Total Education Blog

Materialistic Education

Monday, August 08, 2016

I recently caught up with an old friend from my student days who is now teaching senior students at a leading Brisbane school. She loves teaching and loves her students and it was refreshing to hear her talk about it. But when speaking of the education system itself, my friend said ‘I realised the other day when looking at my students, what is wrong with what we are doing. We are totally motivating them by materialism.’

The conversation moved on but it came to mind again in stronger terms when I watched a short video link of the Dalai Lama today on Facebook saying:

‘Existing modern education is not education to produce happy individuals, happy families, happy communities and finally, happy humanity. Because existing modern education system is very much oriented in material values, external values, completely neglecting about our inner values. So now time has come we have to make special effort to promote inner value and that is human love.’

The school’s founder, Vijayadev Yogendra, often spoke of modern education as creating spare parts for industry rather than what he saw it could be, and that is a process of refinement of the human being leading to a happier humanity.

I am sure school leaders must sometimes feel schizophrenic, knowing that the competitive environment they are being required to teach in is creating young people who will climb over the next person to achieve their materialistic goals when what is really needed is men and women who think more cooperatively, can manage their selfish urges and have a mind to the greater good.

Vijay set out a blueprint for schools wishing to make ‘that special effort’ to promote inner values. Our school is the working model of that blueprint. It shows that removing competition from the structure of school life does not impede academic success and actually produces a more rounded and contented individual. The Dalai Lama recognised Vijay’s efforts, writing in the foreword of his book “Peace – A Way of Life”: ‘I welcome the publication of this book…by Vijayadev Yogendra, who as for several decades worked in Australia promoting the ideals of peace and harmony’.

Vijay’s books are available through this website for those interested to know more about his philosophy of Total Education.

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