Value-Oriented Education - Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal


This introduction aims at summarizing the relevance of value-oriented education.

We are passing through a critical stage of a battle between the best possibilities and the worst possibilities. At a time when forces of unity and harmony can triumph and science and technology can be used to abolish poverty and depravation, precisely at this time, the forces of violence and gravitational pulls of the impulses of the lower human nature are pressing forward on a global scale. Rationality, in which humanity has placed great trust for arriving at fulfillment of its ideals of true knowledge and comprehensive knowledge, appears to be overtaken by the forces of Unreason. It has, therefore, become imperative to explore deeper and higher dimensions of human resources by means of which we can successfully work for the victory of the ideal dreams which have inspired the onward march of civilizations.

We need to draw up a balanced evaluation of the contribution of science, particularly when scientific progress has a great role to play in determining the directions of today and tomorrow. Let us, first, underline that science itself has affirmed the virtues of impartiality, of ever widening quest of knowledge. It has fought against ignorance and superstition, and it has enhanced the cause of education. Science has enlarged for good the intellectual horizons of the human race, and raised, sharpened and intensified powerfully the general intellectual capacity of mankind. In its dispassionate movement, science pursues truth for the sake of truth and knowledge for the sake of knowledge. This is the highest right of the intellectual faculty of humanity and in this dispassionate functioning, there is perfect purity and satisfaction.

On the other hand, when science tries to apply its discoveries and functions to life, it becomes the plaything of forces over which it has little control. This is the reason why the balanced sheet of science is a mixed one. While, on the other hand, science has made discoveries which have promoted practical humanitarianism, it has, on the other hand, supplied monstrous weapons to egoism and mutual destruction; while, on the one hand, it has made a gigantic efficiency of organization utilizable for economic and social amelioration of nations, it has, on the other hand, placed the same efficiency of organization in the hands of national rivalries for mutual aggression, ruin and slaughter; while; on the one hand, it has given rise to a large rationalistic altruism, it has on the other hand, justified monstrous egoism, vitalism, vulgar will to power and success; while on the one hand, it has drawn mankind together and given it a new hope, it has on the other hand, crushed it with the burden of commercialism.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Science does not have within itself any inherent leverage by which it can prevent its exploitation by human impulses and passions, and since it can produce great results, its exploitation for evil can also be great. Modern civilization, which is science based, has to deal with an extremely difficult issue that it has created, namely, that of emergence of dominant economic barbarism. This barbarism impels humanity to sink in the mud of desire and hunger on a massive scale. It makes satisfaction of wants and desires and accumulation of possessions its standard and aim. It has conceived of the ideal individual in the image not of the cultured or noble or thoughtful or moral or spiritual person, but of the successful person. It puts forward the opulent plutocrat and the successful mammoth capitalist as images of achievement and fulfilment. It is this barbarism which assigns to them the actual power to rule society. It prescribes pursuit of vital success, comfort, enjoyment for their own sake. It subordinates all other pursuits; it looks upon beauty as nuisance, art and poetry as a frivolity or means of advertisement. Social respectability is its idea of morality; it uses politics as a door for markets and exploitation.

It is now increasingly recognized that the development of science should be supplemented by enormous development of human goodness. Bertrand Russell has pointed out that there are two ancient evils that science, unwisely used, may intensify: they are tyranny and war. In an important study of the theme of science values, Bertrand Russell declared: “There are certain things that our age needs, and certain things that it should avoid. It needs compassion and a wish that mankind should be happy; it needs the desire for knowledge and the determination to eschew present myths; it needs above all courageous hope and impulse to creativeness. The things that it must avoid, and that has brought it to the brink of catastrophe, are cruelty, envy, greed, competitiveness, search for irrational subjective certainty, and what Freudians called the death wish... The root of the matter is very simple and old fashioned thing... The thing I mean — please forgive me for mentioning it — is love, Christian love, or  compassion. If you feel this, you have a motive for existence, a guide in action, a reason for courage, an imperative necessity for intellectual honesty."

It is in this context that the theme of value-oriented education has emerged with some imperative force. And our eyes have turned to the dimensions of values, the dimensions of will power and to the dimensions of cultural, ethical and spiritual potentialities. These dimensions have not yet been sufficiently explored, but we have begun to uncover what lies in our present framework that would meet our urgent need to uplift ourselves and the coming generations.

