Reflections on Integral Education

We live in unprecedented times, times that ask us to move beyond the limitations of our traditional tools and methods of facing challenges, while including the insights and wisdom they offer. We need to move from understanding the parts of any system to understanding the whole of any system, including ourselves.We also need to evolve from simpler perspectives on reality to more complex perspectives.

Integral Education is emerging in response to a growing desire for learning that integrates cognitive, emotional, social, creative, and spiritual aspects of a person. It also addresses the desire for an education that more fully facilitates transformation in students so that their potential can flourish into actuality.

The emergence of Integral Education reflects the growing dissatisfaction expressed by many students and teachers with an educational system based on values and assumptions about reality grounded in the more mechanistically-oriented recent centuries. Integral Educatiion includes, while at the same time it goes beyond the traditional rationales for education that focused on producing citizens and workers.

Today, students are actively seeking an education that responds to their very real need for meaning, wholeness, fulfillment, and purpose. Integral Education is about meeting these needs of the whole person — in both students and teachers. It is about engaging the mind to explore the leading edge in science, art, and philosophy, opening the heart to compassion for the interconnected systems we live in, awakening spirit in and between humans; and aspiring to greater embodiment of spirit in ourselves.

Integral Education provides opportunities for students to discover themselves, their gifts, and how they can participate in a meaningful way in our rapidly changing world. It gives students the chance to be creative, contemplative and imaginative while imparting knowledge and skills at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. Students become more curious, innovative, purposeful, and engaged.

Above all, Integral Education is a joyous, meaningful life experience, where learning, evolving, relating, and transforming become deeply exciting and satisfying.

The integral knowledge admits the valid truths of all views of existence, valid in their own field, but it seeks to get rid of their limitations and negations and to harmonize and reconcile these partial truths in a larger truth which fulfils all the many sides of our being in the one omnipresent Existence.

~ Sri Aurobindo

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