A CHILD IS A SPIRITUAL BEING
'Spiritual understanding combined with reason expands a child's ability to better perceive, empathize and comprehend.'
A child's spirit is nurtured by an inspiring school environment. The future of humanity rests upon what kind of environment is provided within the four walls of a school. The soft side of education, the school ethos, has a profound impact on the psychology of a child. It nourishes the inner spirit. Just like when we walk into a temple, a church, or into nature, our spirit is attracted. So must a child's spirit be attracted as s/he walks into a school. Schools need to create a new culture and provide a new climate of encouragement.
At YGS, daily prayer-assemblies are well planned to be spiritually nourishing. The integration of All-Religion Prayers before the commencement of every event is an innovative way to teach children to embrace diversity and create awareness of and reverence for all religions. Students attired in traditional costumes of each religion render their special prayers one group after the other. The melodious prayers performed in an atmosphere of reverence make contact with the deeper emotions of a child and address their spirits most profoundly.
Parents of different faiths who were initially opposed to such practices by YGS now greatly appreciate the spiritual focus their children receive. Many parents enroll their children at YGS precisely because of the school´s stress on inculcating values, prayerfulness and thankfulness and for puttiìng high emphasis on the development of a child's spiritual reality.
A CHILD IS A HUMAN BEING
'We need a proper education in the three schools of humanity: the home, the school and society'
A child is a member of a family, a community and the world. It is important that schools integrate human education as integral part of their Broader, Bolder education for the 21st Century, an education which is capable of saving humanity.
The ground new education has to cover is vast. For example, teachers today are increasingly more fearful of their students and schools have to frisk children through security for weapons before they can enter schools. Another disturbing factor is growing criminality, prejudice and hatred in younger and younger children. From Littleton, Colorado, to Sarajevo and Bosnia, what has gone wrong? The perpetrators were innocent children not long ago.
Children are themselves more apprehensive, insecure and fearful. Compounding factors that are more difficult to counter are the escalating volume of international terrorism around the world, deteriorating global environment, growing and random abuse and violence in communities. Many problems are global in nature but many relate to lack of a proper education in the three schools of humanity: the home, the school and society.
Service to Humanity
'Global understanding must go a step beyond academic appreciation to experiencing diversity.'
Service learning combines service to the community with learning outside the classroom. Through service learning students are involved in meaningful community service with instruction and reflection components built in. Many see it as a great way to bring alive the curriculum and connect learning to real life.
In Broader Bolder education, service learning is more specifically directed to prepare students for a life of service, to strengthen resolve and build leadership skills in them in order that they may help those less privileged or in need, and to direct their efforts to helping a community with its needs. The notions of service therefore go beyond charity to recognize service as a way of life. Such training prepares students more fully for a life of service and makes them more proactive agents of social transformation. Research has shown children have a desire to serve. This desire must be supported and nurtured through education.
At the experience level for the child, YGS frequently organises service and environment related activities that nurture in children a desire to serve.
A CHILD IS A MATERIAL BEING
'A conscious human being will use personal wealth and resources for the service of others and society'
Education has mostly been about Material Education. It is assumed that with a good education, a child can get a good job and therefore lead a more comfortable life than without such an education. For economists, education's purpose is to create personal and social wealth.
A child is a material being. There is no doubt s/he needs to prepare for a life of responsibility beyond school, get married, raise a family and provide for them. A conscious human being will also use his / her personal wealth and resources for the service of others and society.
In Broader, Bolder education schools focus more on inspiring and preparing human potential for greater service to the world of humanity and to assist them to become leaders and job creators before followers and job seekers. A school must also view every child as capable of becoming a successful member of a family, a community and the world.