In India, the constitution has been wisely prefaced with the ideals of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in its very preamble; it has guaranteed certain basic fundamental rights and it has given a chapter on Directive Principles of the State Policy, while although not legally enforceable, embodies ideals and values, which are salutary for the progress of India on the lines which had come to be articulated and cherished during the Freedom Struggle.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

In 1976, realizing that apart from Rights, there is a need to emphasise responsibilities, obligations and duties of the citizens, article 51A was inserted to lay down certain fundamental duties. It is to that article that we have recently turned our focal attention, with the hope that its operationalisation in the field of education would bring about a new climate of recovery of forces that can regenerate national ethos, national unity and integrity. Recently the Verma Committee which has presented its report on the subject of operationalisation of teaching fundamental values to the citizens of country has done well also to highlight the work which has been done by the International Interaction Council in drafting a Declaration of Human Responsibilities. This declaration has pointed out that the concept of human obligations serves to balance the notions of freedom and responsibilities.Without a proper balance, unrestricted freedom is as dangerous as imposed social responsibilities. It declares, in effect, that if you have a right to life then we have the obligation to respect life; and if you have a right to liberty then we have the obligation to respect other people's liberty too. In other words, the golden rule of responsibilities is that we do not do to others what we do not wish to be done to us; or that we should do unto others as we would have them to do unto us.

This draft of declaration has brought out very clearly the relevance of value-oriented education at the international level. It is thus important that the international dimensions of value-oriented education also need to be taken into account while emphasizing the need to introduce value-oriented education in India. This draft declaration shows that our concern for value-oriented education is timely and that while we have talked for decades on value-oriented education, we have now to take decisive action in implementing the programmes on value-oriented education.

Unfortunately, in spite of recommendations of various commissions and committees set up by the government of India during the last fifty years, our curricula, by and large, have changed little or only marginally. The main difficulty has been that for a long time a debate has been going on as to what values should be promoted and what place should be given to the study of religions, which are closely connected with value systems. The second difficulty has been that value systems have themselves declared to be relative and therefore there is a great uncertainty as to how that which is relative in character can be proposed as a part of educational system. The third difficulty has been to discuss whether value-oriented education should be interwoven with the curricula of different subjects or whether it should have its own autonomous curriculum. On this subject there has been long debate but no conclusion has been arrived at, although in general, there seems to be a consensus that value-oriented education should be interwoven into the curricula of the different subjects. On the other hand, it is felt that this task is extremely difficult and it could be successfully accomplished only if we had first a curriculum where
value-oriented education is in the focus and it were related to the various curricula of various subjects.

It is also felt that insistence upon education for duties, although it could be salutary in many ways, there is a dimension which would be left out, if we limited ourselves only to education of duties. When Swami Vivekananda spoke of the higher goals of man he emphasized that the higher dimension tends to be left out of education and so implied that we should not lose sight of that higher goal and that there is need for still greater efforts in the education of man.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

There is a dimension of values, which transcends the dimension of duties. That dimension is the spontaneous perception and commitment to ends in themselves. If I love a friend only as a matter of duty, it is, in a sense, not as valuable as if I do so out of my spontaneous appreciation and admiration for him and for his achievements and qualities. Love for my own country as a duty is inferior to the love of a patriot that arises spontaneously in his heart and soul, as he looks upon his country as a very source of his breath and life. Search for truth is an end in itself, search for goodness is an end in itself, search for beauty is an end in itself; and they have to be encouraged not as duties but as irresistible demands of our being as we begin to uncover deeper and higher depths of ourselves, which transcends the limitations of egoism.

These questions where we need to transcend mere ideas of duties, which have been laid down in the constitution or declarations of various kinds or even in the shastras, imply the necessity of a new effort at developing what may be called philosophy of value-oriented education. This is because only at the philosophical level that questions can be considered both dispassionately and comprehensively. It is therefore necessary to consider presenting to the country a well-considered exploration of the theme of values, of value education and of value-oriented education. It is in this context that we can appreciate the determination of the Government of India to have the question of philosophy of value-oriented education examined by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research.

