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Related Words, Beliefs, Background--part 4

Education, Beliefs, Spirituality,
Worldview Development and Assessment

alphabetical listing: A to K 

  alphabetical listing, continued: L to Z
adopting healthy beliefs -- where the evidence for or against buying into a particular belief is not persuasive one way or the other, deciding whether to adopt the belief based on the extent to which it will promote your health and the health of the society you live in. Example: Consider whether to believe in the idea that human beings are all connected to each other in an unseen way. Whereas clearly in the three dimensional world perceived by our ordinary senses human beings are separate, unconnected entities, the possibility exists that humans could be linked in other ways: in higher spatial dimensions, in a spiritual realm, by each being connected to God, etc. Suppose after investigating pro and con evidence related to this belief you are still undecided as to its ultimate truth, but do become convinced that if in fact this were true, and everyone believed it, the world would be a better place -- or at least if you believe it your psychological health will be enhanced (you won’t feel so alone, so alienated, etc.) So you weave this belief and others into your worldview because they have psychological advantages and make you a healthier, more together person and, if others believed them, could make the world a better place -- not because you are unequivocally convinced that they are part of the ultimate, true description of Reality. Similarly you do not buy into other beliefs, not because you’re convinced they are untrue, because you see that they could potentially be unhealthy to you or to society. Example: as a young child you decide not to believe in the idea that if you behave badly that you will burn in hell because burning in hell scares you and gives you nightmares. You decide to behave (for other reasons) but not believe in hell and this choice seems healthy.

character education–according to the Character Education Partnership, it seeks to develop "ethical, responsible, and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through emphasis on universal values." Others broaden it to include building emotional intelligence, social / conflict resolution skills, critical thinking, etc

conative—refers to purposeful action including the willful, not always rational, intent to act. As one of three learning domains—along with the cognitive and affective—it replaces the older “psychomotor” name.  

cultural literacy -- the ability to converse fluently in an appropriate cultural context, that is with allusions to common core knowledge, using idioms, slang and communicating informally in a way that generally connects with the dominant culture where one lives

financial literacy--according to the National Endowment for Financial Education, this is "the ability to read, analyze, manage, and communicate about the personal financial conditions that affect material well-being. Financial literacy includes the ability to discern financial choices, discuss money and financial issues without (or despite) discomfort, plan for the future, and respond competently to life events that affect everyday financial decisions, including events in the general economy."  

global education -- wholistic education that focuses on whole systems and emphasizes the interconnections and interdependencies that traditional, reductionist education often overlooks. It extends boundaries of concern, and strives to involve the whole person -- seen as a thinking, feeling, joining and doing creature. A more focused aspect of global education involves promoting the worldview development of individual people. This is what inspires the global education symbol—with a globe centered on the head of a young person.

justification of belief -- This involves 1) believing that according to some standard or by some criterion a statement is actually true, 2) having evidence or data to support the above conclusion, and 3) evaluating the certainty with which the belief is established. In this latter regard, if the evidence or data is complete and fully applicable or relevant to the standard or criterion, the belief can be accepted with certainty; if the evidence is only partially complete and / or not fully applicable or relevant, some doubt should accompany accepting the belief, if it is accepted at all. And, of course, the standard or criterion used should be subjected to similar scrutiny, or at least identified when promoting the belief

learning domains--educational activities and associated objectives are sometimes categorized using three domains: 1) cognitive--relates to comprehending and intellectual processing of information and knowledge in forming concepts, having ideas, and having beliefs; 2) affective--relates to the emotions associated with learning experiences; 3) psychomotor--relates to the physical activity and motor skills component of learning. Very loosely these learning domains can be related to thinking, feeling, and doing. See conative.

