Sri Aurobindo Society has been conducting annual workshops on Integral Education for more than 31 years. This year, it was organized under the title ‘Basic Course in Integral Education – Theory and Approaches’, from 10 to 17 May 2019, for teachers, school principals, administrators, trustees and parents caring for children in the age group of 3–12 years (Pre-Primary and Primary level). The workshop was coordinated by Shivakumar, Director, Sri Aurobindo Foundation for Integral Education and Research (SAFIER), along with his team of facilitators.
The workshop was attended by 42 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 the practical approaches for the same. The participants included many principals, coordinators, teachers and parents of different schools from 10 states of India and there was one participant from France too.
The workshop was divided into different sessions, giving the participants a variety of exposure about different aspects of Integral Education and how learning could be made joyful and creative. The sessions were aimed at developing an experiential understanding first for the teachers so that, with some practice, they can make a beginning of this approach through appropriate environment and activities in their classrooms.
The sessions included the following:
Sessions on Integral Education (IE): Introduction to IE; Physical Education; the Outer & the Inner Values; Psychic Education; Introduction to the Work of Sri Aurobindo Society – conducted by Shivakumar
Taking a Look at the System; Head, Heart & Hands; Tuning In; Thinking About Thinking; Navigating & Arriving; Ripples – organized by Riddhi Shah
Seeds of Light (3 Principles of True Education); Project Method; Special Session with Administrators – facilitated by Harvinder Kaur
Art Attack; Cahier Pointelle (Dotted Notebook); World of Stories; Concentration Activities – led by Jasmine Sampat
The Art of Seeing; Education of the Body; Language Development (Primary); Building Integral Classroom; Chanting – conducted by Priti Umamahesvaram
Yogic Exercises – guided by Jasmine, Riddhi and Priti
Awareness in Nature (Visit to Matri-Udyanam) – organized by Kavita Dutta
Art in Nature, Educational Aids – managed by Sushanto, Krishna, Sumedha & Team
Enjoying Math – session by Dilip Bhai
Activities and visit at kindergarten of Ashram School – steered by Shilpa
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. The 8 days of the workshop was just a beginning of a concrete step towards making all of our education into a child-centred process of learning and growing, guided by the Soul within.