One can center on the Indian situation, but considering that the theme of value-oriented education has relevance to the entire education situation of the world as found today, it will be inevitable that the work that will be produced by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research will receive welcome from a large number of educationists, teachers, philosophers and all those who are concerned with the domain of education all over the world. This dimension has also to be taken into account while preparing the teaching-learning materials so that our materials would find a greater relevance to the traditions of civilizations both of East and West.

In this context a special care will have to be taken by those who will be in charge of producing teaching-learning materials that example of values will be taken not merely from the West as it has been the practice since the last century or two, but will also cover examples from the history of the East with a special reference to India as well as many other traditions, which had a great value orientation and which have remained neglected in accounts, which deal with matters of this kind.

A programme to explore the theme of philosophy of value-oriented education may require the following:

  1. A series of seminars, workshops, conferences where eminent philosophers, philosophers of education, scientists, and others who are concerned with critical knowledge should assemble and arrive at conclusions, which can stand as the backbone of a programme of value-oriented education;
  2. There would be a need to examine the total curriculum of students at various levels of education and consider ways and means by which a programme or a curriculum for value-oriented education could be introduced in the totality of the programme of education;
  3. There should be at the same time need to consider the methodologies by which value-oriented education could be implemented;
  4. One has also to consider the question of training teachers who would be the carriers and transmitters of value-oriented education;
  5. Finally, there will also be the question of preparing learning materials which can be given to teachers and which can be given to students, and for that purpose to institute a programme of assembling thinkers, writers, and editors who could produce, first, the basic materials relevant to this purpose, and secondly, to bring out suitable books, monographs, and other teaching-learning material in print or through some other media.

In order that all these needs can be systematically set out and put forth for execution, there is a need to undertake a full-fledged project of the philosophy of value- oriented education.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal



Aims and scope of the project proposal can be stated as follows:

A. To present an argument for instituting a systematic enquiry into the philosophy of value-oriented education in order to arrive at a formulation of various issues that lie at the theoretical and practical levels, and in this connection to suggest, in particular, enquiry into the following:

  1. The nature and meaning of values;
  2. Important values and value systems that have determined the orientation of civilisations, especially that of Indian civilisation;
  3. Relativity of values, subjectivity and objectivity of values and search for values, if any, which transcend relativity and subjectivity;
  4. Examination of values which are being advocated by different religions and other moral systems which are connected with religions or are independent of religions;
  5. Examination of values or value systems which are being advocated m India and the world in the light of constitutional and legal systems of rights, duties and responsibilities;
  6. Examination of values relevant to physical education, vital education, aesthetical education, psychic education and spiritual education;
  7. Analysis of the concept of value-oriented education and applied philosophy;
  8. Exploration and determination of a sound philosophy of value-oriented education.

B. To present issues relating to the question whether values can be taught, and in that connection, to propose to the concerned agencies the need to introduce new methodologies of value-oriented education at different levels of studies, so that appropriate recommendations can be suggested as a result of this enquiry;

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

C. To suggest collection of materials that would provide accounts of experiments in value-oriented education that have been conducted in India and the world;

D. To suggest detailed proposals in respect of teaching-learning materials that would need to be used at different levels of education, formal and non- formal;

E. To suggest how the teaching-learning materials need to be presented in the form of books, monographs, booklets, and through such media which will yield to the utilisation of the latest forms of information technology;

F. To suggest a programme of teacher training that will be necessary in the country in view of the need to provide value-orientation to the entire system of education;

G. To spell out suggestions in respect of the theme of applied philosophy, which has been proposed to be introduced in universities in India;

H. To work out approximate costs of conducting the entire project over the next five years, including the cost of appointing a steering committee of the project; cost of holding seminars, workshops and required dialogues among experts; cost of appointing experts to produce, at the minimum level, what may be called resource material or resource books, which will be useful for the entire system of education, cost of appointing editors who will examine the material produced by experts along with the cost of assistance, which should be given to the editors for editing work, revision and finalisation of the material concerned; cost of consulting internet resources; cost of various kinds, including facilities of transport and administrative tasks and miscellaneous items that will be necessary to be met from time to time, etc.;

I. To present in concise form suggestions for value-oriented education and applied philosophy m the form of a curriculum for classes one to twelve and for undergraduate programmes;

J. To indicate suitable allotment of work relating to the project to various agencies, such as the Auroville Foundation, NCERT, NCTE, UGC and specific departments of universities particularly departments of education, under the overall coordination of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research; and

K. To formulate a statement of the help that the proposed project will render to the development of education in the country and thus enhance the capabilities of India.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal



In this chapter, suggestions are made or relevant issues have been identified which philosophers and educationists might like to consider and discuss in order to arrive at a sound formulation of philosophy of value-oriented education.


