Malama 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."