Mission Statement: The Whole Elephant Elementary School at Flushing carries out the mission to establish an innovative education system which integrates the most frontier science of the West with the ancient science of mind-body-spirit from the East, with a goal to bring out the Master within each child whose unique passion and talent will be cultivated to blossom and whose mind will be cultivated to reach true maturity with great wisdom of human life and the entire universe. Objectives: The objective of the Whole Elephant Charter School is to establish a new set of education philosophy and practice that integrate the best of the fruits of development of humanity in the area of science, arts and culture, so that the students graduated from our Charter School shall be young scholars in both the English and Chinese Culture as well as young scientists of life, besides meeting the standards required upon them by the State Education Department of New York. The innovation of the education approach is based upon seven years of education research carried out by Dr. Lotus King Weiss at the Flushing Community; such an approach shall overcome the current existing blockage existing in most, if not all public schools: outdated contents of textbooks in all main fields of sciences and history; the lack of individualized guidance and teaching to maximize the power of the young learners, especially young children from immigrants’ family facing major challenges in a new culture and language; not recognizing the immense power of the five thousand years of traditional Chinese culture in elementary school education; not recognizing the critical importance in moral education, wisdom education and disciple education; the loss of the art of education in the format of Master-Disciple relationship. The Motto is our Charter School is: to awake the Master within each Child; our operational principle is: Trust-Love-Respect.
We believe that such a Charter School is much needed for the Flushing Community which is predominant with Chinese Immigrants from the Communist China and have already demonstrated education crisis in the area of English Language learning and severe conflicts of the Chinese Communist Party Culture with the mainstream American Culture; the proposed innovative approach will not only meet the critical needs of the community but also pave up a path for future education that integrates the wonders of the five thousands of years of Chinese Traditional Culture, which is believed to be created by people from all over the world in a spiritual perspective.
The successful operation of the proposed Charter School shall effectively meet and advance all six objectives of the New York State Charter School Law in raising education levels beyond the proficiency standards on state tests, in expanding the learning opportunities for students at risk of academic and personal development failure; in helping low income, minority students as well as English Language Learners and Learners with disabilities; in delivering innovative teaching and learning methods and in providing new professional development and opportunities for teachers, parents and students We are confident that our Charter School will be a great success for advancing the overall quality of Elementary Education in America.. B. Key Design Elements
• Vision of the Design: the Whole Elephant concept is derived from the famous “The Blind Men and the Elephant” story which is deeply rooted in the culture of almost every ethnicity throughout the world. Human being, due to the nature of the physical body, is bound to be BLIND to the Truth of the Universe. Therefore, the most important goal of learning, in the human world, is to find the Way of gaining true vision. From the East, the five thousands of years of Traditional Chinese Culture have laid down the foundation for human beings to gain true vision of human being herself and the entire Universe; in the West, modern science and modern life science have laid down the foundation for humanity to use rationality to understand the limitations of the human body and human technology in face of the vastness of the Universe; our Charter School will combine the best fruits of mankind development of both the East and the West to nurture and awaken the Masters within each child; our students will be led by Master Educators who are leading scholars in the myriads of subjects of the sophisticated traditional Chinese culture as well as scientists in the areas of modern physics and modern life sciences; through wisdom teaching, they will master both Chinese and English Languages; Mathematics; Humanity and Arts; History and Science; the education methods will be an innovative combination of the traditional style of Martial Art Schools from China and the most successful education style in the West: the Graduate School style of Modern Life Science; the relationship between students and Master Educators is a disciple-master relationship, which makes the education of a Whole Person possible.
• Target Population:the Flushing Community is predominant with Chinese Immigrants and Korean Immigrants; in recent years, more and more children from the Mainland China are coming into the Community; the regular public schools are finding it extremely difficult to cope with the fact that these children from the communist China have not only language issues, but also major behavioral issues such as lacking the basic knowledge of respect, trust and love; the communist ideology and culture made even young children lost their innocence; furthermore, due to the extensive and systematic infiltration of the Chinese Communist Government within the Chinese Community through social groups, student groups, politicians, and Chinese language media, the Flushing community has been turned into the backyard of the Communist China, pushing lots of authentic American businesses out from the Community, while allowing hidden corruption and hate crimes to flourish. Education of young immigrants’ children is facing major obstacles in this community; most of the Chinese immigrants are using food stamps and living in illegal housing, doing illegal businesses, struggling to survive in a culture that they do not understand and have no opportunity to learn from; the education philosophy at home by the parents is from the Communist China; communication between Chinese parents and the public school teachers are extremely limited and difficult; the founding members of our Charter School are deeply concerned about the current state of the education of these children and therefore hope to target this endangering student population as a main focus of the proposed Charter School; however, students from all ethnic groups who are interested in the vision and teaching methods of our Charter School are given equal opportunity to be enrolled.
