Child Teacher and Teacher Education - What is to be done

What is to be done

What is to be done?

I

Making of a teacher differs significantly from making, say, of an advocate or a surgeon. The teacher is more than a mere skilled performer in a branch of his profession. Of course, he must have the best of skill in accustoming the pupil to the austere joy of mastering a difficult theme, be it quadratic equation or the equation E=MC2 or any other theme. But, in the end, when the frontiers of knowledge change, the importance and even the validity of what is learnt may not survive. What survives is the discipline of learning and the values acquired in the process. Whatever be the topic the teacher teaches, the ultimate values of his professional endeavour bear on the habits of living and thinking and enjoying life – the art of life – on what the pupil loves and cares for. Thus, the teacher inspires the life of the pupil – which is the one single theme of all of education. Skills in teaching are, no doubt, important but they do not take the teacher far. An otherwise unashamedly dissolute teacher may teach effectively; he also influences lives of the pupils no less, but sadly. Contact with great and good teachers as also with great ideas is the foundation of moral and spiritual education. The most effective weapon of a teacher is the silent power of example; it matters in the end and always. It is, therefore, necessary that teacher education should aim not at merely cultivation of professional skills but in making of man – a man of higher character and noble vision. This consideration brings to teacher-education a very different purpose and responsibility which are no

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equally relevant to other professional education.

We should not minimize the magnitude of the problem of teacher education; consider, for example, the large number of teachers that need training of different kinds and different levels (including the university level) and at different periods in their career. The entire process has to be viewed as a whole in a well conceived and integrated fashion and with sensitiveness to the intellectual and human values.

A number of the teacher education institutions suffer from lack of adequate facilities, and they do not adhere to the norms regarding physical facilities or provision of adequate staff. Colleges of education are often either under-staffed or the staff are under-qualified. There are serious curricular deficiencies, and evaluation in teacher education is far from satisfactory. Due to various reasons, academic sessions for B.Ed. are delayed, and in some cases, effective teaching lasts only for three to six months, although the number of working days in a teacher education institution is expected to be at least 220 in a year.

Many private colleges have sprung up and in a number of degree colleges, teacher-education courses have been instituted without ensuring the availability of suitable facilities and qualified staff. Even capitation fees are being charged, thereby commercialising teacher education.

In this context it would be pertinent to refer to the reports of the enormous corruption not only in seeking admission to teacher training institutions but also in passing the examination with inadequate training. The teachers who have gone through this polluting mill and profited by it can hardly be expected

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to stand for high principles of rectitude and correct behaviour.

In many universities, correspondence courses leading to the awarding of B.Ed. and M.Ed. degrees have been started. But serious questions are being raised as to whether such correspondence courses are really relevant in field where a personal contact between the trainer and the trainee is extremely important, and where the major objective is making of the man in the teacher and not merely a technician. These questions require an urgent answer in view of the fact that the number of students both in regular colleges and in correspondence courses has considerably increased.

There is in our country a backlog of untrained teachers in several States. And since there is no manpower planning in teaching profession, it is difficult to suggest any rational policy which States can follow in regard to the intake of fresh student-teachers.

It seems obvious that urgent measures need to be taken to:

  1. Introduce effective changes in the teacher education curriculum, particularly with a view to providing a powerful orientation towards value-education;
  2. Suggest a rational duration for pre-service and in-service teacher training programmes;
  3. Suggest effective methods of evaluation of trainees; and
  4. Suggest measures for the maintenance of standards of teacher-education and to meet various deficiencies and avoid evils which are prevalent in the field of teacher education.
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We need to ensure that the teachers who would be in charge of the care of the children, adolescents and youths of our country are not only well-trained in professional skills related to their subjects of specialisation but will also have effective personality and character capable of providing the needed guidance and inspiration to the growing minds and hearts of the young, as also a wide vision of our country and the world serving as a sure basis for patriotism, international understanding and voluntary optimism for a peaceful, progressive and glorious future.

