Affirmative Assessment of CGIE Spiritual Empowerment Program

In the picture, at the conclusion of the semester, students and their mentors were divided into two groups to draw all they considered worth remembering from their learning in the past few months. They each got a poster paper and took 30 sec turns to draw what came to their mind. After enough rounds to consider they have all they wanted down, each group posted their collective drawing on the wall and then explained it in words as what was significant to them per their memory, their actions, and the impact it has had on their learning, growth, and development.


What was most surprising, noteworthy, and gratifying was that the student who was most shy and hesitant in the class to speak up was the one who volunteered to represent her group and explain what the drawing was showing!


We can call this affirmative assessment and evaluation process with the qualifications that this was a great deal more. The process affirmed the four criteria of knowledge, wisdom, spiritual insight, and eloquent speech. The students shared their knowledge of what they learned in multiple spheres such as paraphrasing what they observed, thought, felt, and intended to apply in action, and their choice of action in small groups with their classmates and their college graduate mentors. To take the assessment process further; in between each class, the students wrote a one-page journal about the wisdom of their experience. They examined what they thought about the class experience in light of its application to their lives. They reflected on how they felt in the process of many activities and small group discussions, stories, skits, and songs as they embarked on the learning journey with their young mentors and the supervisor coaching them all. They also wrote about what they hoped to see happen to make the process more effective and what role they might play to make a difference in their school, home, and community experience.   As to the application of spiritual insight, they used the principle of the oneness of all humanity and reflected how their thoughts, their views, and their feelings are helping them to inch their way towards a better understanding of what role unity, harmony, and oneness might look like in their relationships and how it might elevate their discourse and relationship with significant people in their lives.


This assessment tool was collaborative, reflective, inclusive, creative, artistic, conversational, joyous, community building, affirming, empowering, encouraging, uplifting, connecting, and yes, spiritual. The process not only informed us as trainers and mentors of what was accomplished, but more importantly, affirmed everyone engaged in the process and how through the ongoing cycle of action, reflection, and consultation, we also grow and accomplished together. It is important to mention that the Principal Dr. Camille Beal and Vice Principle Jillian Davis and even Superintendent Richard Martinez and his assistant Fernando Mesa we involved and regularly engaged in the action, reflection, consultation, process to make the necessary adjustments to be more effective. Is it possible to digitize and itemize this quality of assessment and evaluation with present tools? I like to know!

The picture speaks a thousand words as to how everyone felt at the conclusion of our assessment process. I am curious how often the learners and educators feel this joyous, loved, supported, unified, and confirmed after a test?!! Our experience confirms the research supporting the impact the internship has on the development of college students.


Among college students who expect to volunteer, the overwhelming majority actually do so within their first year (DeAngeleo, Hurtado, & Pryor, 2010). And compared with their non-volunteer counterparts, volunteers have a stronger pluralis­ tic orientation—disposition for living in a diverse society that includes respect for others with differing beliefs and willingness to discuss and negotiate controversial issues (Pryor et al., 2009).

CGIE believes the heart of education is the education of the heart. CGIE values the relationship the process creates between not just the educator and the learners but the transformation of the relationship among everyone in the learning process. This includes the relationship with the parents also.

The TED Talk by Reshan Richards


TED Talk by Reshan Richards sheds a good light on how much CGIE  values the role of the heart in the process of education manifested in the relationship of the mentor and mentee, teacher and students, parents and children. This love relationship between the teacher and learners is also reflected in the context of man’s relationship with God as Baha’u’llah refers to it in Hidden Words; “Love Me that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in wise reach thee. Know this o, servant.”


Hoping for better assessment tools that include the role and right of the heart.

 May your hearts become clear and pure like unto polished mirrors in which may be reflected the full glory of the Sun of Truth


A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 20 years, specializes in using the Bahá’í Teachings to identify theories, techniques, and approaches that produce the best results for her clients. She is the founder and executive director of the Center for Global Integrated Education, a non-profit Bahá’í-inspired educational organization.


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