• Specific Education Programs:
From the age of 6 to 11, children are at their best age of mastering foreign languages. Flushing is an unique community since there are almost all types of ethnic groups living in this tight community; as the origin of religious freedom of America, Flushing is also unique in hosting all different spiritual practices from all over the world; our Charter School, with the name of the Whole Elephant, will fully use these unique features and incorporate the strength of the community into our education design; specifically: English:
English language education for the Chinese immigrants’ children here in Flushing at the standard public schools is facing the following challenges: 1) the children do not speak any English at home and are isolated from the mainstream American society due to their living in illegal housings and have parents who are totally unable to speak English and are usually absent from their learning lives due to struggling to make a survival in paying off debts or sending money back to China to raise elderly grandparents; 2) the children lacks a basic understanding of the values, the life style and the culture of America due to being sent back to live in the Mainland China, where the traditional Chinese culture has been totally destroyed but replaced with a culture that is full of deception, violence and corruption under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party; 3) the teachers are unable to understand the great emotional needs from these children and also can not overcome the cultural barriers set by the factors mentioned above, therefore finding it extremely frustrating to teach these children; 4) the parents and the teachers do not have an effective way of communicating due to the frequent no-show of the parents in all PTA meetings and the inability of the parents to understand proper way of timely communication with the school; 5) the children do not have the proper behavioral discipline and the teachers do not know how to rectify the situation due to not understanding the cause of these behavioral issues. These issues accumulate to create major stress on the sides of the teachers, the parents and the young learners. As a result, there are many for-profit “after-school” businesses in the community making huge profit on teaching English to the immigrants’ children while the local public school find little support from the Chinese immigrants families. However, the Chinese Immigrants Children are still facing major challenges in learning English.
Our Charter School will be able to completely resolve all above-mentioned issues due to our designed structure of education has incorporated the education of the best from both the East and the West culture. By bringing in the Master Educators who are familiar with the Chinese culture and are able to speak both languages, and also bringing the Chinese parents directly onto the education program, incorporating the wisdom teaching of the traditional Chinese culture as a powerful remedy to rectify the damaging influence of the Chinese Communist Party Culture, both the parents and the children will for the first time find a true home learning environment to nurture their growth into the mainstream American Society. Therefore, in our English education program, we will emphasize the American Culture education and play key efforts to make the children and parents an integral member of the English-speaking community of Flushing. Besides meeting the standard required by the New York State Public School system, our Charter School will also add innovative teachings:
While English and Chinese languages are the key languages for the students to master, the children we enroll will also include immigrants’ families speaking various different languages, such as those immigrants who are from Korea, India, South America, Afghanistan and Italy/Greece. Due to the seven years of community service by the Whole Elephant Institute team, there are community leaders from each of these different ethnic groups who are working closely on the public education platform of the Whole Elephant Institute and the Korean Community Center of New York; Teams of Mothers and Grandmothers from each of these ethnic groups have been enthusiastically supporting the education efforts of the Whole Elephant Institute, and therefore will be the key supporters of the language education program in our Charter School; since the key of language education for children is a living environment of using such a language, Flushing community is ideal for foreign language education; our Master Educators in the area of language education will host seminars and workshops of different languages by Parents and Grandparents of the community in each ethnic groups, focusing upon the education of day to day living wisdom and colorful culture of each ethnic groups. Chinese: The Wonders of the Chinese Characters are still beyond the understandings of most of the American educators, unfortunately. We believe that the Chinese language is a divine language whose inner contents are so vast and profound that shall benefit anyone who is willing to invest efforts into the study of this great language. Furthermore, the profundity of the ancient Chinese Science in the area of medicine, holistic practices, spiritual science, and all the way to the origin of humanity and the universe can not be fully appreciated without the mastering of Chinese. In this regard, for the young Americans who are children of Chinese immigrants, already mastered the ability to speak Chinese language due to their being sent back to China for their early childhood, it would be a great waste if they are not given a chance to continue to advance in their Chinese language ability in their daily school lives. Furthermore, the bad influence of the Chinese Communist Party Culture will be a great road block for their emotional and spiritual development here in America, and the best nutrients their mind can absorb are the teachings of Traditional Chinese Culture in Chinese native language. While advancing their skills in using English as their main language here in America, they at least can find roots and feel proud of their parents’ heritage and then discover a whole world of wonder that can motivate them to inherit and use them to bring great achievements and benefits to this great new country they are born into. In every regard, teaching Chinese immigrants’ children to learn Chinese is a must in helping them to make further advancement here in America, according to our education philosophy. Similarly, to children who are not born into Chinese ethnic families but have great interest in learning the culture and language of Chinese, our Charter School will be ideal for them as well. With the globalization of the world, people from all over the world will need to find their way to communicate with 1.3 billion Chinese who will be playing key roles in every area of social phenomena. From a spiritual perspective, the land of China was said to be the first home of every soul on this planet. If this is true, when humanity is ready to embark on the path of final Return, Chinese language will be the Mother Language that all human beings will need to use for listening, speaking, reading and writing as a main form of communication.