The value-orientation and skill-oriented education should be treated as a central thrust not only of our teachers’ training programmes but also for our schools and colleges meant for the children, adolescents and youths. The aspirations of the value-oriented teachers can be fulfilled only if increasing number of schools and colleges in our country begin to provide value-oriented education.

Before concluding it would be appropriate to emphasise the need to provide in-service training in value-oriented education to all the teachers who are at present engaged in teaching. The teachers in colleges and universities should also pursue a programme of value-oriented education and undergo training in this regard also need to be underlined.

The teachers are destined to play a major role in the shaping of the destiny of mankind. In view of the fact that destiny stands today in a balance, fraught with dangerous possibilities of upheavals, catastrophes and cataclysms, central attention must be paid to the task of building up a large number of men and women

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into teachers who can stand in the coming days as hero-warriors and as leaders and pioneers dedicated to the highest values, the promotion of which alone can ensure the survival and fulfillment of the human race. In this task, programmes of value-oriented education are indispensable.

II

The fundamental thrust of the curriculum that we may develop will result from the emerging and imperative need to develop new types of teachers that can respond to the oft-repeated ideal of education for integral development of personality which would be both value-oriented and skill-oriented, and which would be sensitive to both science and aesthetics, and which would not only be global in character and outlook but also empowered to discharge corresponding responsibilities. This may appear to be a tall goal, but considering the speed with which the contemporary world is spinning forward, it may seem that even our farthest forward looking ideas will soon become common place. It is with that sense that we can think of the following new thrusts to the programmes of teacher’s education:

  1. We may think of 4 or 5 year integrated programme of teacher’s integrated education and thus of providing to the candidates for teacher education sufficient time to develop their own integral personality, their value-orientation, their skill-orientation and their global outlook and its allied abilities, such as multilingualism and wide knowledge of India and the world as also sensitiveness to empathise with the students of today and tomorrow who have begun to manifest new attitudes and new inclinations, which need to be understood, appreciated and channelised towards the fulfilment of the highest aspirations of humanity.
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  1. In consonance with the aims of semester system and credit system, we need to emphasise the theme of interdisciplinarity and even though we may retain the present day streams of arts, science and commerce, we need to ensure that the products of Indian Institution of Teacher Education are interdisciplinary and are able to enter into the new fields of inquiry without psychological blockades of rigidity and inability.
  2. We have in India already an experience of integrated teacher education programme which was initiated by the NCERT and successfully implemented at its Mysore Campus. Even today the Mysore University has continued this 4 or 5 year integrated programme for arts, science and commerce, and we can learn a great deal from its curriculum and even adopt many of its elements.
  3. At same time, we can think of developing a few foundational courses, which break the boundaries of the present day streamlines and which would also respond to the holistic demands that our educational system is now beginning to make upon teachers. In this context, we may propose to have in the new curriculum that we shall have to frame the following foundational courses, which can all be spread over 4 years/5 years:
    1. General Knowledge Course;
    2. Contemporary Global World;
    3. Skill-oriented Education;
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  1. Value-oriented Education;
  2. Fundamental Duties;
  3. Indian Culture
  4. Philosophy of Education and Life
  5. Education for Personality Development

In addition, we will also conceive two or three or four Core Courses, again spread over 4 or 5 years. These Core Courses can be envisaged to aid the teachers in their actual school work where they will be serving as teachers. These courses can be as follows:

  1. Education for Integral Development of Personality
  2. Education Through Indian Culture
  3. Multisided Physical Education
  4. Multilingual Courses

III

We may briefly analyse the above mentioned Foundational and Core Courses:

1.   General Knowledge Course:

As far as the General Knowledge Course is concerned, we may conceive of this course to consist of two components. The first component would only acquaint the students with the domains in respect of which we may expect students to possess some acquaintance with prominent names, terms, phrases, etc., in regard to these domains (Annexure – I). They may include:-

  1.  The nature of the universe;
  2.  Relationship of the earth with the universe;
  3.  Matter, life and mind;
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  1. Evolutionary process;
  2. Mystery of the human body and human intelligence;
  3. A bird’s eye view of the world history;
  4. What is Philosophy?
  5. What is Religion?
  6. The visual arts;
  7. Music and dance;
  8. Languages and Literatures;
  9. Countries of the world.

