Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog - Humanities new “Canon” ?? - a new German Bildungskanon ??    
 Humanities new “Canon” ?? - a new German Bildungskanon ??
picture picture 26 Oct 2007 @ 08:09, by Heiner Benking

HERE SOME QUESTIONS: Is there a “store of knowledge" which we learn about, and jointly explore, share, and apply ??? - see the context, the frame, and the why we should learn? and what?? Should we use Signs, and Symbols, Images, Analogies, Maps and Models and Puzzles to help us digest and share what we know about the world? See here the and the themes in our German ZEIT Magazin. So how to come to shared references or "order" ? as a pile of stone is not a house or canon. How about making use of Intelligences, Minds, Reason, ? and see them as one and combine them - because it is hard and misleading to be one-eyed and self centered only, leaving levels, times and others "out of the picure" instead of comming "down to Earth"? Pls. see also below regarding grounding and purpose and responsibilities the question to Al Gore about "up to the moon" ? or "down to Earth" ! I hope the texts and references in the "corpus" below make sense and help us to make what we can know more real and shareable.

Puzzels, walls, houses, or cathedrals

Humanities new “CANON” -  the new German BILDUNGSKANON ??

or “store of knowledge we need to learn about, and jointly explore, share, and apply”  ???


Should we use Signs, and Symbols, Images, Analogies, Maps and Models and Puzzles to help us digest and share what we know about the world?



Today we have a new puzzle-quest:  

please go to


The ZEIT Journal is still using strangely distorted world maps (pls. see this link on Earth Literacy and much needed “Map- and Model –Alphabetisation Efforts”,  and locates 6 strange categories: Political Sciences, Economy, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Cultural Sciences, and Daily Life – Culture. Each with 6-10 categories.


We applaud the effort of the ZEIT visualisation-team, special to use a 3-D puzzle, but have the designers and editors looked into a meaningful Bildungs-Canon ever?

Have they looked into multi-lingual, multicultural switching systems across scales and cultures?

I wonder !  - have the designers  looked at the world-map sent with every weekly – 500 000 Copies ?? – to present in a new “Canon” old Worldmaps and Worldviews?? and overclaims and oversimplifications? ( Culture of Peace 1997 - )

Have the Zeit authors and editors looked into the Frankfurt Book-fair, (LIT) UNESCO & Google Literacy Campaign ******?

Have they realized that our pupils get dumbed down with strange digital world-maps – if you pan t the global scale – the maps Google Earth – not Google Earth !! is using?  - see “Humane Information Society

or Die Neuen Medien - Kommunikative Gesellschaft ? (2000) or Coping with Globalisation and Cyberculture?  -


Many questions ! -  Maybe consult the Earth Literacy link above or join in here:


The first section is about “The Earth”, but I wonder what is creative, synthesizing, new in this first of 50 sections, and how they want to brig the knowledge in the 50 sections together! See Howard Gardners integrating and other “minds” mentioned below.

I wonder if they saw the Global Change: Challenges to Science and Politics effort:, done closely with the Alfred Wegner Foundation

- (just see the historic changes of the planet at page 44-45 in ZEIT about Alfred Wegeners “out-of the box thinking”),  and with centers and Research Associations like: Frauenhofer, Max-Planck, The German Federal Research Centers (AGF now HGF), for the Chancellery, with consultations with the US NRC, NAS, AAAS, and visited by the White House Conference of on GLOBAL CHANGE. Maybe this more recent links on Global Research Challenges, NAS-Washington ***, the 2020 Emergency Teach-In ****, or these links on Higher Education are helpful *****, as there is much more to be said about Earth for this new Canon.

Please follow the links where we did more coherent and meaningful ways to order and visualize, ways to bring pragmatic alternative approaches to the store of knowledge of humankind – call it Bildungskanon… maybe also check out the Positive News links on Literacy and the Decade for Education for Sustainable Development:



I will present here some “out – of – box !  approaches to not only look into what we know or do not know – or what is un-knowable, but  that we need much more than an education canon, As this is about knowing – not acting responsibly and sharing towards positive outcomes”.

Starting from Howard Gardners “Intelligences” and “Minds”.