Chinese Language education in our Charter School will be very innovative and adopt the textbooks already composed by a large group of world scholars specialized in Chinese Language education (www.pureinsight.org) . These textbooks have already been used in a set of international Chinese School called the Minghui Schools and show great benefits. Mathematics: Besides the standard teachings required by the New York State public school system, we will add innovations into our Math Teaching Program.
We believe that different ethnic groups have unique way of understanding Mathematics and distinct insights of the application of mathematics in their daily lives; numbers in Chinese culture also are not only for calculating but also for understanding the Ying and Yang balance and deeper mysteries of the Universe; the education of mathematics will be led by Master Educators who will pay attention to incorporate the various culture background of the immigrants by inviting the parents and grandparents to come to the classroom to share their wisdoms about numbers; practical application of mathematics in thinking and daily lives of the students will be encouraged; intervention and innovation with numbers by students will be nurtured through various forms of competitions; Science: Besides the education of the standard knowledge required by the New York State Public School system, we will focus upon the introduction of the most frontier science of our time: the human life science.
The Human Body is the finest and most precious instrument in the world for any human being, and the correct and up to date knowledge of human body science is a foundation for any human being to treasure and take good care of such an instrument which is the vehicle for humanity to go beyond and for reaching Perfection.
The goal of teaching human body science in our Charter School is to deliver the students with the most valuable knowledge from the ancient to the modern about the universe that each student is in charge of so that they can walk their life journey with confidence and essential truth of life. The knowledge of the human body, which is the most surface layer of the human being, has been the subject of pursue of the various schools of modern life sciences, from Anatomy, which is a science to break apart the human physical body into different parts of organs, to physiology, which is a science to understand how different organs operate in harmony to carry out the human body functions, to Histology, which is a science to examine how various tissues form an organ, to Cell Biology, which is a science to study how the basic component of each tissues, called Cells, operate as functional units, to Molecular Biology, which is a science to understand within each Cell, how molecules work together in a complicated society to carry out the functions of each Cell. The knowledge modern life science has gained is extremely insightful for humanity to understand the nature of the material existence of the most amazing instrument each human being is given; or we can say, each Universe each of us is given responsibility to, to govern. In every way, such knowledge represents the highest level of knowledge humanity has gained through the path of modern science and has consumed an astronomical amount of human resource in the process. Unfortunately, the general populace is given very little chance to grasp the wisdom behind the knowledge obtained about human body, primarily due to the vast amount of information behind each specific subject; furthermore, the scholars in these areas have been using a system of language that is so esoteric that makes the general public unable to understand the new discoveries in the most frontier area of modern life sciences; the constant pursue for grant dollars among researchers in the frontier life science fields also severely prevented the scientists to invest efforts into delivering their knowledge to the general public whose tax dollars have been supporting their luxurious life style of having the glory and leisure to delve into a world so splendid and mysterious. With all these reasons, the treasures of knowledge and wisdom already obtained by the frontier life scientists are not given to the general public and is absent from the textbooks for our children. The understanding of such knowledge is possible even for children as young as four years old, when illustrated properly and delivered in a language that is understandable at that age. Therefore, our Charter School will make an effort to bring together a team of scientists from the frontier life science field to generate new textbooks which will systematically deliver the most up to date knowledge of human physical body to the students from K to Grade 5. Three D cartoons and various other art formats will be applied.
