On Auroville - Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level


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Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

It is often argued that while value-oriented education is important at the elementary and secondary levels of education, it is not required at the tertiary level. It has been urged that values can be taught or caught when children are young, and when they are grown up they have already a formed character, and education in character development at a higher level is therefore unnecessary. But this argument misses the point that it is only at the tertiary level that one can institute a critical examination of the concept of values and how values can be inculcated in the personality. In fact a critical examination of values is by itself an important part of value-oriented education. Values which are simply transmitted without examination can only result in some kind of dogmatism or even indoctrination. Therefore value-oriented education is absolutely essential at the tertiary level.

Considering, therefore, the importance of value-oriented education, one can think of two kinds of courses at the tertiary level. One course could be common to all students of undergraduate level. In addition, there could be a special course of value-oriented education which could even be called a course in applied philosophy.

We may suggest that the programme that we have indicated for classes I to XII could be presented in a different fashion so that the content of school education in regard to value-orientation could be examined by students of undergraduate level. A critical examination would be relevant also in respect of the questions of the aim of human life.

Study of the aim of human life can be viewed under four headings:

  1. The supra-cosmic aim of life;
  2. The supra-terrestrial aim of life;
  3. Cosmic-terrestrial aim of life; and
  4. Integral aim of life.

Secondly, one could discuss the question of relativity and subjectivity of values and how values have changed from time to time and from country to country. In this connection, one can introduce the question of definition of values and distinction between moral and spiritual values, as also values related to aesthetic and emotional life and values of intellectual and physical culture. Ideals of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity could also be studied at this stage.

The study of values in relation to the psychology of development of human personality could also be important, and it could be suggested that the following ideas which are essential for the development of personality could be a subject matter of a detailed study, namely:

  1. Ego, memory and self; Indian and Western views;
  2. Planes and parts of the being;
  3. Inconscient, subconscient, physical, vital, rational, aesthetic, ethical, psychic, spiritual, supramental and transcendental.
Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

Next, there could be a discussion on the multiple personalities in man and conflicts within man and how these conflicts can be resolved by harmonization of personality. The question of free will and determinism can also be discussed in this connection.

There are also other aspects of personality which need to be studied in this connection. These relate to multi-dimensional personality, balanced personality and personality of equanimity. There is also in India a concept of four-fold personality of Wisdom, Power, Harmony and Skill.

One part of the important concept of value, which should be examined at the higher level, is that of the relationship between science and values. Here one could study the nature of the scientific thinking and pursuit of the value of Truth through science. There is also the contention that just as there is science which deals with the knowledge of the outer universe, even so there is a science which relates to the domain of inner universe. Both these sciences need to be harmonised.

At present there is a new subject which is coming up in the forefront, and that is the theme of consciousness. This subject should be introduced with a special emphasis on the relationship between body and mind, and also the study of the body and mind as the science of yoga looks upon them. This subject can also be studied in the context of evolution, and it can be argued that evolution does not stop merely at the evolution of man and that there is a possibility of mutation of species.

What is called philosophy of religion could also be a part of the curriculum at the tertiary level. It is here that certain features of universal religions could be studied with the methods of comparative studies. Particularly we may emphasise the study of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Zoroastrianism. Along with these religions, there should be a detailed study of the lives of great personalities associated with these religions, or various systems of yoga such as Rama, Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira, Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammed, Guru Nanak, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo.
What is called psychology of religion and spirituality could also be studied at least at the elementary level, and here the emphasis could be on the study of psychology of worship and prayer, psychology of action without desire, psychology of concentration including that of meditation and contemplation. Yoga and psychology of spiritual experiences could also be included such as those of liberation from ego, cosmic consciousness, transcendental consciousness and spiritual transformation.

Along with the subject of science and values, one could also have in this programme the study of art and values, and in this connection, the following questions could be discussed:

  1. What is art?
  2. How is ant viewed in India and the West?
  3. Six limbs of Indian art: Rupa Bheda, Pramaana, Bhava, Lavanya, Sadrishya, Varnikabhanga.
  4. Art and the pursuit of the value of Beauty in relation to poetry, music, painting, architecture, dance and drama. Important illustrations on these themes could also be provided.
Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

Another important subject which could be proposed is that of environment and values, and the following themes can be discussed:

  1. The present trend towards depletion of environment and likely consequences which would be injurious to the species on the earth, including human species. In this connection various attitudes towards environment which are present in Indian culture and ancient culture could also be emphasised.
  2. The subject of harmony with Nature and love of vegetable and animal kingdom also could be stressed.

Finally, special studies should be made for physical culture and its values. This study should include the concept of health, strength, agility, grace and beauty. One could also introduce here the concept of ideal sportsman and sportswoman, and one could explain the specific contribution that can be made for the promotion of values of physical culture through gymnastics, athletics, aquatics, martial arts and games.

A programme for value-oriented education at the tertiary level should also include a special study of Indian culture and Indian system of values. It should also include the study of Indian religion and spirituality, Indian ethics and Indian concept of dharma, Indian literature, Indian art, Indian architecture, and Indian polity.

It may be suggested that these programmes can be spread over three years of courses and can be common for all the disciplines, whether of arts or science or commerce or all other theoretical or practical studies.

Value-Oriented Education at the Tertiary Level

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