Human-Centred Education

The GHfP Institute has been engaged in Human-Centred Education (HCE), led by Professor Scherto Gill. Formerly developed by the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, Human-Centred Education radically rethinks the aims of education, the nature and processes of learning, and the relationships in the learning communities, and the wider ecosystems.

The vision of Human-Centred Education arose from three decades of work at the Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace. By supporting educational projects and schools worldwide, organising international conferences and symposia, and conducting empirical research into teaching and learning practices, the GHFP has continued to consolidate and articulate ideas underlying Human-Centred Education.

Human-Centred Education (HCE) respects the intrinsic value of the whole person and their well-being, and focuses on cultivating those qualities that can be described as human, including: curiosity, care, compassion, relationship and responsibility.

HCE builds a bridge between the ever-changing principles and policies of public education and the myriad forms of alternative or progressive education. National education policies tend to ignore deeper educational processes, such as the cultivation of qualities that are central to living meaningfully and well, because they focus on high-stakes testing of academic performance. HCE provides an effective antidote to an obsession with testing; it offers a holistic and well-being-oriented approach, without sacrificing educational standards or schools’ interests in academic excellence.

When a school commits to a human-centred approach to teaching and learning, students are empowered to unfold their holistic potential, flourishing both academically and in their wider lives.

Ethics Education Fellowship Programme is a partnership programme co-convened with Arigatou International, Guerrand-Hermès Foundation for Peace, Higher Committee for Human Fraternity, KAICIID International Dialogue Centre, UNESCO Office for Eastern Africa and the UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office; Indonesia National Commission for UNESCO – Ministry of Education of Indonesia; Kenya National Commission for UNESCO – Ministry of Education of Kenya, and Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO – Peace and Reconciliation Unit, Ministry of Education of Sri Lanka.

Ethics Education distinguishes itself with three distinct pillars: (1) Ethical Sensitivity and Ethical Reflection; (2) Ethical Relations and Dialogue; and (3) Child Agency, Participation and Transformative Action. Ethics Education contributes to children and children’s social, emotional, cognitive and even spiritual development and ultimately, their holistic well-being.

Social Emotional Ethical and Spiritual (SEES) Well-Being Programme is a Handbook for teachers who are interested in fostering students’ social, emotional, ethical and spiritual well-being. It aims to nurture students’ sense of themselves as whole persons and support their holistic development. SEES programme is dialogue-centred, and linked to students’ curiosity, openness, emotional awareness, critical thinking, conscious listening, deep dialogue, and abilities to understand and build meaningful relationships with other people, and other sentient beings on the planet. SEES programme forms a dynamic part of the wider human-centred educational vision, which places human development and holistic well-being at the core of all educative endeavours.

More about human-centred education can be found in these recommended books:

Rethinking Secondary Education: A Human-Centred Approach by Scherto Gill & Garrett Thomson, published by Pearson Education in 2012. This book articulates and develops a human-centred vision from conceptual perspectives. These theories form the philosophical underpinning of Human-Centred Education.

Beyond the Tyranny of Testing: Relational Evaluation in Education by Kenneth Gergen & Scherto Gill, published by Oxford University Press in 2020. This book Offers a compelling alternative to the measurement-assessment orientation to evaluation that undermines learning and well-being in schools today. It inspires the possibility of a relational approach to evaluation of students’ learning, teachers’ practices, and whole schools development, with concrete, classroom-rooted practices that can stimulate discussions among school leaders and policy makers

Human-Centred Education: A Practical Handbook and Guide by Scherto Gill & Garrett Thomson, published by Routledge in 2016. This book presents a HCE approach to schooling. It provides implementable suggestions as to how HCE might be adopted as a whole-school initiative, or else woven into particular aspects of existing school life. 

Ethical Education: Towards an Ecology of Human Development by Scherto Gill & Garrett Thomson (eds), published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. This book places human relationships at the core of ethical education. It provides readers with an accessible but sophisticated theory and explores the implications of the theory for educational practices, through the voices of internationally renowned thinkers, researchers and practitioners from a range of fields, including philosophy, education, sociology, psychology, religious studies and spirituality