Change of Heart
(Artistic Alternatives to Violence)


Change of Heart (Artistic Alternatives to Violence) was conceived and designed by William Thomas Sly, Founding Director of Creative Educational Systems (CES) an educational consultation firm founded in 1976. The Change of Heart Program is the foundation of an ongoing Curriculum for Enlightened Education.


Under Mr. Sly’s direction, CES has designed and implemented curriculum for academic and behavioral objectives in K-12 schools for every demographic and every standard course of study. CES has served tens of thousands of students, trained thousands of teachers and artists and published numerous teachers’ manuals, curriculum guides and other relevant educational materials. It is upon these twenty-eight years of experiential research that Change of Heart (Artistic Alternatives to Violence) is based.


The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2010, 40% of the population of the world will be clinically depressed. The Number One cause of death in young adults between the ages of 18 - 25 is suicide. 65-80% of all children who become involved with the juvenile justice system have mental illness, undiagnosed and untreated until this contact.

Sobering statistics, to be sure. It is evident that prevention, "heading off at the pass," diverting the development of full-fledged mental illness in our young people, is needed.

Mary D. Moller, MSN, ARNP, CS, and Millene F. Murphy, PhD, APRN, CS, (see, Psychiatric Resource Network, Nine Mile Falls, WA), creators of the Murphy-Moller Wellness Model and The Three R's Program "Be Smart Workbook," have scientifically proven that much, if not most, mental illness is actually a post-traumatic stress-induced state. There has been trauma, in this case to the child, and the child has been left disoriented, hyper-sensitive to its environment, and shaken; unable to make sound life choices, unable to return to a state of sound self-esteem, unable to reason, unable to conclude, healthfully, what needs to be done next. The "fight or flight" syndrome kicks in and all too often, there are disastrous results - to the young person, the family, and society at large, with all attendant costs.

The first step in confronting the inevitable necessity for building a culture of non-violence is to clear our young people’s minds and open their hearts. No one can be really receptive to learning when his or her mind is disoriented, focused on anger or fear, deep sadness or extreme frustration. We must give each young person’s deepest feelings a socially acceptable outlet. Those feelings cannot be suppressed or denied, or they will fester and, sooner or later, erupt into violence of one form or another. In order to end the scourge of violence in our schools... and ultimately in our culture, we must allow our young people’s strongest feelings to be expressed creatively rather than destructively.


The primary purpose of Change of Heart (Artistic Alternatives to Violence) is to remove the psychological barriers to holistic learning, and thus empower each young person with the understanding and ability to consciously and sequentially develop his or her highest potential. Our young people will then be enabled to successfully integrate into and actively contribute to the society in which they live—for the benefit of all concerned.

Holistic learning is defined as learning in which heart, mind and body are equally engaged in the student’s life-long learning about his or her self—the thinking process, the feeling nature, the physical body’s possibilities and limitations and the crucial awareness of one’s interaction with others.

Program Objectives:

The objectives of Change of Heart for students include:
back     next

Home * Books by CES * Change of Heart table of contents * Contact Us