Sri Aurobindo Society has been conducting annual workshops on Integral Education for more than 30 years. This year, it was organized under the title, ‘Basic Course in Integral Education – Theory and Approaches’ in two parts, with Part I from May 16 to 23 and Part II from May 24 to 26, 2018, for teachers, school principals, administrators, trustees and parents caring for children in the age group of 3 to 12 years (Pre-Primary and Primary level). The workshop was coordinated by Shivakumar, Director, India Council for Integral Education (an initiative of Sri Aurobindo Society), along with his team of facilitators.
The first part of the workshop was attended by 41 enthusiastic learners who came forward to learn about Integral Education and in a way to take forward the mission of Education as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother by generating awareness and sharing practical approaches for the same. Out of the initial 41 participants, 26 continued their exploration for three more days, going deeper into the ways of Integral Education. The participants included a number of principals, coordinators, teachers and parents of different schools from various parts of the country.
The workshop was divided into a number of sessions comprising study, discussions, exchange of ideas and activities, providing the participants a variety of exposure on different aspects of Integral Education and showing how learning could indeed be made joyful and creative. The sessions were aimed at developing an experiential understanding for the teachers to begin with so that, with some practice, they can make a beginning of this approach by creating an appropriate environment and
through activities in their classrooms.
The sessions included the following:
Seeds of Learning (3 Principles of True Education), Project Method – Harvinder
Education Today, Project Method, Operation: Theatre, IE – A Solution – Riddhi
Sessions on Integral Education (Foundations, IE-based Curriculum, Psychic Education) Sense Development, Exploring the Elements: Water & Fire – Shivakumar
Soul Scapes, World of Stories, Cahier Pointelle (Dotted Notebook), Concentration Activities – Jasmine
Yogic Exercises – Jasmine and Riddhi
Sessions on Art, Craft, Sense Awareness in Nature – Jasmine & Riddhi
Values – Shivakumar & Riddhi
Art Activities, Path of Later On, Skill Games, Educational Aids – Sushanto, Krishna & Team
Through a Child’s Eye, Body Awareness (activities at the KG level) – Shanker
Wonder That Is Sanskrit – Dr Sampadananda Mishra
Sessions on Understanding Maths – Dilip Bhai
Introduction to KG Teaching, Visit to KG – Shilpa
Language Development at Primary level – Uttama
Visits to Matrikunj, Park Guesthouse, Ashram Departments and Auroville
Rhythms – Prasad Eledath
Sharing of Classroom Practices – by Participants
Towards the end, all the participants could enter into the spirit of an education that at once brings participation, growth and joy for the children, and the growth of teachers as facilitators of this evolution. The 11 days of the workshop was just a beginning of a concrete step towards turning all of our education into a child-centred process.