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Core Capacities for Living and Learning

The new report, What Makes Me? Core Capacities for Living and Learning, names nine core capacities deemed essential for learning and the healthy development of children and their societies.

The report finds that core capacities—as understood through physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual perspectives—enable children to better understand and interact with the world around them and realize their unique potential. Of particular interest to Fetzer is the study’s inquiry into the spiritual development and spiritual wellbeing of children and the report’s assessment that this perspective is underutilized in efforts to promote child well-being and development.

“We believe that the purpose of education is to develop the whole person, and that the collective role of parents, educators, and society is to create environments and conditions for young people to learn, develop, and explore. This includes the spiritual dimension of life and overall spiritual wellbeing,” says Fetzer Senior Program Officer Xiaoan Li.

The report underscores core capacities—discerning patterns, embodying, empathizing, inquiring, listening, observing, reflecting, relaxing, and sensing—as innate human capacities that develop early in life and contribute to children's well-being and development. The research recommends that these capacities should be promoted, supported, and protected by education systems.

Based on the report findings, Fetzer is planning to address several areas of gaps that have been identified, including the need for more focused research on the role of spiritual development in early childhood and adolescence as well as applications of core capacities in family and educational settings. 

Download the full report today!

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