The second component of this course would consist of a number of alternatives, and students may be allowed to select any two or three alternative studies. This may include, with greater details, the following topics: –

  1. Amazing facts of any five domains;
  2. Some details of Indian history and geography and the world history and geography;
  3. Latest issues in any one of the following themes:
    1. Physics;
    2. Chemistry;
    3. Biology and Evolution;
    4. Biotechnology;
    5. Medicine;
    6. Psychology; and
    7. Philosophy
  4. Technical terms (and meanings) of any one domain of – arts or any of the domains of sciences or any one of the domains of industries and commerce;
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  1. Basic details of the main periods of Indian history;
  2. Detailed information regarding modern art, modern music, greatest contemporary poets; or
  3. Detailed information regarding Sanskrit, Gujarati, Hindi and English literature, etc.

2. Contemporary Global World:

This course may have two components (Annexure – II). The first component may consist of the study of:

  1. Greek Culture, Renaissance and contemporary scientific climate;
  2. Religions of the past and the contemporary attitudes;
  3. Relevance of lessons of – French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Russian Revolution, Discovery and development of USA, --  to the contemporary world;
  4. World of Science and the Future;
  5. World of Industry and Commerce and the Future;
  6. Evolution of Humanity and the Future – question of human progress, fulfilment, new directions;

The second component may consist of a number of alternatives and students may be allowed to have a choice to choose two or three of the following and similar subjects:

  1. Philosophy of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity;
  2. Contemporary Crisis and the Future;
  3. International Sports;
  4. Contemporary interdisciplinary studies;
  5. Prospect of a New World Culture;
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  1. New Movements in Health and Healing;
  2. UNO and international agencies – their origin, their significance and their role;
  3. Commercial Geography and ICT;
  4. Contemporary International Relationship;
  5. Problems of Human Unity;
  6. Frontiers of Physics and Biotechnology;
  7. Theories of Justice;
  8. Problems of Energy;
  9. Philosophy of Science: Induction, Critical Rationality, March of Knowledge;
  10. Synthesis of Science and Spirituality;
  11. Contemporary challenges of Education;
  12. Utopias and New Visions of the Future;
  13. Space Travel and Implications for the Future;
  14. Contemporary World-Art and Contemporary World of Drama/Dance/ Cinema;
  15. Nationalism and Internationalism.

3. Skill-oriented Education:

The third course – Skill-Oriented Education will also have two components. The first component would provide a general idea of what exactly skill means and what kind of skills are demanded in the contemporary world. It may also provide a short discussion on psychology of skill development and how basic skills of head, heart and hand can be blended. Finally, this course may also provide to every student skills for running a home and an office. (Annexure – III)

The second component of this course may allow a student to choose two or three of the following, so that

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every student gets opportunity to develop corresponding skills:

  1. Computer and shorthand in various languages;
  2. Reception and role of PRO in various organisations;
  3. Reporting various kinds of meetings, events, personalities (in contemporary world);
  4. Knowledge of History and Geography for Cultural Tourism;
  5. Writing a book on a subject of choice or Magazine or Articles (on various subjects – Arts, Science, Commerce, Sports, General-Knowledge);
  6. Research;
  7. Musical Skills;
  8. Teaching and Communication;
  9. Engineering Skills – Electrical, Mechanical, Civil;
  10. Correspondence;
  11. Story-telling;
  12. Translation.

4. Value-Oriented Education:

The course on Value-Oriented Education, in its first component part, would provide basic philosophy of Value-Oriented Education, and its second component would provide exploration in any of two or three allied themes (Annexure – IV):

  1.  Explorations in –
    1. Aim of Life; 
    2. Truth, None-Violence, Continence, Non-Stealing, Non-Covetousness;
    3. Secrets of Learning to grow towards Excellence;
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  1. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity;
  2. Secrets of – Self-control, and Self-mastery through Illumination, Heroism and Harmony;
  3. ruth, Beauty and Goodness
  1. Study of Five great and perennial quests – God, Light, Freedom, Bliss and Immortality;
  2. History of Indian system of Values;
  3. Utilitarianism versus Intuitionism: Solution.

