The guiding philosophy of Ananda Marga schools is Neohumanist Education. Based on Neohumanism, the philosophy of the innate oneness of all things, it seeks to instil in children an innate sense of love and compassion for all beings: people, animals, plants, and even the inanimate matter of the whole universe.
Aims of Neohumanist Education:
▪ Develop the full potential of each child: physically, mentally and spiritually
▪ Awaken a thirst for knowledge and love of learning
▪ Equip students with academic and other skills necessary for higher education
▪ Facilitate personal growth in areas such as morality, integrity, self-confidence, self-discipline and cooperation
▪ Develop physical wellbeing and mental capabilities through meditation, yoga and concentration techniques, sports and play
▪ Develop a sense of aesthetics and appreciation of culture through drama, dance, music and art
▪ Encourage students to become active and responsible members of society
▪ Promote an awareness of ecology in its broadest sense, i.e. the realisation of the inter-relatedness of all things, and encourage respect and care for all living beings
▪ Recognise the importance of teachers and parents in setting an example
▪ Encourage a universal outlook, free from discrimination based on religion, race, creed or gender
Respecting the Web of Life
Studying about the Web of Life helps students understand the interconnections between self, others and the natural environment. Neohumanist Education fosters love and respect for all, regardless of culture, religion, race or nationality; for animals and plants and the earth’s ecosystems. Children learn these principles through lessons and teacher modeling, as well as through developing their own intuitive feeling of the interconnectedness of all things.
Our child-centred approach to education caters for each child’s interests, unique ‘intelligences’, learning time-frames and learning styles. By providing a rich environment and a variety of educational choices, we help children direct, develop and expand their own interests and unique talents. Because we are a small school, with a low teacher/ student ratio, and plenty of volunteer and parent support, teachers can accommodate the varying needs of each child. We support children in making their own choices, both individually and as a group. In the early years, we emphasise learning through play, fun and imagination. Teachers enrich play by supplementing and stimulating the children’s own ideas. They create a rich environment for indoor and outdoor play within a structured day that includes large group, small group and individual activities. Using play, imagination and creativity as a basis for early learning helps children develop a love of learning and helps sustain their natural creativity and passion.
In later years, we use themes, projects and areas of interests (often chosen by the whole class) as a focus to make learning relevant and exciting. We especially encourage service-based projects that impact the community and globe, so that children learn ways to positively make a difference and see the results of their work.
Whole Child Learning
Neohumanist Education recognises and encourages the development of a balanced personality. Character-building is one of the most important goals of our education, and we use all aspects of our studies to develop skills such as relationships, leadership, group work, courage, service-orientation and honesty. Our Virtues program helps children learn moral and personal qualities and is integrated daily with all parts of the curriculum. We recognise the importance of developing all sides of the personality: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, to support all aspects of a child’s growth. We believe that the most important outcome of an excellent education is balanced, moral adults capable of creating a global society of justice, acceptance and spiritual progress.
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