Preschool in San Diego, CA 92126
11345 Zapata Avenue
San Diego, CA 92126
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Integral Education is a philosophy and practice of education for the whole child: body emotions mind soul and spirit. The modern practice of education for utility or for productivity is not enough for the children of the 21st century. It ignores the highest and truest parts of their being. Too often it ignores the physical and emotional development of the child as well.
Integral Education unites the ancient educational goal of self-knowledge with the modern goal of world-knowledge. Both of these goals are admirable and the two of them must go hand-in-hand in any educational system that is integral.
Integral Education assists the child to discover for himself/herself out of his/her own temperament and being the aim of life and the purpose that he/she has to play in it. If everyone truly has a spark of the Divine as the center of his/her being a comprehensive education must do more than ignore it or passively acknowledge it. Integral Education takes that spark the soul as the guiding principle for the education of each child.“The role of the teacher is to put the child upon the right road to his own perfection and encourage him to follow it watching suggesting helping but not imposing or interfering.” – Kireet Joshi
This vision of integral education is based on the pioneering work in education of Sri Aurobindo and his collaborator Mirra Alfassa known as the Mother. Integral education already has a developed body of theory and more than half a century of refinement and practice at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education in Pondicherry India as well as at many other locations.
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Integral education begins with the inborn qualities of each child: eyes big with wonder; boundless curiosity; small hands extended in trust to people and the world; and a profound interest in meaningful activity self-expression courage laughter and love. Integral education prizes these qualities. They are the first expression of the divine spark at the center of each child’s being. A free progress system can honor that spark by encouraging all children to excel in areas where they show the inner urge to learn. A rich and balanced curriculum in the humanities arts and sciences offers many opportunities for the children’s qualities to take shape grow and help them to make their connection to the wider world. When successful such an education allows children to discover their unique life purpose and – by developing that purpose – to help build a better world for themselves their families and their communities.
The educational program at the Center for Integral Education is integral: it aims to develop the whole child. The use of the term integral to describe this approach to education is based upon three key premises:
1. That each human being has many dimensions of being: including the physical instinctual/emotional mental and inner and higher spiritual. Each of these parts of the human personality has distinct impulses and often contradictory tendencies that can create many difficulties or even catastrophic consequences in a person’s life. The solution offered by integral education to this divided state of ordinary human nature is to integrate the individual’s parts and dimensions around that divine spark the soul as expressed in the person’s central life purpose. This integration of the human personality is the foundation for any happy disciplined and rewarding life. Therefore integral education encourages each child to look within progressively discover his or her unique aim in life and harmonize the divergent impulses of one’s complex nature around one’s inmost purpose and being. This is the essence of the ancient ideal of education: know thy Self.
2. That there is in the world an interrelatedness that extends to all processes of life and all areas of knowledge. In this emerging world view everything is intimately connected with everything else. The advent of the global world culture; the emergent ecological awareness and respect for the natural processes of Mother Earth; modern scientific discoveries from quantum physics to astronomy to the new geology to transpersonal psychology; and the convergence of minds economies and technologies all point to this truth. Integral education provides this relational angle of vision to its students naturally highlighting the interrelatedness of different areas of knowledge as well as the special strengths and values of each one. This synthesis of the detailed and specialized disciplines of human knowledge is the essence of the modern ideal of education: integrated world knowledge.
3. That the synthesis and harmonization of the ancient aim of self-knowledge and the modern aim of world knowledge will be the keynote of all progressive education in the new millennium. For in truth neither can be complete without the other. World knowledge and the power it brings is a dangerous commodity when entrusted to the hands of those who lack the wisdom that self-knowledge brings. Self-knowledge without a firm understanding of the world as it is lacks the power and the practical knowledge to envision and create a better world for all. Integral education therefore aims to integrate these two key areas of human knowledge in order to provide the child with the means to know both self and world and to discover one’s true role place and aim in life.