Where it all started – England
The Humanitas story began when I was a trainee teacher on the PGCE program in England, just under fifteen years ago. I had realised that what I was being taught to teach was missing an essential aspect of the educational process – self knowledge or an awareness of the self and society in its totality. Instead, there was an almost exclusive focus on equipping the youth for work and career which, though not in itself wrong, did not recognise them as human beings who also needed to flourish as individuals not just as workers.
In the middle of my professional teaching career, I moved to Cape Town, South Africa, as I was generously offered a post as Humanities lecturer. After moving there, I began to intensify my investigations and research on what educational model or structure could re-humanise the emerging generation. As I went back into history to seek answers, I stopped at the Roman senator and philosopher, Cicero, and the Latin word ‘humanitas’. At this point, I knew that Cicero was to be a key guide and that the word ‘humanitas’ contained within it the essential aspect missing from a modern education – the interrelatedness of self and society.
Humanitas Lifelong Learning established
By 2016 I had started teaching in my spare time the material that I knew was vital for the exploration and comprehension of the interrelatedness of the human being and society. The number of the classes I taught in the evenings and weekends grew organically, from which I also began to teach to an online international audience.
In 2018, it became clear that all of my teaching activities locally, nationally and internationally needed to be named, given an identity, a structure and a team. With every new step I had taken forward I was presented with key individuals showing a keen interest and passion for learning and teaching. Humanitas lifelong learning was born.