Child Development Centered Community

Child Development Centered Community

Child Development Centered Community

An Integrated and Comprehensive Community Approach

The Universal House of Justice has stated that “the education of children in the teaching of the Faith must be regarded as an essential obligation of every Bahá’í parent, every local and national community” because children are “the most precious treasure a community can possess.”

children’s class

In addition to children’s education, the Core Curriculum has given rise to comprehensive programs for community development, including programs for marriage, spiritual parenting, race unity, gender equality, and programs for youth, as well as the Fundamental Verities basic course sequence.

“Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly, that shall affect both its inner life and external conditions? For if the character of mankind be not changed, the futility of God’s universal Manifestations would be apparent.”
Bahá’u’lláh, quoted by Shoghi Effendi in The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 25

children’s class

Spiritual education is more than virtues classes for children. It must be comprehensive, and requires involvement of parents, teachers, institutions, and the entire community in a unified manner for effective community development. Guidance for teachers and parents about how to train children to be free of prejudice and to become champions of justice is a necessary part of a spiritual education program.

The Core Curriculum, as a process to study and apply the Bahá’í writings to daily life, is designed to assist in this “transformation in the whole character of mankind,” through touching the hearts and minds of the entire community and providing the means for its continued development.


Characteristics of the Child Development
Centered Community

children’s class

Central to the success of the Core Curriculum is the concept of child development centered communities as the foundation for educating effective 21st century citizens. Child development centered community builds a framework of relationships which strive to value, involve, and harmonize all the important character education factors in the community: institutions, parents, children and youth, teachers, and other community members.

A child development centered community views . . .

each child as filled with gems of potential and all children as capable of learning;

A child development centered community understands . . .

that each child has a capacity for noble deeds, high aspirations, and meaningful service to others;

A child development centered community strives . . .

to nurture and encourage the capacity for noble deeds in children and youth as powerful means for developing lasting positive character qualities and building healthy vibrant communities;

A child development centered community places . . .

child development at the center of community activities as a priority and strives to systematically foster broadly-based, grassroots collaboration in child development;

A child development centered community values . . .

and empowers families as the foundation of child development, and encourages and assists parents in their primary role in guiding the development of their children and youth;

A child development centered community affirms . . .

the role of the teacher as a highly significant contributor to the moral, ethical, and intellectual development of children and youth and also to the authentic, ethical, and sustainable development of the community;

A child development centered community seeks . . .

a dynamic, constantly evolving and improving character education program which sparkles with grassroots activities that involve parents, children, youth, and community groups working together within a framework of “unity in diversity;”

A child development centered community recognizes . . .

that the attitudes and skills needed in this century will emphasize capacities for consultative problem-solving, collaboration within a context of diversity, and service to communities with diverse peoples and needs;

A child development centered community seeks . . .

meaningful participation of community members in the evaluation of the character education programs that affect them.

children’s class


Core Curriculum