life coach – one who offers support to people who are struggling with life’s problems.  It is possible to become trained and certified in this relatively new profession.  The term generally refers to those who specialize in life or personal coaching, but some who offer assistance to aid those desiring career counseling, help in starting a small business or advancing an organization’s goals, etc. may also think of themselves as life coaches.  Since happy and productive lives are ultimately based on healthy worldviews, if an individual is having difficulty assessing values and understanding / articulating his or her worldview, the right life coach may be of great help.


reason vs. faith—essentially the distinction here is between belief supported by facts and concepts, ultimately linked to observation and experience, which fit together in a coherent way as part of a useful, logical framework, and belief for which there is no such basis, but instead only one’s unshaken feeling of confidence, trust, and willingness to believe.  When one’s knowledge and experience is limited, belief can be extended based on trusting the authority of someone else, rather than doing one’s own investigation into the rational basis for belief.  Sometimes, there is no way to rationally or scientifically decide and anyone holding such belief holds it through faith.  In this way faith can be connected with belonging.  Some see faith as a valid basis for knowledge, others say it provides no such basis.  Some see reason as threatening faith--meaning as one increasingly relies on it, one’s reliance on faith diminishes.  

scientific literacy--according to the National Academy of Sciences, this is "the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity. It also includes specific types of abilities."

spirituality–narrowly defined as the quality or state of being spiritual–which relates to matters pertaining to vital spirit or soul–or more broadly as: 1) "the process and result of nurturing one's soul and developing one's spiritual life" (David N. Elkins),  and       2) "one's spirituality is the range of one's emotional relationships to those questions that cannot be answered..."like  'What happens when you die?'"(Jaron Lanier).  Some confine their spirituality to the boundaries provided by traditional religion; others look elsewhere to meet spiritual needs. Some link spirituality to feeling connected to something bigger. 3) In recent years Project Worldview has begun promoting a new way of metaphorically looking at spirituality—as the domain at the intersection of what both our heads and our hearts tell us is fundamentally important.

systems--regularly interacting entities forming unified wholes.  Separated from their surroundings by a boundary, mass, energy and information flow both into and out of the system. These are also transferred within the system between its component parts.  While examples of systems can be found everywhere throughout the natural, manmade and conceptual worlds, they vary greatly in complexity. In the natural world cells, an animal's circulatory system, the human brain, ecosystems, the Earth, and the Milky Way Galaxy can be understood as systems.  In the manmade world we can similarly consider household cooling systems, automobile braking systems, computers, automobiles, buildings. In the conceptual realm computer models simulate real systems that exist in natural, manmade realms, along with parts of the human societal framework. Examples of the last type include models represent-ing a public social security system, and national economy.   As these examples suggest, many systems are composed of systems (called subsystems), and particularly complex systems may have many levels of organization.

technology assessment -- a procedure that involves     1) collecting information about the technology and how it will be used in meeting specified objectives, 2) identifying impacts of its use in various areas (environmental, economic, social, political, etc), 3) assessing impacts and identifying tradeoffs, 4) formulating, then examining alternatives, with quantitative models and forecasts, 5) making recommendations including designating a preferred alternative that best meets objectives while minimizing impacts / other concerns , and 6) making plans for monitoring performance

technological literacy-- involves understanding what technology is, how it works, what it's good for, and specifically how it can be used to best accomplish specific tasks.  Measuring it involves gauging one's comfort level with technology "encompassing three interdependent dimensions: (1) knowledge; (2) ways of thinking and acting; and (3) capabilities" (the latter according to the National Academy of Engineering).  

useful fiction -- even if you mostly don’t belief in something, if believing has psychological advantages then for you this belief can be a useful fiction. This is related to the practice of adopting healthy beliefs.

worldview literacy-- refers to mastery of the concepts, terminology, and background related to a wide range of beliefs and worldview component themes, and at least basic understanding of these beliefs and themes.  Such mastery and understanding are indicative of someone whose own worldview is well developed.  This shows one has benefited from past or ongoing consideration of many diverse beliefs and worldview themes and has selectively incorporated a few of them into his or her worldview only after an examination of how compatible they are with the rest of the framework.  


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