Over time, we’ve had the chance to work with a number of different curricula for Bahá’í children’s classes. Each has its use and particular strengths, and we continue to draw inspiration from each.
The materials of the Ruhi Institute, based in Colombia, form a sequence of courses that are used worldwide as the basis for an educational process involving children, youth and adults on a lifelong path of learning. Developed in a continuous fashion over several decades, its books focus on developing skills of service. Book 3 and its branch courses deal specifically with the training of children’s class teachers, and contain sets of lessons that can be used as a curriculum for children in Grades 1 through 3 of a program for children’s education. The lessons in Grade 1 focus mainly on virtues and spiritual qualities; those in Grade 2, mainly on behaviour, conduct and deeper spiritual concepts; and Grade 3 contains more lessons on Bahá’í history.
Bahá’í Education for Children is a set of 13 books originally written in Persian by Hand of the Cause of God ‘Ali-Akbar Furutan (originally titled Kitab-i-Dars-i-Akhlagh, “Books for Moral Education”). English translations of these books were originally published in Zambia in 1998. The set forms a complete curriculum for the education of Bahá’í children, junior youth and youth, for ages between 5 and 16-18. Twelve books present lesson plans, and the last book is a teachers’ manual on the principles of Bahá’í education. Several lessons on baha’i children’s class ideas are partly based on lessons from Bahá’í Education for Children.
- Bahá’í Education for Children at juxta.org (Books 1–6, for children aged 5–11)
The Core Curriculum for Spiritual Education, or simply Core Curriculum, was developed by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States for the spiritual education of children and junior youth, although it is also in general use for all ages. Lessons are available for children from the ages of 3 through 11, and junior youth from 12-14.
The main curriculum is divided into three levels, each intended for different age groups spanning nine years’ worth of classes: Level 1 (Children 6-8), Level 2 (Children 9-11), and Level 3 (Children 12-14). Study at each level is grouped into three major categories, or “strands”: “The Central Figures of the Faith”, “The Principle of Oneness”, and “The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh”. Each level incorporates progressively more, different learning goals to support the theme of each section.
The Peace Pack is a curriculum developed especially for Bahá’í classes in primary schools (ages 6–12) in Australia. It was inspired by The Promise of World Peace, a statement released in 1985 by the Universal House of Justice, on the occasion of the United Nations International Year of Peace. As students move through the programme, they learn to see themselves as world citizens and “peace makers”, developing spiritual qualities or virtues as well as skills and attitudes which are the foundations of peacemaking, and embracing the concept of the oneness of humankind in its diversity. It consists of four books (and two CD’s), with each book building upon previous ones.