At the outset, the need for value-oriented education requires clarification.

Value-oriented education inherent in the concept of education

There are at least three fundamental assumptions of the educational process:
a. There is, first, the pursuit of man to know himself and the Universe and to relate himself with the Universe as harmoniously as possible. This pursuit constitutes the very theme of human culture. And education derives its fundamental thrust from the cultural setting at a given point of time.
b. Secondly, there is a process of transmission of the accumulated results of the past to the growing generation so as to enable it to carry forward the cultural heritage and to build the gates and the paths of the future.
c. And thirdly, there is in the process of transmission, a deliberate attempt to accelerate as far as possible the process of human progress.

In its very nature, education is a normative endeavour. Being at once a product or instrument of culture, education tends to promote the highest aims of culture.

Hence, education tends to be a process of training whereby individuals in the society are enabled to embody progressively those values, which we in our highest thought and aspiration come to regard as something most desirable. It is in this context that education encourages and fosters the arts and sciences as well as technologies whereby man and the Universe can be ideally interrelated. At the same time, the ideas of human progress is built up, and education endeavours to discover and apply efficient means of the right rhythms of acceleration of individual and social progress as also of human progress in general.

Education is thus in its nature value-oriented.

Today's conditions necessitating value-oriented education.
The conditions through which human culture is passing today provide additional reasons for value-oriented education:

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

a. An increasing number of people of thought and action feel that humanity has been gripped by serious maladies and that these maladies are the result of our disequilibrium between the ideals that mankind is labouring to realise during the recent centuries and the disconcerting actualities which refuse obstinately to change. With the passing of every decade, humanity seems to feel more and more acutely that the realisation of its ideals has become imperative, while at the same time, it seems impossible to accomplish this realisation. It is, therefore, felt that humanity is passing through an acute crisis.

b. A huge structure is being built up with an increasing insistence on efficiency needed for industrialised society, leaving practically no room for the growth of profounder wisdom which can rightly guide human progress in the critical times through which we are passing today.

c. As never before, humanity is able to envisage several alternative possibilities of the imminent future. As never before, it is felt that human volition can play a decisive role in selecting, planning, designing and actualising these possibilities. As never before, humanity is convinced that the most desirable course for the human race is to strive with fixed determination for human unity, global peace and for the advancing of the three great ideals of progress, namely, liberty, equality, and fraternity. As never before, there has been an increasing perception that the most effective means for achieving these desirable objectives is value-oriented education.

d. This feeling is reinforced by the fact that while under the pressure of technological development, the world is shrinking, and we are dreaming of the possibility of a planetary civilisation, for which we have not yet secured a corresponding psychological development, which could enable human consciousness to sustain such a planetary civilisation. On the contrary, there is a growing preponderance of those impulses which can thrive only in ignorance, fragmentation, discord and violence.

e In India, there is a feeling that the country is sinking under the weight of problems such as those of terrorism, corruption, and plutocracy, and it is realised that solutions need to be sought at a level that is far deeper than the level at which we are now thinking and acting and that special attention has to be paid to the promotion of values that can counteract the increasing destruction of the country and its culture.

Against this background, both from the global point of view and from the Indian point of view, we need to develop and practice value-oriented education.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal


But what is the meaning of values?

a. As understood in the context of educational philosophy, values refer to those desirable ideals and goals which are intrinsic in themselves and which, when achieved or attempted, evoke a deep sense of fulfillment to one or many or all parts of what we consider to be the highest elements of our nature.

b. In a sense, the word "value” is basically indefinable, since it denotes a fundamental category and it is itself the highest genus of that category.

c. There is a common understanding that truth, beauty and goodness (satyam shivam, sundaram) can be conceived as the supreme values of life. They are intrinsic in character and they are ends-in-themselves. Even if there are wide differences as to what is meant by these three terms, there is an agreement that they are the most desirable ideals and mere orientation towards them inspires development of those states of our being and becoming in which we can hope to find some kind of ultimate fulfillment.