5.  Fundamental Duties:

The course related to Fundamental Duties, in its first component would provide to the student a general introduction to the following themes (Annexure – V):

  1. History of Freedom Struggle;
  2. History of National Flag and National Anthem;
  3. Ideals referred to in – (a) Preamble to the Constitution; (b) Directive Principles; and (c) Fundamental Duties;
  4. Concepts of Duties and Rights;
  5. Critical study of concept of Nationalism, Freedom and Internationalism;
  6. Meaning of Scientific Temper, Humanism and Freedom to inquire;
  7. Meaning of Excellence.

In addition, in its second component, it would provide to the students a possibility of more detailed study of two or three of the any following or allied themes:

  1. India’s problems of environmental protection in the context of the “Inconvenient Truth” by A.L. Gore;
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  1. Community Service relating to:
    1. Village Work;
    2. Road building;
    3. Cottage Industries;
    4. Technical Help to villagers and in regard to the knowledge and practices concerning  -- (a) Soil; (b) Crops; (c) Marketing; (d)  Weather, etc.; (e) Organic Farming, etc.
  2. Problems of National defence and how to participate in National Defence;
  3. History of India’s Spirit of Synthesis;
  4. Excellence in National Development (Any two Domains);
  5. Excellence in Integral Development of Personality (qualities regarding physical health, vital heroism, rational thought, ethical qualities, aesthetic qualities, spiritual qualities);
  6. Valuable lessons of Indian history and heritage;
  7. Ideal of Fraternity;
  8. Meaning of Sovereignty, Unity, Integrity and Solidarity of the nation;
  9. Importance of Education, particularly Education of the Child.

6. Indian Culture:

The course relating to Indian Culture, will provide in its first component general information and discussion on the following topics (Annexure VI):

  1. What is Culture? Distinction between Civilisation and Culture;
  2. Indian Rationality;
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  1. Indian Aesthetics (Literature, Art, Music, Dance, Drama);
  2. Indian Ethics and Dharma;
  3. Indian Religion and Spirituality;
  4. Distinctive Features of Indian Culture;
  5. Indian Renaissance.

In the second component, it will provide a possibility of choosing any two or three of the following or allied themes for a more detailed study –

  1. Significance of – सत्यमेव जयते – satyam eva jayate;
  2. Dharma in daily life of Indians;
  3. Veda and Indian Culture;
  4. Indian Natya Shastra;
  5. Lessons of Ramayana;
  6. Lessons of Mahabharata;
  7. Significance of Puranas;
  8. Significance of Ramayana and Mahabharata;
  9. Indian Women;
  10. Problems of Hindu-Muslim Unity;
  11. Masterpieces of Indian Art;
  12. Masterpieces of Indian Architecture;
  13. Problems of Indian Polity and Unity of India; and
  14. Yoga

7.  Philosophy of Education and Life:

There has been one criticism of the educational system that it is divorced from life. This is a valid criticism because, even philosophically, the aims of

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education and life should be co-terminus. However, when thought is being developed for relating education to life, there is no clarity as to how education and life can be correlated. A deeper reflection is absolutely necessary in the proposed programme. We may, therefore, provide for a philosophical exploration of the aims of life as also of how thinkers of the East and the West have endeavoured to develop their philosophy of education in the context of the aims of life. Many other subjects and topics can also be included. Some of the relevant topics have been indicated in the relevant Annexure VII.

8. Education for Personality Development:

If one of the acknowledged aims of education is the development of the multisided integral personality, the teachers of today and tomorrow should be empowered to develop their own integral personality and they should have a good philosophical and psychological grounding in the concept of personality and in the processes of integration of personality. Keeping this in view, we may suggest the topics under this subject, which have been indicated in the relevant Annexure VIII.

CORE COURSES:

As far as the core courses are concerned, one general remark that we make is that they are necessary for conducting class teaching, and they will have to involve a good deal of project work and practicals.

