The Basic Premise at the heart of the Michael Method
The Michael Method interprets the concept of excellence to mean a way of life; the long-term commitment and drive an individual acquires to maximize his or her intellectual, emotional, social and behavioral potentials. The gauge for judging success is the overall level and rate of change in the realizing this potential over time. Success based on a comparison with others over a fixed time period is not an appropriate measuring tool. The Michael Method's approach to consciousness, education and behavior is based on the following underlying principles:
The Spirit of Humankind
- Human beings have both spiritual and physical foundations.
- The spiritual foundation forms the basis of consciousness.
- Intellectual abilities are a component of consciousness.
- A significant proportion of human physical foundations are inherited traits.
- The spiritual foundation as a whole and intellectual capabilities in particular are not inherited traits.
- All human beings are born with identical intellectual and emotional potential. (This does not presume that all human beings have the same potential character traits and personality.)
- Human capabilities are expressed differently in each individual.
- Most people use only a very limited percentage of their abilities (between 5% - 7%).
- Low actualization of real intellectual potential can be the result of environmental and personal factors (such as low self-esteem, low level ambition and motivation) and educational biography (insufficient acquisition of learning skills and inadequate acquaintanceship with learning materials).
- High self-esteem, belief in ability and a strong motivation to achieve are well-known factors which influence the ability to persevere and to achieve educational success. These attributes can be acquired when taught in a properly structured and methodical educational program.
- Excellence in learning and in all aspects of life are part of a conscious learning process that begins with a change of habits and a new approach to life. The process continues with the acceptance of personal responsibility for academic study, and the adoption of a life-style that seeks constant improvement in all matters at all times.
- This profound process, through which human potential can be realized, embarks on a road paved with individual responsibility and personal awareness of the human environment and ecological . surroundings
- The most efficient way to realize capabilities is through self-teaching.
- Effective group learning does not contradict and in some ways may even support self-teaching.
- The Michael Program proves that it is possible to create a learning environment where most of an individual's education results from self-teaching and can be implemented within a group learning experience.
- The Michael Method defines the term "mentor" in a way that differs greatly from the classic definitions of a teacher or a guide.
- The acquisition of correct, efficient learning habits is a vital step on the road to educational success.
- The environment has a decisive influence on the realization of human potential. Within a group learning environment, the factor with the most influence on any individual student's success is the group mentor's personality, in as much as he acts as a personal example to the students. Other factors include the degree to which the mentor is closely attuned to the students' social-cultural world, the mentor's level of expectations from the students, and the extent of the mentor's spiritual and intellectual openness to the students in the group.