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Welcome to the first issue of the SOTE Email Newsletter for 2011. We hope you find it of interest. The Newsletter is intended for an audience which includes educators, parents, students, and anyone interested in a more holistic or alternative approach to education.

Articles are drawn from our regular Parents’ Program and Teacher’s Seminars as well as comments on current educational issues from SOTE personnel and articles from our archives. The latter are of particular interest as they demonstrate the enduring nature of many of the themes of Total Education.

We welcome your feedback or reflections on what you read here via email at

I hope you enjoy this edition of the SOTE Email Newsletter.

Richard Waters


How Much Attention Do Children Need?

“Parenting is not a part-time job. Children need attention at the right time and of the right quality. If they receive this attention, they will be satisfied and fulfilled. If they don’t get it, they will go looking for it — often in the wrong way.” This article by SOTE Principal, Richard Waters, attempts to provide practical advice for busy parents about this important question. Read more…

Parenting As Personal Development

SOTE parent, Lisa Notley, was recently asked to address a school parents meeting on the topic of Parenting As Personal Development. This article, based on her talk, explores the some of the challenges of parenting which can also be opportunities for personal development, as well as how taking the idea of personal development seriously can in turn improve one’s role as a parent. Read more…

From the Archives: What is Total Education?

This concise overview of the philosophy and practice of Total Education by Dr Leo Las Gourgues was originally published in 1977 shortly after the opening of the School of Total Education in Melbourne. Dr Las Gourgues was one of many people who worked with the school’s founder, Vijayadev Yogendra, on the early development of the school in the 1970s. Read more…

New Interview: Michael Funder

A new interview with recently retired SOTE teacher, Michael Funder, has been added to our website. It covers topics including: some of the reasons why SOTE was originally established; innateness; the deeper purpose of education; the role of parents in the educational process; nurturing the spirit or soul in education and benefits of teachers working collaboratively.

Click here to read more and download the interview.


New Multi-Purpose Hall Nearing Completion

The School is nearing the completion of its new Multipurpose Hall, which is a Commonwealth-funded BER project. It will be a wonderful facility for both Health and Physical Education classes, for Drama, Music and the Performing Arts, as well as for Parent Meetings. We expect the facility to be used also by visiting artists and for public seminars on education and related issues. The building has been specially designed to harmonise with the existing architecture of the school, and the completed building really achieves this. We are looking forward to the official opening in August and its full use by the School Community.

Tagore Anniversary

This year marks the 150th Anniversary of the birth of the Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, who was a pioneer of holistic education with the school he established at Santiniketan in the Indian State of West Bengal.

SOTE Principal Richard Waters visited Santiniketan in 2005: “I was very impressed with the dedication of the teachers and the strong sense of community in the School. I also met Supriyo Tagore, Rabindranath’s nephew, who had recently retired after being Principal of the school for 30 years.” Click here to read more about Richard’s visit.

The UK-based magazine Resurgence (edited by Satish Kumar) is celebrating the anniversary with a Tagore Festival. See for more information.

Books Available On Our Website

A range of books on Total Education and related topics can be purchased from the SOTE website. Click here to find out more.