I will respond as soon as possible to email (I am aiming to respond within 48 hours but please be patient with me, I am also running 9 projects in Romania).

You will have the opportunity to write a brief assessment of the course, communicating what worked well (and didn’t), how well prepared your instructor was, how useful the assignments were, and any suggestions for improvement.  


It is vital that you keep everything from the course: the syllabus, assignments, and all of the work that you have done.  At the completion of the Teacher Preparation Program, you will have compiled a professional portfolio of work that demonstrates your knowledge, skills and dispositions as a Neohumanist educator.

Knowing is about concept formation, understanding the Big Ideas in the topic of study. 

Doing refers to the ability to apply what has been learned in relevant activity.

Being addresses the arena of teacher “dispositions” – values, interpersonal qualities, commitments, personal growth.


„Liberation of Intellect” , Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar, and other discourses listed in the course, can be obtained on EE9  (Electronic Edition 9 of the Works of P.R. Sarkar): https://anandamarga.net/ee9/

Additional required readings will be posted directly in Learn Dash.

Optional, supplementary materials will be listed in the bibliography.


Computer and Internet with capacity for streaming video and video conferencing (min 3 Mbps)
Word / Open office,  Zoom


I will be primarily assessing active participation, which means expressing your ideas openly and engaging in dialogue with the other participants.  Dialogue includes the capacity not only to express, but also to carefully understand what others say, reflecting and building on their thoughts and the group process in constructive ways.   We will be including small group work, and in those contexts, it is important that you also ensure that everyone participates equally,  even those that tend to be more reticent.

I will provide brief narrative feedback for each assignment you turn in. 

At the end of the course, you will write a self-assessment that communicates what you learned, how you have grown, what new questions have come up for you, etc.

I’ll write a brief narrative assessment, addressing the three areas of knowing, doing, and being, highlighting any special strengths, skills or capacities that you’ve developed over the course of study and suggested areas of growth to continue to focus on.


I will be providing the details of course content week by week directly in Learn Dash.  Course content will become available on a weekly basis on Friday mornings. Below, I have included the outline of the sessions:

Week One (September 9-16)

Laying the foundation: Neohuamanist philosophy as the base for a coherent, innovative educational movement in continuous development

Week Two (September 9-16)

  • How to Consciously Nurture Human Potential in Education

Week Three (September 16-23)

  • Breaking Down the Barriers that Divide Us

Week Four  (September 23-30)

  • Developing the Neohumanist Spirit of Solidarity with All Beings

Week Five (October 7-14)

  • The Regulating Role of Rationality in Neohumanism

Week Six (October 14-21)

  • A Neohumanist Angle on “JEDI” Education for a Better World

Week Seven (October 21-28)

  • Tools for Personal Neohumanist Transformation

Week Eight (October 28)

  • Reflections on personal implementation of Neohumanism

Further readings, suggested bibliography

  • Booth T. & Ainscow M., (2011), Index for Inclusion: Developing learning and participation in schools available at: http://www.csie.org.uk/resources/inclusion-index-explained.shtml, Bristol, UK: CSIE
  • Derman-Sparks L., Olsen-Edwards J.& Goins C. (2020), Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, Second Edition, Washington D.C.: NAEYC
  • Devapriya A., Aldersrowe L. & Amus G., (2016), Earth Care People Care and Fair Share in Education, London, UK: Permaculture Association of Briton
  • Nelson, T. (2002), The Psychology of Prejudice, Boston MA: Allyn&Bacon
  • Winograd K., (2016), Education in Times of Environmental Crisis – Teaching Children to Be Agents of Change, New York: Routledge
  • Inayatullah S., (2011 ) Prout Indicators retrieved 08.09.2021  https://www.metafuture.org/prout-indicators/
  • Inayatullah S., Bussey M. @ Milojević I., (2006), Neohumanist Educational Futures: Liberating the Pedagogical Intellect, Taipei: Tamkang University Press

Zoom Meeting Login

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Didi Ananda Devapriya

1A / 1PM UTC Thursday

Didi Ananda Devapriya

1B / 7AM UTC Sunday


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