The School of Total Education, Warwick, Queensland, Australia


photo: Richard Waters

Hello Everyone,

A warm welcome to our Autumn 2017 Email Newsletter.

I write this letter not long having returned from the Future Schools conference in Melbourne. Some great speakers were there including Prakash Nair, a progressive schools architect from Canada, Dr. Milton Chen from the George Lucas Educational Foundation in California and our own Jan Owens, CEO of The Foundation for Young Australians.

A stimulating environment to be sure but my major takeout from it was the reassurance of the relevance of the Total Education philosophy in the global environment. From the unique design of our buildings and classrooms to our approach of educating the whole child and our focus on equipping our young people with the skills to accommodate a rapidly changing environment, these resonated with the dominating themes addressed by these keynote speakers and those that followed them.

In this edition of the newsletter, we have two new articles in “New on the Website”. The first, by David Leech, is a catch up with alumni and cardio-thoracic surgeon Dr Indra Nordstrand’s visit to the school last November for the graduation address. We also have a short article by School parent Dr Stephen Yates on the presentation by Dr Arne Rubinstein to school parents on ‘Raising Healthy Happy Children’ and his pathways to manhood program. Thirdly, there is a piece entitled ‘Just Patience’ looking at how to teach this fundamental value and why we need to.

Looking back through time in “From the Archives” we revisit a piece on global education by Professor Robert Muller, the then Assistant Secretary General to the United Nations, in the foreword he wrote for the book Future Education by School founder Vijayadev Yogendra, as well as a piece by David Leech on Parents’ Responsibilities, reflecting on excerpts from “Total Education – The Urgent Need”.

In “News from School and Beyond” we hear from past student Maggie Doolan on her Medical Adventures in Samoa where she underwent a clinical placement as part of her medical studies and also from Bernadine Bradshaw about the Dance Event held with our India Bridge School in New Delhi, The Venkateshwar International School.

There are quite a few newsworthy items in “The Total Education Blog” including “Taking up the Challenge” being the school founder’s challenge to parents and Improving Children’s Relationships, about past student and occupational therapist, Louise Mander’s work with some of our students.

Finally, for newsy stories about school life there is always our Latest News blog where you can read about day to day activities at the School.

Shane Power


Dr Indra Returns for Graduation

In 2016, our school made contact with Dr Indra Nordstrand, a past student of the School who had graduated in 1990 before she went on to study Medicine. Graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery, Indra gained her Master of Philosophy before completing her surgical training (in Australia and the United Kingdom). Upon returning to Australia in 2014, Indra has worked in hospitals in Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand, prior to resettling in Melbourne. Indra has continuously tried to live by the School’s values and ideals as exemplified in the… Read more…

Dr. Rubinstein Visits Total Education

Much of what Dr Arne spoke about at the Parents combined meeting that night resonated with me, as my sons and I had had first hand experience of the potency, the transforming power of the process embedded in the “Pathways” programme. What was of special value to me was the opportunity for the men and their sons/charges to share candidly about their lives, to celebrate and honour the boys, and to communally mark their coming of age through a rite of passage… Read more…

"Just Patience"

I read in the news last week that there is a new ‘oldest person in the world’ with the discovery of a 145 year old Indonesian man, Mbah Gotho. More interesting was his answer to the question of what was the secret to his long life: "The recipe is just patience" he answered. Read more…


Global Education

“THIS REMARKABLE WRITING of Vijayadev Yogendra, “The Future Education”, reminded me of another striking book I read recently “The Global Brain”, by Peter Russell. In it the scientist shows how the growth and increasing complexity of the human species has brought about an evolutionary transformation similar to earlier ones in the history of life on this planet, namely the birth of new global organs of perception, warning, adaptation and decision.” Read more…

Parents' Responsibilities

I once visited a retired school teacher, someone I deeply respected (I had not seen him since I had left school, some 15 years earlier). He taught Literature in Year 12 and he was Senior English Master. He was also the Senior Boarding Master, as well as one-time Chairman of the Masters’ Common Room. His classes were the highlight of my school life. He had been a prisoner of war in Sandakan (Borneo) and this experience changed his life and subsequently the lives of all his students. We had a wonderful talk that day as we sat in his venerable book-lined study. I gave him a copy of Vijay’s book on Total Education… Read more…


Medical Adventures in Samoa

At the end of our first year of med school, UQ students are required to do a clinical placement at a hospital or medical practice. My med student friend has family in American Samoa so we thought we would make the most of that connection and get some insight into a contrasting heath care system. (That just happened to be on a beautiful tropical island!) Read more…

Dance Event Spans Two Cultures

The song ‘Into the Forest’, highlighting the deep spiritual connection which Aboriginal people have to their land and the natural environment, allowed dancers from rural Australia to ‘virtually’ share the stage with dancers from the busy metropolis of New Delhi. The theme of love and concern for our planet were shared and expressed by students from entirely different cultural backgrounds, allowing our schools to give this message together in a cooperative and engaging way. Read more…


Taking Up The Challenge

This is why we as parents must take a hard look at ourselves in the interest of our children’s future.” This single sentence sums up Vijay’s thinking about the Parent Program. He is issuing a challenge here. If we as parents do not take the initiative and take charge of our children’s future, society most assuredly will. He is saying here that we must decide what type of values matter to us and what sort of future we want for our children. Read more…

Improving Childrens' Relationships

Our teachers were inspired at the start of this term by an engaging presentation from a young but very experienced and extremely competent professional Louise Edwards, from the Centre for Healthy Living, on the topic “Improving Relationships Among Children – An Occupational Therapist's Perspective”. It was an insightful presentation made all the more so by the fact that Louise is a former student of... Read more…


School Sport

The Year 8 & 9 students at The School of Total Education really enjoyed sport last week despite the heat wave. Teachers Piers Dudin and Brett Weier took the students to the Vijayadev Yogendra Auditorium where they took advantage of the air- conditioning to play many games of volleyball in a less demanding temperature. Read more…

Rotary Exchange to Germany

Year 12 Graduate Kieran Power is off to Germany in January on a 12 month student exchange. Kieran will attend the EGE school in Annaberg which is close to the Czech border. His first host family lives in the nearby town of Schlettau, population 2,500. Kieran is grateful to his sponsoring club Surfer's Sunrise, which stepped in when… Read more…

Some of the available books on our website

Books Available On Our Website

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