When I was in Pondicherry in March I picked up a DVD, “Introduction to Integral Education” which is a recording of a course on Integral Education as inspired by Sri Aurobindo. I finally had time to watch the DVD today and it was very empowering and I am looking forward to reading the companion book. What follows are my notes. For more information go to www.wisdomsplendour.org  or email integraleducation@gmail.com

Introduction to Integral Education – Notes

Important to place our role as teachers in the larger context of the world situation other wise we tend to subdue the crucial role that we play in life.

The world is in crisis and crisis is increasing!

Education is in crisis and this is the key to overcoming the crisis.

As teachers the future is in our hands and we must never forget that we have the most important task for civilizations survival. It is not a job, a sacred responsibility.

What are we teaching?

Why are we teaching?

How should we teach?

I want my students to be good human beings capable of exceeding their humanness.

Form is the means, beauty is inherent

The modern system of education is not so modern—creation of the industrial age in Europe….machinery, factory influences our modern educational system…approaching education with an industrial mindset and humanness is churned out

Every child is a soul in evolution…spark of God…my task is to relate to this spark of God…nourish the child like a seed

Five Elements of Education

Student (Earth), Teacher (Water), Knowledge (Fire), Means of Communication (Air), Environment in with yagna of education takes place (Ether)

Environment is physical, psychological and spiritual…involve students in cleaning the classroom…what is the ambience of the classroom? Vibrant creativity

Serenity, joy…communicate our experiences to students through our behavior, setting an example

Strive to create the Aha experience

Nothing can be taught so what is our job as teachers? Uncover the screens

Every child has an insatiable curiosity—feed this and build this!

Offer the child a variety of experiences to provoke curiosity

Appreciate your students for questioning

Children look up to us instinctively, let students see that you are trying to live by your ideals

You cannot teach values through the mind, you must teach it through the heart

Narration stories is an effective means to teach values also with your example as a teacher

Faith and Will—what in us that “knows” and impulse to action

You cannot force the child to become something he is not…nourish and let the plant to grow

As a teacher you must observe he child’s temperment

Growing from the near to the far

Teach students to value the freedom struggle (Bagat Singh) Students have to learn about themselves and their past

Must know how the brain learns!  Absorption, Assimilation, Re-expression

Within the period go through these three steps (assimilation, give time to reflect on what they have been taught and then after five minutes they re-express in their own words as their own experience)

Immersion and teaching by provoking creativity and thinking…

What is the relationship I should have with the child? When you are authoritative you close the child’s heart and mind. You must be someone the child loves and trusts. There is no teaching when there is no relationship. Love is not indulgence! Strength and respect are crucial. As a teacher you must love but also draw lines. Discipline with firmness, love and respect. Personal connection with students is key.

The Fire of knowledge – knowledge is different from information, “aha” experience. You must have humility to receive knowledge. Knowledge grows by giving. I grow while I teach and create a thirst for knowledge in the child.

Teaching is not just a job it is a sacred task.

It is important not just to the child but to us for our growth. If teaching becomes boring then you have forgotten what it is all about. Something you want to give to the children, growing, learning, being together. It is a deep impulse and this impulse is all you need to become an effective teacher.

Paradigm of the child…must train faculties of the child sequentially 1.observation, 2.motor skills, 3.noticing similarities and differences, 4.association


We must train both sides of the brain!

7 types of intelligence

children lack concentration and sensitivity

science is defective if you do not have right brain insight

students need hope, direction and purpose

energy around us but why do we get tired? Psychological state results in more energy

concentration and will power

essence of education is concentration of mind

Television weakens the power of the mind

Integrating dimensions of faculties, five elements etc.