- Who are these courses for?
So, we look forward to learning and working with you if:
*You are seeking a wisdom for the 21st century.
*You have completed secondary studies but feel that your education has lacked any real understanding of life and meaning.
*You are engaged in tertiary studies but are uncertain how your studies relate to your own and world futures and seek answers.
*You are employed but would like to find more purpose in your work or perhaps influence your colleagues and business affiliates to move towards better social and environmental outcomes.
*You are a parent, prospective parent, grandparent, godparent or indeed anyone with a real wish for better futures for future generations and a desire to act on that wish.
*You are retired or supporting others but and wish to learn more about humanity and how you too can help shape human and world futures.
- How can these courses help me, humanity and the world I live in?
We almost all wish for human progress; for better futures for ourselves and others. But how can we turn these wishes to reality? This is the fundamental purpose of our courses. We believe human progress must be based on a sound education that fosters a wisdom for the 21st century, a hope for better futures and the desire and capacities to make those futures happen.
So our courses aim to enhance your understanding of self, your place in the world, your sense of purpose, and your engagement with the future. In so doing, they go well beyond most formal educational curricula: they offer education for life and living.
- Why are there two courses and how are they integrated?
The two courses explore the fundamental concerns of EWF: What does it mean to be human? (Humanity) and: How can we contribute to better human and world futures? (Action). These courses might have been rolled into one with perhaps the overarching title: The Nature and Future of Humankind. But in practice, this would have been too extensive and would not have allowed enough time to learn, assimilate and reflect on each course area. So, we created Humanity as the first course since we felt that a sound knowledge and understanding of who we are was needed before progressing on to the second course, Action. Humanity can be studied alone but is a prerequisite for studying Action.
We certainly recommend studying both; they are deliberately integrated, many of the topics and concerns raised in Humanity are taken up and given a practical edge in Action. If you are interested in not just knowing and thinking but also doing, then the two courses are for you.
- How are they presented?
We believe the most important role for education is to foster human well-being. To do this, education needs to be not just informative but transformative. We aim for students to not just know and understand more but to engage more and do more: ‘it is not what you know but what you do that counts.
We use a student-centred, social-constructivist approach to achieve this aim. The ‘social’ simply means that much of your learning is through dialogue and collaboration with others and ‘constructivist’ means that you actively participate in the learning process, you do not just absorb but construct your own knowledge and understanding
The two courses are run fully on line: each course runs for 12 weeks. Each week has a main theme or focus. Within each theme you will be presented with ‘Resources’ and ‘Activities’. You will need to explore the Resources which will outline the scope and purpose of the theme and provide course material including notes, course readings, videos, and reference to further sources of information in the public domain. Activities are designed for you to fully engage with the course and go well beyond simple passive consumption of information. Activities include quizzes and assignments, collaboration with others through forums and projects, and creation of a ‘Portfolio’ which includes a learning journal where you record your progress in terms of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes. Students work together collaboratively in small class groups discussing ideas and projects and with our broader EWF Action Network (URL??) where they can bring their ideas into practice.
- What qualifications do I need to enrol?
No formal qualifications are required however, since the courses are set at a first-year university level, you would normally be expected to have completed secondary education or have had an equivalent working or life experience. Contact us for more advice (URL to contact page).
- How much work is involved?
What you get from this course will depend on what you put in. This applies to most courses but particularly to Humanity and Action. The curriculum is deliberately open-ended; you will need to carry out the suggested work and activities, but if you have the time and opportunity you are strongly encouraged, to go much further by taking on suggested optional activities or following your own lines of interest within the set Themes. This is when the course truly becomes your own and something you can share with others. In practice we suggest that, for the 12 weeks of the course, you should allow a minimum of 4-6 hours a week and preferably 8-10 hours if you really want to get maximum value from the course.
- How are they examined?
We are keen to minimize formal, competitive examinations. From many decades of experience with university examinations we believe they are often contrary to the very purpose of education and certainly EWF education which emphasises cooperation over competition. The best judge of how you are going is yourself. It is part of our mission to help you to do just this: it is an important life skill.
Having said that we do provide some external guide and so we offer three grades: Certificate of Completion, Certificate of Merit and Certificate of Excellence, approximating university grades of pass, credit and distinction, respectively. These grades will be awarded primarily on your level of engagement with the courses, how much you have helped each other, and any relevant extra curricula work you have completed.
Again, in the spirit of true education, we do not believe that a grade awarded at the end of a 12-week course necessarily reflects the capacity or real merit of the student. Thus, we are planning to keep grades open for a year following the course. If a student continues membership in our EWF Action Network and is involved in further learning and action, then they can apply to have their grade advanced. We believe that this a unique feature of our courses but totally in keeping with the goals of our education.
- Are they formally accredited?
At this stage our courses are not formally accredited other than by EWF.
Their main beneficiary is you and through you, our communities and ultimately our world. This is what we want the emphasis to be on, not simply on accruing tickets for recognition by others. Having said that, we do recognise that it can be important to be able to present your EWF accomplishments to others for example when applying for jobs. So, we have developed means of doing just that in ways we believe are much more useful than just the formal award of a graded certificate.
First, we offer a full outline of our curricula content in terms of both scope and depth, together with set activities and standards to be reached.
Second, as students, you establish ePortfolios where you keep a full account of what you have learnt, your participation in the course, eg forums, and your productions, eg videos and scripts, collaborative project work and relevant extra curricula activities including further studies and voluntary work.
These ePortfolios are yours and can be used to show people just what you have done and can do in the future.