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Malama Learning Facility

Malama Learning FacilityMalama is the inspiring online "learning facility" designed by physicist, inventor, educator, musician, and writer Duen Hsi Yen of Hawaii. His fascinating and engaging essays bring to mind an observation by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman: "Human beings should treat human beings like human beings." Like Feynman and other humanitarian writers and philosophers, Yen has a clear understanding of the simple yet profound truth that we should all treat each other with dignity and respect. What makes his work of special significance is that he has taken the further step of examining all the various ways in which we can - and must - learn to do this.

The "Noogenesis" web site, which includes the Malama section, covers a wealth of material on contemporary thought, including psychology, sociology, philosophy, physics, and linguistics, on subjects ranging from the invention of pencils to mending our society and our relationships with each other.

The "wordmap" at the beginning of the Malama section provides links to many intriguing essays. Because the site is a work in progress, there are still some unlinked words that give an indication of treasures to come.

The Malama Learning Facility is described as an "embryonic idea for using hypertext to teach academic disciplines, social skills and moral values holistically, with a constant awareness and attention to the meaning of malama." This beautiful word has many definitions, including nurturing, caring for, protecting, watching over, preserving, serving, honoring, and supporting.

Of special interest to families are the essays "Johari Window" (a model for interpersonal communication), "Listening" (attending with validation and respect), "My Rights" (a list of six basic human rights a "must read"), "Fairness", "Encouraging Words", and an Alice Miller page. The link on "Coercion" leads to a description of the gentle, aboriginal Semai people of the Malay peninsula, who teach their children the concept of "bood": the "right to say no". Within the larger Noogenesis site are the unique and useful "Invention Page for Kids", and the articles and children's stories at the "Pineapple Middle School" page. For those considering homeschooling and all those with an interest in educational issues, there is an exceptionally well-presented overview of John Taylor Gatto's essays. (See links below.)

Yen extends this invitation to his site visitors: "I created this site on the World Wide Web to facilitate the development of a collective conscious caring world wide mind. Right now, this site is just a seedling, sprouting its first leaves. I need all of you others there in cyberspace to bring sunshine, water and nutrients, to keep this idea growing."

 
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