The ‘Caduceus of 21st Century Learning’ is a modern ‘riff’ on some ancient ideas. That is, learning is a holistic process that intrinsically links many modalities, cognitive, affective, and neurological. In the diagram, the sphere represents the whole person. A well-rounded person is a global thinker and mindful. The two wings represent an integrated education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts as well in in social and emotional literacy. This is informed by ongoing neuroscience research represented by the serpents. Experiential learning is the rod which holds it all together.
The Caduceus is a fascinating and enduring symbol from antiquity. It is the name of the herald’s staff carried by Hermes, messenger of the gods in Greek mythology. Hermes was widely believed to be the patron of commerce, eloquence, invention, travel and thievery. During the Renaissance, it became a universal printers mark. These early publishers thought themselves to be messengers of the printed word and disseminators of knowledge. It also used as a symbol of commerce and negotiation given the need for fair exchange and reciprocity. The Caduceus is often confused with another ancient symbol, the healing rod of Asclepius.
One may also look at the Caduceus symbol through the lens of yoga and meditation. The rod is seen as the spine, the serpents represent electrical nerve energy, the sphere is the human brain, and the wings represent the transcendent nature of physical sensation.