Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
The philosophy of AUNOHR is founded on the pillars of nonviolent pedagogy, both in form and content.
We believe in a pedagogy that transforms classrooms into “scientifically humane workshops”, as was said by one of the leading pioneers of humane pedagogy, John Amos Comenius.
AUNOHR has created its curricula to ensure that students graduate with high scientific/academic competencies and internationally acclaimed degrees.
The core focus in our pedagogical philosophy is that the students be happy and creative, both during their academic stay and within the scope of their larger life journey, and that they embrace their innovative faculties as they march through the rich school of human life.
We believe that pedagogy should be based on freedom, the freedom to think, express, and create; we believe that pedagogy should be founded on persistent work and responsible professionalism.
“What we learned in AUNOHR is felt and touched, not merely explained. You must be in the heart of an experience to know what is meant and to truly benefit…” – thus was the testimony of one student who studied at AUNOHR.
AUNOHR bases its philosophy on the findings of psychology which, despite variations in terminology, confirm that there are two main tendencies, or identities, within the human psyche: a true and authentic identity, “the authentic self”, and an alternative false or compensatory identity, “the false self”. These two tendencies, according to psychology, are in constant battle. Yet what is important is that the authentic self can be awaken, with the same being true for the false self. What determines which tendency /identity is triumphant are the factors of pedagogy and present societal circumstances.
AUNOHR was founded to be the primary factor that sways the odds in favor of the emergence and empowerment of the “authentic self” of each student, that is the self of love, creativity, freedom, giving, and peaceful self-development that is in constant motion. We wish to see this “authentic self” grow and overshadow the ”false self”, which is the self of fear, aggression, violence, compensation through accruing wealth, authoritarianism, and avoidance behavior…
AUNOHR bases the design of its curricula on a main pillar of the science of psychology: to be primarily in the service of mankind. This position can be elegantly summed up by Erich Fromm, “To Be or To Have”.
Each person is a ‘philosopher’, provided they have confidence in their abilities. “We are all philosophers because we all have the will to give meaning to our existence and to our history” – It was with these words that the founder Ogarit Younan and the philosopher Jean- Marie Muller, both lecturers at AUNOHR, summed up their view of philosophy inviting students to become philosophers. Thus is the message of AUNOHR, and thus is its vision of nonviolent pedagogy.
As such, the curricula of the university include a special program of “readings and writings” that allows students to discover and write articles and research papers on philosophers, renowned authors, and pioneers of nonviolent thought and experiences. Through this we seek to ensure that our graduates are well-cultured critical thinkers who are able to shape their own opinions, and not merely the holders of technical university degrees.
According to the philosophy of AUNOHR, teachers both teach and learn, while students learn, teach themselves and each other, and provide teachers with an added value. It is an education by all for all.
Self-learning is itself a goal; AUNOHR seeks to build the capacities of students to self-learn to regain confidence in this skill that is often undermined in traditional pedagogy.
Group learning is also a goal in itself; AUNOHR seeks to engage students in team building and group work, and to ensure they experience group dynamics with all its difficulties and benefits, to overcome the effects of previous pedagogical experiences that are unilateral.
Thus, interactive methods are at the core of AUNOHR’s pedagogical philosophy. The participatory and interactive methods are an integral part of all university programs.
AUNOHR’s pedagogical philosophy states that each of us has the right to re-educate ourselves. Therefore each of us has a responsibility to practice this right. For how could any student complete his/her studies in nonviolence within AUNOHR without also addressing the accumulated effects of violence in his/her own personal history? This is why the university has designed an entire course, as well as diverse content and activities, that can, in addition to the general academic program, help students along this path of healing and self-rehabilitation. This journey is supported and supervised by local and international experts and teachers in the fields of theatre, arts, education and social psychology.
Academic programs on nonviolence are new to universities and graduate students usually enroll without having a prior degree on the subject. Therefore the pedagogical philosophy of AUNOHR has paid special attention and focus to foster the academic and cultural aspect of nonviolence among students, and to design a portion of the programs and academic activities to compensate this existing gap in knowledge and skills. Since this field of study is new, such gaps in student’s knowledge or skills are understandable.
Therefore the university has set out to dedicate special care and focus to coach each student, that is to understand his/her needs and deal with them in the spirit of academic and personal solidarity.
In effect, this means that the university offers support and assistance to students, with the support program many times being customized to meet the individual needs of each student. This tailored approach ensures the successful completion of the academic program in line with the academic and professional ambitions of students.
AUNOHR’s pedagogical philosophy is built on innovating academic programs and majors that intersect with all career paths and fields of study. The university believes that all we learn and practice in our societal roles and professional lives must be closely aligned within the culture and skills of nonviolence and human rights. Danilo Dolce, “The Gandhi of Sicily” and the innovator of the “Socratic Method” in training and experiential learning, expressed this conviction in his own words: “No subject is ever complete within itself, unless at its heart it contains the innovation and skills of nonviolent life”.
Indeed, the culture and skills of nonviolence, human rights, and citizenship has become an essential need in the building and progress of our communities. This is the natural way of things, and it always would have been so had it not been for the marginalization and sidelining of this culture.
Today these skills are a building block in the development of all sciences, and this has been the case for the last 5 decades in developed countries. AUNOHR envisions its purpose is to establish and institutionalize these skills within modern academic programs, career choices, and social roles.
Whatever your previous field of study is, and regardless of your career path, studying at AUNOHR offers you a unique foundation of progress, in your culture, your career and within your role in society.