21 June 2015

Sri Aurobindo : Views on Education (Part 2)

Previous : Sri Aurobindo : Views on Education (Part 1)

Aims of Education
The aims of education of Sri Aurobindo are as follows:
1.  Perfection : Sri Aurobindo was a perfectionist. He was never satisfied with pursue a more perfect methodof realization of perfection of human race. 
It is hence that he presents his integral yoga as a solution not only of the individual needs but also of the social and political problems facing nation.
2.  Harmony : Harmony is the key to understand Sri Aurobindo’s thought everywhere. Those who complainabout the difficulty in understanding his writings lack this inherent urge to harmony. On the other hand,those who seek harmony easily understand Sri Aurobindo’s works. Sri Aurobindo searches after the principle of harmony in the individual, community and humanity and aims at its realization. He seeks to achieve harmony of the individual by the growth and evolution of his different aspects such as physical,vital, mental and psychic, etc. For this he proposes a scheme of physical, vital, mental, moral, religiousand spiritual education. He also seeds harmony of different individuals in a community. Compatibilityand not uniformity is the law of collective harmony.
3.  Evolution : The edifice of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy is based upon his theory of evolution. Therefore, Sri Aurobindo aims at the evolution of the individual, nation and humanity through education. Evolution involves not only growth but also transformation, not only adjustment but also a more intimate harmony.
4.  Humanisation : Education, according to Sri Aurobindo, aims at man-making. Sri Aurobindo’s system of national education ultimately aims at evolution of humanity.
5.  Harmony of the individual and collectivity. While most of the thinkers in social-political field have either laid emphasis upon the individual or the collectivity, Sri Aurobindo aims at realization of harmony between individuals and also between nations.
6.  Building the innate powers : The central aim of education according to Sri Auropindo is, “The building of the powers of the human mind and spirit-the evoking of knowledge and will and of the power to use knowledge, character, culture that at least if not more”. The child is born with certain innate powers of the body, the vital, the mind and the spirit. The aim of the school and the teacher is to develop these powers to their perfection.
7.  Cultivation of values : The present crisis of man is due to the chaos of values. The values to be cultivated should be physical, mental on value. The supreme value in Sri Aurobindo’s thought is harmony.
Sri Aurobindo : Views on Education (Part 1), Philosophy of Education, B.ED, M.ED, NET Notes ( Study Material), PDF Notes Free Download.The Educational Model
Sri Aurobindo outlined a national system of education. A model to realize his scheme was developed by international university at Pondicherry. The fundamental principle underlying the model was freedom sincefreedom is the only essential spiritual principle working anywhere. The idea was to give full freedom to the individual growth of the students.
The School
The ultimate ideal of the school is man-making. It prepares the students to work first as a human being and then as a member of a nation and finally as an individual. Sri Aurobindo believes in three ultimate principles,individuality, commonality and essentiality. Theses, in other words, are the students, the society and the humanity, Integral evolution according to him, must include evolution of all these three elements. The school should treat all children as equal and provide sufficient scope for the development of their individual variations without insisting upon similarities. Integral school four types of rooms are required to carry on various activities:
1.            Rooms of silence
2.            Rooms of collaboration
3.            Rooms of consultation
4.            Lecture rooms
Thus the school will develop different types of activities such as silence, collaboration, consultation and lectures. It will provide play, activity, discovery innovation and finally development of the powers of the body,mind and spirit of the students. In brief, the integral school will provide opportunities for integral development.

The Teacher

Sri Aurobindo has assigned a very important place to the teacher. His philosophy of education, therefore, is paid centric the teacher remains the philosopher and the guide. In fact, the real teacher is within the students.He has to create an atmosphere so that the students may grow freely. The teacher acts as an aid, a means and a channel. In brief, the teacher should be an integral yogi. He should be able to eliminate his ego, master his mind, develop an insight into human nature and to progress in impersonalisation. He should be absolutely disciplined and having an integrated personality. The most important thing in a teacher is not the knowledgebut the attitude. An intellectual excellence is not sufficient without a development of other aspects of personality. The teacher should have the capacity to project himself to the students so that he may have an understanding of the needs of the students.

The Curriculum

The essential principle of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy of education is freedom. Unity is never demanded at the cost of diversity. On the other hand, diversity creates a rich unity. Therefore, no rigid scheme of curriculum has been prescribed. The earliest permissible age for starting regular study according to Sri Aurobindo is seven or eight years. The proper medium for early education of the child is the mother tongue. The following criteria for planning curriculum are found in Sri Aurobindo’s writings:
1.  Human nature : The curriculum should aim at developing whatever is already given in seed form in the child. Education can only lead to the perfection of the instruments, which are already present in the students. Nothing can be taught or imposed from outside.
2.  Individual differences: The curriculum should be planned according to individual difference. The mind has to be consulted in its own growth. The aim of the teacher is to help the growing soul in drawing out his best and to make it perfect for a noble use.
3.  From near to the far: Another principle governing the planning of curriculum is to proceed from near to the far, from that which is to that which shall be.
4.  Modern and up-to-date: Sri Aurobindo was a modern thinker with a love for modernity and up-to-date knowledge. Therefore, he prescribed that the education must be up-to-date in form and substance and modern in life and spirit.
5. Universal knowledge: The curriculum should include whatever is universally true. That is the basis of all scientific knowledge and philosophy.
6. Successive teaching: Sri Aurobindo disagrees with some educationists who wish to introduce every subject simultaneously to the child. He prescribes that the subjects should be taught successively.
7. Co-curricular activities : The school should provide not only academic but also co-curricular activities.
8. Five-fold curriculum : Integral education is psychic and the spiritual education. Therefore, the curriculum must be fivefold according to these five types of education
9. Multisidedness : Integral education is multisided. It aims at all-round growth. Therefore its curriculum involves music, poetry, art, painting and sculpture, besides the academic subjects. These are necessaryfor the aesthetic development of the child.
10.  Provision for the genius : The curriculum must provide for the genius. According to Sri Aurobindo,“What we call genius is part of the development of the human range of being and its achievements especially things of the mind and their will can carry us half way to the divine.
11.  Moral and religious education : Curriculum for moral education should aim at refining the emotions and forming the proper habits and associations. Thus the aim of the curriculum according to Sri Aurobindo is the actualization of the potentialities of the students. The curriculum should not be fixed but flexibleand evolutionary. A variety of choice and opportunities must be prescribed for maintaining the freedom of growth. The integral curriculum should find a due palace for every subject and every discipline.