Sathya Sai Education utilises a pedagogy of integral education that elicits human values through all aspects of education, including: the process of learning and the process of teaching, while integrating them into the curriculum, and the educational environment. Most importantly, it does this through Love, which underpins all the other values.
The main features of integral education in Sathya Sai Education are:
- Combining spiritual and secular education in curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities through the integration of human values in the curriculum
- Creating an environment and culture of selfless love conducive to the emergence of universal human values
- Using five teaching techniques (storytelling; prayer or quotations; silent sitting and concentration; group singing and group activities) in combination with other strategies that are experiential and transformational
- Emphasizing the teacher as exemplar of the universal human values
- Fostering self-discipline, self-sacrifice and selfless service to the community
- Fostering self-confidence through cognizance that the conscience is the ultimate criterion to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad in human life
- Providing a rationale, intellectual and intuitive basis for spirituality in daily life, emphasizing the simultaneous development of “head, heart, and hand”
"Never look at others’ mistakes. First try to correct yourself. Consider only the good in others. Rectify yourself first. This is spirituality."
- Sathya Sai Baba
The key principles put forward by the Australian Government’s Values education research project also support this pedagogy, these were:
- Establish and consistently use a common and shared values language across the school.
- Use pedagogies that are values-focused and student-centred within all curriculum.
- Develop values education as an integrated curriculum concept, rather than as a program, an event or an addition to the curriculum.
- Explicitly teach values so that students know what the values mean and how the values are lived.
- Implicitly model values and explicitly foster the modelling of values.
- Develop relevant and engaging values approaches connected to local and global contexts and which offer real opportunity for student agency.
- Use values education to consciously foster intercultural understanding, social cohesion and social inclusion.
- Provide teachers with informed, sustained and targeted professional learning and foster their professional collaborations.
- Encourage teachers to take risks in their approaches to values education.
- Gather and monitor data for continuous improvement in values education.
- Silent Sitting,
- Quotes and affirmations,
- Group singing and music,
- Group activity (such as role play, discussion, simulations and case studies),
- Mind Mapping, and
- Guided Visualisation.
These techniques provide the external stimuli through the senses for the purpose of improving understanding and creating awareness. The use of any of the above techniques as an adjunct to any lesson as an implementation tool enhances the quality of the lesson as each of the above techniques help to promote understanding and awareness in the conscious mind. More information on these techniques is available here.