Change of Heart
Change of Heart (Artistic Alternatives to Violence) was conceived and designed by
William Thomas Sly, Founding Director of Creative Educational Systems (CES) an
educational consultation firm founded in 1976. The Change of Heart
Program is the foundation of an ongoing Curriculum for Enlightened Education.
Under Mr. Sly’s
direction, CES has designed and implemented curriculum for academic and
behavioral objectives in K-12 schools for every demographic and every standard
course of study. CES has served tens of thousands of students, trained thousands
of teachers and artists and published numerous teachers’ manuals, curriculum
guides and other relevant educational materials. It is upon these twenty-eight
years of experiential research that Change of Heart (Artistic
Alternatives to Violence) is based.
The World Health
Organization predicts that by the year 2010, 40% of the population of the world
will be clinically depressed. The Number One cause of death in young adults
between the ages of 18 - 25 is suicide. 65-80% of all children who become
involved with the juvenile justice system have mental illness, undiagnosed and
untreated until this contact.
(Artistic Alternatives to
Sobering statistics, to be sure. It is
evident that prevention, "heading off at the pass," diverting the development
of full-fledged mental illness in our young people, is needed.
Mary D. Moller, MSN, ARNP, CS, and Millene F. Murphy, PhD, APRN, CS, (see
www.psychiatricwellness.com, Psychiatric Resource Network, Nine Mile Falls, WA),
creators of the Murphy-Moller Wellness Model and The Three R's Program "Be Smart
Workbook," have scientifically proven that much, if not most, mental illness is
actually a post-traumatic stress-induced state. There has been trauma, in this
case to the child, and the child has been left disoriented, hyper-sensitive to
its environment, and shaken; unable to make sound life choices, unable to return
to a state of sound self-esteem, unable to reason, unable to conclude,
healthfully, what needs to be done next. The "fight or flight" syndrome kicks in
and all too often, there are disastrous results - to the young person, the
family, and society at large, with all attendant costs.
The first step in confronting the inevitable necessity for building a culture
is to clear our young people’s minds and open their hearts. No one can be really
receptive to learning when his or her mind is disoriented, focused on anger or
fear, deep sadness or extreme frustration. We must give each young person’s
deepest feelings a socially acceptable outlet. Those feelings cannot be
suppressed or denied, or they will fester and, sooner or later, erupt into
violence of one form or another. In order to end the scourge of violence in our
schools... and ultimately in our culture, we must allow our young people’s
strongest feelings to be expressed creatively rather than destructively.
The primary purpose of
Change of Heart (Artistic Alternatives to Violence) is to remove the
psychological barriers to holistic learning, and thus empower each young person
with the understanding and ability to consciously and sequentially develop his
or her highest potential. Our young people will then be enabled to successfully
integrate into and actively contribute to the society in which they live—for the
benefit of all concerned.
Holistic learning is defined as learning in
which heart, mind and body are equally engaged in the student’s life-long
learning about his or her self—the thinking process, the feeling nature, the
physical body’s possibilities and limitations and the crucial awareness of one’s
interaction with others.
The objectives of Change of Heart for students include:
- Allowing each young
person to discover his or her own uniqueness—non- judgmental
- Encouraging each young person’s understanding of how the
real world works and how it got to be the way it is.
- Helping young people
to become aware of their relationships between themselves and others (one-to-one
relationships and relationships with the whole local, national and global
- Helping young people make connections between what they have
learned, what they are learning and what they need to learn in order to make
enlightened individual life choices, i.e., based on "freedom from ignorance and
- Helping each young person understand the principles,
processes and techniques of communication—the ability to confidently express
what is in their mind and heart through every known medium.
- Helping young
people to acquire the ability to appreciate, understand and apply the creative
process inherent within themselves.
- Helping young people to appreciate,
understand and apply the concept of purpose in every aspect of life through the
creation and implementation of personal goals, objectives and tasks necessary
* Books by CES
* Change of Heart table of contents
* Contact Us