Basic issues

a. There is a view that values are relative and subjective in character. It is, therefore, argued that individuals should be left to themselves to determine their own value systems and that educational institutions should confine themselves only to those domains where objective knowledge is discernible or determinable.

b. There is also a view that value systems stem from religious, beliefs, and since these beliefs are dogmatic in character, they conflict with the demand of reason, and hence, they have no place in education, where one of the chief objectives is to cultivate among students pursuit of rational and scientific temper.

c. According to some educationists, values, even if they are determinable, cannot be taught and for this reason also, it is argued that there is no rationale to bring value-oriented education within the purview of schools and universities.

d. On the other hand, there is a view that value systems have, determined the orientation of civilisations, and these value systems should be emphasised in the educational system. It is also argued that there should be a rigorous enquiry into those values which transcend relativity and subjectivity. It is also argued that many religions and moral systems advocate certain common values and that these common values, when identified, could be recommended for education system in its value-oriented programme. It is also argued that there is a common agreement in the world in respect of rights and responsibilities, and many of them are even incorporated in constitutions and legal systems. All these are value-oriented and these values should constitute the core of value-oriented education.

e. A recent and disturbing increase in the trend of drug addiction among youth tends to reiterate the necessity of education that promotes the values of self-control, discipline and right habits of thought and conduct among youth.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal


The question of the relativity and subjectivity of values

If we examine the history of value systems, we find that there have developed several standards of conduct, which can be arranged in an ascending scale or ladder.

a. The first is personal need, preference and desire. There is no doubt that the standards, of conduct based on what the individual feels to be his own needs, whether these are constrictive or derived from, desire or instinct or egoistic pressure, it is bound to be relative and subjective. The individual would then be the measure of all things, and what is good for one individual is good for him and what is good for another is good for that other. Might would be right; and there could be no place for any impartial or universal law of action. When man is primitive, historically or psychologically, he tends to be individualistic and egoistic and tends to create standards of action or conduct which result in self-seeking and self-aggrandisement.

b. But no individual can live in isolation, and no individual can be allowed by the very fact of his social existence, to impose upon others what an individual considers to be his good, based upon his personal need, preference or desire. Every social group tends to create its own standards of conduct and to impose it upon its individual members.

c. In erecting the group's standards, there are several strands of consideration. At the highest level of these strands is what may be called objective utilitarianism. According to it, an action is to be judged by the consequences it produces, and if the consequences are pleasant for the largest number in the society, then that action is judged to be better than any other action.

d. There is also another form of objective utilitarianism, according to which an action is judged to be good not merely by reference to the pleasure that it produces but also by the degree to which it promotes both knowledge and character. According to this view, there is a hierarchy, and the value to be attached to knowledge is greater than the value to be attached to pleasure, and the value to be attached to character is greater than the value to be attached to knowledge. It maintains that an objective calculus can be created in every social group on the basis of these criteria end social law can be framed on the basis of this calculus

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

e. It is argued that objective utilitarianism forms a higher step in the ladder of evolution of value-systems, and that the standards and prescriptions it proposes cannot be termed to be as relative or subjective as those created merely by personal need, preference or desire.

f. However, it is still subject to criticism in that it is not able to resolve the conflict between the social good and the individual good.

g. A higher law of morality seems to prescribe what may be called intrinsic good or intrinsic right without reference to consequences. Indeed, at a higher level of development of civilisation and culture, we find a law of conduct emerging from the moral intention and will, and moral will is considered good because it is goodwill . Here goodwill is recognised to be goodwill intrinsically, merely by reference to intention and motive and not by reference to what issues in the form of actual action and its consequences.

h. In one of the forms of this view, which can be termed as rationalistic and objective intuitionism, an objective criterion is attempted to be laid down by which the intrinsic rightness can be adjudged. It points out that an action can be adjudged to be right if it can be willed universally without self- contradiction.

i. It is at this level of a value-system that we attain to the concept of absoluteness and objectivity of the good and the right, and we have the concept of love, justice, right reason, or of the categorical imperative.

j. From a certain point of view, the answers given by rationalistic intuitionism, may meet the criticism that morality is relative and subjective. Shastras of Dharmas have often been erected at higher levels of culture, and they have been thought to be objective and universally justified on the grounds of right reason.

k. But we find that even in arriving at the standards of absolute love, absolute justice, absolute right reason, we are not able to resolve the state of disequilibrium. Right reason dispassionately considering facts of nature and human relations in search of a satisfying norm or rule is unable to rest without modification either in the reign of absolute justice or in the reign of absolute love.