Unfortunately we only learn the “disciplined” mind at school, we learn to be a great parrot in “Chinese School” forgetting that we need more: to responsibly know, connect, transcend, or as we say – moving even one step further: Wissen, Wollen, Wagen, Verantworten. This means include a pragmatic view on ethics with scales and time horizons, aware of proportions and consequences, and a look into a dialog and decision culture into the infliction of suffering, which goes beyond dualisms and labeling.



But let us go back to the WISSEN _ WOLLEN _ WAGEN _ VERANTWORTEN:

It includes know and to forget, to want and step back and restrain, to dare, and take risks aware of the suffering involved, by increasing the amount of compassion, and taking on responsibly for one-self AND others ! – so not just either-or “Ego” or “Eco”, but including intelligences, minds (Gardner), and eyes and models (Benking): House of Eyes and Me, We, You, They, Others,… Models: UNESCO PARIS (1996): Positions and Identities in Global Contexts: Awareness of Self and Others with  me, you, we, they and "others" models,, or about Chances and Riscs of the new Media (1994): “Fluchtwelten oder Sinnwelten - Cyberspace als Spielzeug und Orientierungshilfe?“  - -  also covered in this entries in the Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics:


Here more on Signs, Symbols, Schemas, Orders, Metaphors and Analogies. Please start here: From Senses to Meaning and Reason – from Culture to Cybervultue?? (“Durch die Sinne zum Sinn von Kultur zu Cyberculture?“ - for EFFE - European Forum for Freedom in Education, 1996): or in 2006 with ICSU CODATA:     -


Show or Schau?: (for Lynton Caldwells’s “Is Humanity destined to Self-destruct?):  -



“Our view of Life is too flat” was the headline of the Youth around the World Future Studies Federation meeting in Turku, Finland. -

mybe also see links from that “epoche” – on another server  -  -


We need to do more than just making nice puzzle of the globe, as was done years ago already, see below, We need to do more than just label a puzzle piece and locate it somewhere! We need how to design how things might connect and overlap from different angles and distances, and then not just discuss entities or views, but what that means for practical and cultural life across times.


Picture Road Puzzle       

The Worlds as WALL or PUZZLE !   see Europateppich


This are covers close to my work I did in the early 90ies, by people I was associated with at that time, Pentii Malaska, Franz-Josef-Rademacher. Pentti at that time president of the Future Studies Federation and one of the players around the FICOR – Finish Club of Rome Association, and Fanz-Josef head of the FAW in Ulm, now with the GLOBAL MARSHALL PLAN and also more recently Club of Rome member.  *** more to come and also the puzzles I refer to.


MY QUESTION:  How can we bring and think together issues which are not “at hand” and how can we can come to grasp, grope, grok what is tangible, at other scales or in other worlds or times.


Please see the work on a global embodied Covenant as presented in Urbino at an EARTH CHARTER Open-Space, the work on WORLD-Houses, and the recent presentation at a SPACES_SACRED SPACES syposium on “Oikos, Ecumene, Ecodomy” with Theologycians, Politicians, Architects, and Geographers at the University of Bamberg. see also these volumes on post materialism and my contribution on the Design of “Worldhouses”:  Skizzen für Weltbilder und Welthäuser-   Haus-Aufgaben zum Thema Weltbetrachtung und Naturverständnis, or going back 10 years to “an Mind Architecture” the Ulm School of Design presentation:

See the summary of the conference organizers: International Design Forum (IFG):

At the moment, people's capacity to think three-dimensionally is underdeveloped. That is why studies examine the opportunity of three-dimensional intelligence and orientation. The 'panorama of knowledge' is a model designed to facilitate visual access as well as the interlacing of fields of knowledge. It provides a structure for navigation processes and at the same time, is a dynamic, modular and configurable system for a comprehensive architecture of knowledge.



I will add here some more links a.s.a.p. but maybe in-between check out -  - and !

Today I want to check with the German on-line ZEIT community – but will come back to report from the German- Kanon-, Gestalt-, and Zeitgeist-Thinkers.



(Thursday night, the night when the German ZEIT Weekly hit the streets, hat putting Earth into the Education CANON)…

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