Principals of AuroSchools were invited for a 2-day workshop at Sri Aurobindo Society’s Beach Office. Ms. Garima Bharadwaj, Principal of Chandigarh Auroschool, Neerja Sethi, Principal, Patiala AuroSchool and Uma Mohan, Principal, AMIS, Bengaluru AuroSchool participated in this workshop.
The workshop started with an introduction by each principal about the practices with respect to academics and co-curricular activities in their school. Each school had some special characteristics, which when shared added to the repertoire of learning from each other!
After a short refreshment break, Shivakumar, SAFIER, presented an intriguing relook at our current education system, which concentrates largely on subjects and methodology which are hardly of any value in our practical day-to-day life, except for the basics. This session was followed by an orientation on ‘What is Integral Education?’ and its need in the lives of teachers as well as students in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.
In the afternoon, the principals were led into an ‘Integral Classroom’ by Priti, SAFIER, where she enumerated the importance of creating an inner (psychological) and outer environment (physical) by the teachers in order to bring forth the soul of the child to the forefront for the perfection of his instruments - the body, the mind and the emotions. The session for the day concluded with a look at language development as an essential tool to understand the importance of ‘listening’ in a child’s life for increasing the attention span and power of retention to learn and how the subsequent stages of language development - listening, speaking, reading and writing follow in sequence and if given importance in the similar sequence in schools, could go a long way in increasing imagination and creative expression skills of the children.
Priti took a session of introducing the ‘three principles of True teaching’ by Sri Aurobindo, in the light of implementation of project method and its practical working in progressive schools, through which the child’s complete development is given importance.
The session wrapped up with a discussion of how this can be taken further. The principals were keen to make some adaptations in their schools with respect to the suggestions made during the workshop and go for intensive teacher-training workshops to help the schools make the step in transition towards being integral education schools. A further plan and course of action will be discussed in the future, to take this up to the implementation level at the AuroSchools.