9.   Education for Integral Development of Personality:

If the teacher is conceived as a gardener and a

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child as the bud that contains within itself the potentialities of full-blown flower, we may be able to get the insights as to what has to be the role of the teacher while tending the bud so that it receives necessary environment, atmosphere, influence and some kind of intervention of intelligent and deliberate but extremely careful and restrained care of the teacher. The teacher is not merely an instructor, but she provides atmosphere and environment through her own internalised values, capacities and also her knowledge and wisdom. Only thinkers can produce thinkers, and only the courageous can impart inspiration towards heroism; only light can kindle lamps, and only the kind and the compassionate can provide to the students the required warmth and uplifting influence. How to implement this oft repeated precept into actual practice of teaching and learning in a class situation has to be worked out carefully. In the relevant Annexure-IX a tentative curriculum has been presented.

10.  Education Through Indian Culture:

In the Annexure X, a tentative statement has been made for the consideration of the Committee.

11. Multisided Physical Education:

One of the great deficiencies in Indian system of education is its neglect of meaningful programme of physical education. Sometimes what goes under the programme of yoga has not been sufficiently well planned and what goes under P.T. is so perfunctory that it neither serves the purposes of health nor of strength nor of agility of the physical bodies of the students. A healthy and strong body should be regarded as pre-requisite for any candidate to be a

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good teacher. Only then the teacher will be able to inspire the child to become a good gymnast, athlete or swimmer, body builder or a good yogi having the right type of the body for spiritual accomplishments.

In the relevant Annexure XI details of this programme have been suggested, and it may be recommended that every student in the IITE should undergo a comprehensive and multisided physical education, and the Institute must find the required time for this purpose.

12. Multilingual Courses:

In the relevant Annexure XII, it is suggested that provisions should be made in this Institute to empower every student to have competence in Gujarati and in English so that both can be used as media of instruction.

It is further suggested that every student should have competence to read, write and understand Hindi, along with the capacity to translate Hindi into Gujarati and English and vice-versa.

It is also further suggested that every student should have knowledge of Sanskrit so that she can understand, read, speak, converse in Sanskrit at a minimum level and also be able to translate simple passages of Sanskrit into Gujarati or English.

Finally, it is also suggested that if the products of IITE are to be global, they should also have sufficient exposure in one additional foreign language such as French, which has large canvas in the world, and which is also accepted as a language of the United Nations and its agencies.

It is to be understood that most of the students

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have great linguistic deficiencies, and the Committee may like to consider this problem and suggest some crash courses for students to acquire capacities of eloquence both in Gujarati/Hindi and English.

III

In addition to the above, the Curriculum Committees may like to make recommendations on the following:

  • Credit to be given for the various topics under the Foundational Courses and under the Core Courses.
  • Credit to be given to Core Courses in Arts, Science and Commerce and other interdisciplinary courses.
  • Expected time hours that can be recommended for Core Courses, Foundational Courses and Optional Courses.
  • A complete scheme of 4 or 5 year integrated courses.
  • Acceptability of the proposed courses by the NCTE.

It may also be added that the Credit System should be made so flexible that interdisciplinary courses can be framed by students according to their inclinations and proficiency. In particular, it may be emphasised that we need to promote:

  • Multilingualism
  • Issue of Cultural History and the Future
  • Interdisiciplinarity of the themes such as the following:
    1. Ideal of Human Unity
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  1. Evolution and Future of Human Species
  2. History of Religions
  3. Classics
  4. Philosophy, Astronomy and Classical Languages, etc.

IV

Some thought needs to be devoted to the framing of Time-Tables and to the question of compulsory attendance at lectures.

If the Credit System has to succeed, and if students are to be encouraged to develop the capacity of self-learning (in the light of UNESCO’s thoughts in “Learning: Treasure Within”), we shall have to modify greatly the present Timetable system, and while students may be required to be present in Lecture Halls/Video-Libraries/Book Libraries/Portals Rooms/Libraries, etc., we have to allow students to study through self-learning rather than through attendance at Lectures, according to full-time fixed time-tables. New Types of Time-Tables have been thought of.

