The unique facets of the working and learning culture of HEDCen are the following:
A. The Perspective of the World-minded Learner
The entire world is now accessible to every learner/citizen of the world. Our global perspective allows us to access a worldwide view that will help in the understanding of the interconnectedness of nations, culture, and people for the world peace and human development.
B. The Intrinsic Benefits of the Inclusive Program
Inclusive education is based on the right of all learners to a quality education that meets basic learning needs and enriches lives.
The tradition of an inclusive program in HEDCen not only responds to a global call for education to be accessible to all types of learners for one, but also provides (these children) a wealth of opportunities to respond to the needs outside one's self while developing a healthy self-image; growing the ability to work with different personalities; fostering a positive learning behavior and engendering a strong motivation to work to capacity.
There is so much to learn from every person coming from different situations and experiences. Every child in his unique circumstance is a gift no matter how difficult the challenges are, for as long as learning is not refused.
C. HealtHy Living Bears Healthy Learning
Learning takes place inside every child and the human body is the seat where knowledge, skills, and concepts are integrated. There is a great connection between health and physical, emotional, social and psychological being of an individual.
D. Humility vs. meritocracy
We learn from each other, whether one is coming from the position of a child or from that of a "teacher". In a school setup where the child is the raison d'être, arrogance that comes from a teacher does not support the idea of making learning accessible. There is a rule "to leave one's ego at the gate before entering the school grounds".
E. Breaking free from preconception
Teaching does not fulfill its function/mission when the learner is viewed only on the basis of impression and labels. Inside the child is a vast universe that no teacher will neither completely understand nor interpret. The only way to get through a child is to keep believing in his basic goodness and unlimited potential.
F. Respect for Life
There is a practice in HEDCen where no one is supposed to "kill ants". This goes beyond ants. It goes for all humble creatures including little children. There is no one greater or lesser than himself - except for the Supreme Being - our Creator. Respect for life especially for those that are helpless is an act of compassion.
G. Raising the Performance Bar through Significant Challenges and Feedback Mechanism
Faith in oneself is in most instances coming from an experience of success and gratification, or from a significant other who saw the potential and appreciated it. There is always the opportunity to go beyond one's perceived self if given the challenge to do so. An underestimation of a learner's capacity may impede and prune any chance of growth. A challenging academic program considers every child a gifted one. As there is always the possibility of failure, there is always the chance of doing things again until one succeeds.
H. The Organic and Organismic School
The law of the environment is that it takes care of its inhabitants and in return, it is also nurtured and conserved. Learning takes place ideally and at its best, in a natural setting because it is the original set up for values and knowledge acquisition. It is organismic because the "school" grows and learns from its milieu, and its survival depends on competence and strength. The school takes pride in being organic in its set-up, materials, form, and function.
Trash cans may not be readily accessible in the school grounds because in HEDCen, everyone brings home his trash.
I. Embracing Natural Spirituality
HEDCen is a non-sectarian school. It has great respect for all religious beliefs and faith not contrary to basic human goodness. The authentic spirituality that is born with every human being is accessible from nature and parental love to start with. A child gains spirituality from his experiences of beauty, kindness, generosity, compassion, nurture and love.
J. The Wealth Found In Laughter
There is an old adage that "laughter is the best medicine" - it de-stresses and heals. Apart from it being a measure of intelligence, a person who can laugh at himself is able to survive the difficult passages of life transitions. A healthy sense of humor is a means to detach from self-consciousness allowing a healthy sense of balance.