However, our education of human physical body will not only be limited to what we have gained in the frontier life science field. A different system, which is from the antiquity and has been passed on through masters to disciples, regarding the human body beyond the molecular composition level, has now been made available to the world, through the profound teaching of an ancient Qigong practice, called Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong (www.falundafa.info). In the long history of traditional Chinese medicine, human body science was revealed to the level of Qi and the meridian energy system, a realm that is still beyond the thorough investigation of the modern people through human technology; since the composition of the human body at that level concerns microcosmic particles that human physical instruments can not grasp the whole picture. However, accomplished individual human beings, through the art of Cultivation, gained direct experience and deeper insight into the existence of the more microcosmic existence of human body; the over 100 million Falun Dafa practitioners have validated the true science of human body at extremely microcosmic levels and for the first time learn the vast Universe in a way that no others have been able to. The art of cultivation practice will therefore be taught in our Charter School, by local Falun Dafa practitioners in Flushing. The various aspects of the mysterious of human body revealed by these practitioner scientists will be presented through seminars and workshops, and a cross-talk between the modern frontier life scientists and these cultivation practitioner holistic scientists will be nurtured to allow the young students to broaden the horizon of their mind and heart. History: Besides the standard history knowledge required by the New York State Public School system, we will add innovations into our teaching programs of History.
While the study of Human Body allows the students understand the physical universe of an individual, the understanding of the human society as a whole along the axis of time and space requires the study of human history. Chinese Historians and Scholars take history very seriously since they consider the role of history to be a Mirror, which shows humanity lessons learned through human behaviors, good or bad. For a scientist, history is real data to collect in order to understand the human phenomena. The goal of teaching history in our Charter School is to help the children understand a big picture of humanity as a whole, and to use history as a mirror to discern good and back in their current life so that they will not participate in wrong doings that were already made in the human history; The Flushing Community is extremely rich in experts and scholars from all over the world, carrying their unique stories of life, culture and history. Our Charter School believes that each child should be given the knowledge of their family history, community history, the history of different nations and the history of different culture. The best family history teachers are the parents and the grandparents of the children. The best format of family history education is story-telling for the elementary school students. The elders in each community should be the most respected group, since they have wisdom and knowledge that textbooks do not have. They are the best history teachers for elementary school students. Since there are senior citizens from all over the world living in Flushing, the resource of our Charter School in history teaching is highly rich. Building a platform to nurture the interaction between young scholars who have received standard American Education and the senior citizens whose knowledge of the world were gained through their journey of real lives shall be the format of education for our students in the Charter School. The students shall learn history through attending a colorful arrays of story-telling, community history forum, expert seminars and multi-culture workshops, and then through discussion, debates, essay competition, thesis presentation to attain and express their basic knowledge of history. The Master Educator is responsible to assure that each of his or her student shall be systematically given standard information and knowledge of the general history of the world and America; the history of four ancient civilizations in particular, the five thousand years of traditional Chinese history, is a required subject of all Charter School Students. Excellent textbooks in this area are already completed by our team of education exerts and posted on the website (www.pureinsight.org). Translation into English and other languages will be completed by our education team in the next several years.
Humanity: The human history is like the history of an embryonic development followed by the journey of a human being’s life. Although there ar
e countless historic events occurred on the earth, but the central core of human history is dictated by an invisible force which, like an individual human being, is called the Spirit. There is a Spirit of human history on the earth, which is bestowed with a purpose of the Universe. Such a purpose is for humanity to go beyond itself and reach to a higher level. In scientific term, it is a process of evolution. The true nature of humanity is distinct from all other life forms on the earth, and such a nature is the subject of the study in our Charter School, under the subject of Humanity Study.
The humanity study will examine the origin of human spirit according to various schools of teachings of the spiritual science. From the East, we have the teachings from the Daoism, Buddhism and Confucius; from the West, we have teachings from the Jewish ancient religion, from the teachings about Moses, Jesus, Maria, and other Saints and Sages; the stories about these great beings who traveled on the earth in human world ages ago establish the important concepts of a world that is much bigger than the visible and tangible physical world for most human beings; the study of humanity can be further traced back to five thousands of years ago in ancient China when heaven and earth were much more intimate. The goal of the Humanity Study Teaching will help the students in our Charter School understand the uniqueness of human spirit, the various elements of important disciplines of human spirit and moral principles, and the origin of such disciplines and principles, so that they can apply them into their daily life. According the traditional Chinese culture, a human being should first learn to be a qualified human being before he is entitled to be given knowledge of the human world, to avoid self-destruction or harming others with the knowledge gained when he or she is not ready to shoulder the responsibility of the knowledge. The best text books which integrate many moral teachings for young students at the elementary level are: Sazijin (the Three Words Sutra) and Dizigui (the Disciplinary Teachings for Young Disciples). Many stories from Buddhism, Daoism, Confucius, the Bible, and the Ancient Legendary Stories or Classical Historic Poems will be the choice of textbooks for Humanity Study. Flushing community has all formats of spiritual schools which will be encouraged to join and support the seminars and workshops of our Charter School education program of the Humanity Study.