The Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) has undertaken exploration in Value-Oriented Education from the point of view of Philosophical Theory as also its practical implications. As the subject is vast, the Council envisaged a series of seminars on the subject during the Tenth Five-Year Plan period (2002-03 to 2006-07).
The first Seminar in the series was designed to initiate discussions on the following themes:
(a) Basic issues on the meaning of values and the place of Value-Oriented Education at the present juncture of India's historical development;
(b) The present system of education, its origin in Macaulay's Minutes on Education, and the defects of the present system that can be traced to Macaulay and his followers;
(c) Recent efforts made by the Government in respect of introducing Value-Oriented Education at all levels of education;
(d) Study of the Fundamental Duties;
(e) Introduction of Value Education through every subject of study in the school system;
(f) Value-Oriented Education in the tertiary level;
(g) Experiments in Value-Oriented Education at the national level in different parts of the country; and
(h) Preparation of teaching-learning materials for promoting Value-Oriented Education in the country.
About 250 philosophers, educationists and teachers from different parts of India participated in the Seminar. The programme of the first day centred on issues relating to the philosophical foundations of Value-Oriented Education. The themes of subsequent days were: (i) Vision of Value-Oriented Education and Innovative Practices that have been introduced by different governmental and non-governmental organizations, and (ii) Contributions of Literature to Value-Oriented Education.
The ICPR circulated among the participants a background paper consisting of detailed statement of philosophical reflections on the main themes involved in Value-Oriented Education. These issues include the question of the relativity and subjectivity of values, values derived from religious and moral systems, as also those entailed by integral development and personality. The document also analyses the themes of morality and spirituality, and values of Indian culture, and it provides a list of selected topics that could be incorporated in possible syllabus for school education.
The Seminar adopted the following methodology. The Seminar deliberated on the following four main themes:
(i) Educational Philosophies of the Leaders of the Renascent India;
(ii) Vision of Value-Oriented Education;
(iii) Innovative Practices in respect of Value-Oriented Education;
(iv) Contribution of Literature to Value-Oriented Education.
Each theme was considered in a Plenary Session presided over by an eminent educationist. The chairperson of each session initiated the theme. Thereafter relevant papers were presented on each theme. They were followed by open discussion by eminent scholars and NGOs etc. invited to attend the Seminar. This process was followed in each session. In the penultimate session the recommendations that emerged from the Seminar were presented. These were adopted by a voice vote.
Earlier the ICPR had organized a pre-seminar on January 5, 2002, where thirty eminent scholars and professors of literature and other experts participated. The Seminar provided a useful preview of the issues to be discussed in the main Seminar. Highlights of the deliberations, observations and suggestions given in Pre-seminar are given in the Annexure I.