Personality education and development

Society is changing dramatically, especially as a result of rapid digitalization, which embeds people in anonymous algorithmic processes. In the specialized modern sciences, the classical image of man no longer has a place. How can we preserve (or restore) freedom and self-direction of the individual under these conditions?

Our answer is: Meditation and self-reflection as a component of education ("Education 5.0")! Meditation is a method that goes beyond the acquisition of factual knowledge to focus on and promote the personality in a holistic way. Meditation is opening oneself to the whole breadth of human experience and action. Meditation realizes a higher autonomy of consciousness in dealing with oneself and the world (in the context of higher education this means above all: with knowledge and learning).  New competencies, new capacities for action and interaction emerge. They go hand in hand with the deep insight that the individual is inseparably connected to society and its structures, acts within them and can change them positively.

What is personality education and development?

As a rule, educational processes in schools and universities take place as the imparting of knowledge within the framework of subjects. The person himself, the individual, is left out of the picture (in this respect it is a "blind spot") and comes into view at most when dysfunctionalities occur (stress, illnesses, etc.), which are then dealt with, if at all, by external experts from the health care system, but not by the educational institutions themselves.

Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is turning to the person of its students to address the "blind spot" of the education system. Personality education means this new focus on students. In 2016, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences launched the project "Personality, Reflection and Society," which has now been absorbed into the ZPG as a scientific center.  This name alone makes it clear that personality is a component of society and interacts with it - reflection provides the connecting link between the two "poles".

The project Personality Formation and Development at the ZPG of the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences consists of differentsegments:

- Related to the field of culture and art is cultural education. Here, education (but in the classical sense of an "educational canon") and the accompanying reflection are mostly directed at entities such as books, films, plays, operas, etc. And their horizon-expanding ("opportunity-building") and possibly emancipatory content.

- Key competenceshave a supra-disciplinary character and are to be understood as meta-competencies to personal and social competencies/qualifications.

Finally, meditation and the resulting mindfulness touch the "core" of the personality.Here it is about the self-reference to the "inside", in order to learn to see the social and world references in a new way. Both "inside" and "outside" are newly constructed, newly built up in this process. The process of meditation is, seen in this way, an exercise in a "„basic key competence" (or: a general meta-competence before all special meta-competence).

This is about the self-reference to the "inside", in order to learn to see the social and world references anew. Both "inside" and "outside" are reconstructed and rebuilt in this process. The process of meditation is, seen in this way, an exercise in a "
basic key competence" (or: a general meta-competence before all special meta-competences).



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Excursus on terminology: why personality "education" instead of personality "development"?

"Education" emphasizes the fundamental building up and expansion of one's own vision and abilities in the process of meditation. It is necessary in this process to "forget" to some extent what we had to acquire in the socialization process on the background of the industrial-scientific culture and to press the "reset" button. The "personality" must be "reconstructed" in this sense, that is, "formed" completely anew. Incidentally, the concept of "education" also associates the fine arts, in which the artist models his work of art and thus creates it for the very first time.

Personality "development" instead refers to an already existing construct of (already socially-socially shaped) "personality" that merely needs to be (further) developed. Here we quickly associate models of "optimization" or "coaching" for the purpose of better functioning in social systems. However, this is much less than what we can and want to achieve in the process of meditation (unless we want to use meditation and mindfulness merely instrumentally in a reduced form).

Thus, personality "formation" begins at a basal level of one's own "self" which tends to be still non-linguistic and free of interpretation, whereas personality "development" starts later and is already interwoven with linguistic-thinking understanding of the world in social systems.


Anchoring in teaching and further education

- Studium Generale of Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences:
Continuous course since summer semester 2017 "Meditation as a cultural practice"

- Free meditation offer in presence for students, teachers employees sommer semester 2017 to winter semester 2019/20

- Development and implementation of continuing education programs for students and teachers (e.g. certificate course "Mindful University Teaching") - networking with our partners in Thuringia, Osnabrück and Munich, among others.

Katrin PieszczykID: 8230
last updated on: 01.17.2024