V

We may also suggest several Specialised Courses, a tentative list of which is given at Annexure XIII.

The student may be required to offer any three Specialised Courses. In the Annexure XIV, we present for consideration some detailed proposals for a specialised 5-year course for Personality Development, which includes lists of Life-Skills.

In Annexure XV, we present suggested details for a specialised course in Philosophy of Education And Life.

Annexure XVI suggests topics to be included in

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a 5-yeasr course in Physical, Vital and Mental Education.

 

VI

 

Examination Reforms need to be revised in the light of the following:

 

  • Examination on Demand (as in NIOS)
  • Examination of Skills
  • Examination of Personality Development
  • Examination of Physical Fitness

VII

We may summarise a tentative proposal for 5 year M.Ed. Programme in the following table:              

Areas Some Details
1.       Basic Studies & Exercises

General Knowledge

Global World

Value-Oriented Education

Skill-Oriented Education

Fundamental Duties

Indian Culture

Physical Education & Health:

Gymnastics

Athletics

Swimming

Yogic Asanas

Pranayama

 

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Games (Indian & Western)

Personality Development:

Good Stories

Inspiring poems & songs

Biographies

Appreciation of Art & Science

Towards wisdom,

Heroism,

Harmony, and Works (including physical labour)

2.       Communication & Language Proficiency

Gujarati, English, Sanskrit ICT Workbooks & programmed books Counselling

3.       Liberal Studies (Literature, Fine Arts, Philosophy)

4.       Physical, Human & Commercial Sciencies

5.       Educational Studies (Professional)

6.       Internship & Innovative Initiatives (regarding Aims, Methods, Contents of Education)

 

* * *

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M.Ed. (Hons)           :    One Additional Foreign Language  + One Interdisciplinary study : e.g. Philosophy + Sanskrit +  Indian Art  +  Astronomy

M.Ed. (Special)        :    One Additional Foreign Language +  A Specialised Pedagogical Study

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honesty                                     peace
straightforwardness                    calm
cheerfulness                              self-control
courage                                     self-mastery
disinterestedness                       truth
patience                                    harmony
endurance                                 liberty

  1. These qualities are taught infinitely better by examples than by beautiful speeches.
  2. The undesirable impulses and habits should not be treated harshly. The child should not be scolded. Particularly, care should be taken not to rebuke a child for a fault which one commits oneself. Children are very keen and clear-sighted observers; they soon find out the educator’s weaknesses and note them without pity.
  3. When a child makes a mistake, one must see that he confesses it to the teacher or the guardian spontaneously and frankly; and when he has confessed it he should be made to understand with kindness and affection what was wrong in the movement and that he should not repeat it. A fault confessed must be forgiven.
  4. The child should be encouraged to think of wrong impulses not as sins or offences but as symptoms of a curable disease alterable by a steady and a sustained effort of the will – falsehood being rejected and replaced by truth, fear by courage, selfishness by sacrifice, malice by love.
  5. Great care should be taken to see that unformed virtues are not rejected as faults. The wildness and recklessness of many young natures are only the overflowing of an excessive strength, greatness and nobility.
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  1. Aids for the Development of Value-Consciousness and Experience:
    1. To ask oneself: what am I?
    2. Story of the search of Svetaketu and Nachiketas.
    3. Listening to music: selected ragas (Indian) and harmonies (Western)
    4. Picture of the beauty of nature.
    5. Study of great personalities: the Buddha (a detailed study).
    6. Need for physical fitness: what it means (topic for study and reflection).
  2. Teachers may recommend the following exercises according to circumstances and in response to the individual needs of each student:
    1. Resolve daily to be truthful, to be free from fear and to have goodwill for everyone.
    2. Works of labour and community service with an inner motive of dedication.
    3. Clarity of thought: there is a distinction between appearance and reality (Examples from science, history, literature and philosophy).
    4. Cleanliness and purity of the body, exercises for the body.

Class VI

  1. Science and Values
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