Man's absolute justice easily turns out in practice to be a sovereign injustice. Again, justice often demands what love abhors. It is, therefore, difficult to find an absolute and objective agreement where a given particular action can really be adjudged to be right, where love and justice can meet together in harmony and where absolute right reason can unalterably indicate in actual situations of life what is conceived to be absolute justice or absolute love.

l. A distinction needs to be made between the human thrust towards the values of the right reason, absolute love and absolute justice, on the one hand, and various manifestations of this thrust in the form of certain specific and particular actions, on the other. While it is true that there can be differences of opinion as to whether certain specific actions are absolutely good or not —and here relativity and subjectivity do enter — there is still no doubt that goodwill is independent of personal need, desire or preference; the judgement of goodness of goodwill is free from relativity or subjectivity. In other words, there is in the human consciousness the possibility of the development of goodwill that can be considered to be objectively good.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

m. This discussion has important consequences for value-education. If value-education proposes to prescribe any particular specific action or any particular value-system, by applying any specific and preferred criteria, then the criticism against subjectivity and relativity in regard to the same would stand with considerable force. But if the proposal is to promote thrust and aspiration towards goodwill, then the case for value-education can be set on a sound and strong footing.

 n. This would mean that it is preferable to propose value-oriented education rather than value-education. For value-education is likely to end up with the prescription of do's and don'ts, and this prescription will have a weak ground. But if our aim is to provide in education conditions for the promotion of the growth of aspiration towards goodwill and cultivation of goodwill, and if an attempt is to provide to each individual the inspiration and means to transcend his own limited needs and preferences and egoism, so that in his own personality, subjectivity is progressively attempted to be transcended, then such education can be defended both philosophically and pedagogically. Such education can be properly called value-oriented education.

o. Value-oriented education should then be defined as a progressive and exploratory process of development, which promotes unconditional pursuit towards goodwill. This education leaves each individual free to determine the contents of the good and the right, provided they are motivated by goodwill.

p. Not value-education but value-oriented education, not prescription but exploration, this is the conclusion to which we seem to arrive, when we consider the domain of values and its study and practice through processes of education.


Values prescribed by religions and moral systems

a. In view of the above analysis, it appears that there is no need to labour unduly on preparing lists of values and to enter into controversies as to which values should be advocated, whether they should belong to one specific religion or the other, or of one particular moral system or the other, or of one particular culture or another. Since value-oriented education is to be a process of development of goodwill, and since its method would be that of an exploration of the realm of values, and, again, since what is to be emphasised is to orient the students to the dimension of values rather than to the prescription of do's and don'ts of any set of values. If properly explored, this would lead to the exploration of various other sets of values, so that each student would then be free to determine for himself or herself what values one should adopt as a result of a sincere exploration of the realm of values.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

b. Under the guidance of this general and overarching spirit of value-oriented education, we may take the Socratic view that Virtue is Unity and that no virtue can be fully practised unless in the course of practice, all virtues are embraced. There is no harm in preparing lists of virtues, and we may even contemplate hierarchy or relationships among virtues. But all this can be encouraged as a part of exploration, allowing every student to arrive at his or her own conclusions.

c. Indeed, it is very useful to explore and compare one set of realms with other sets of values.

d. In the process of exploration, it is certainly salutary to emphasise those values which foster unity and harmony, integration and integrity of the nation and human unity and peace. Inevitably, those values, which have been laid down as binding under constitutional law as rights or duties will also come to be emphasised and cultivated as a part of citizenship. Also, in our own times, there are universal declarations of rights and responsibilities, and these also have to be underlined and cultivated amongst students. In the process of education, however, examination of these values and even a critical examination has to be fostered and has to be considered as a part of the pursuit of value dimension.


Integral value-oriented education

a. A very important concept that has become predominant in recent educational thought is that of integral education. At the international level, this concept came to be centrally highlighted by UNESCO through its famous report "Learning to Be" which laid down “that the aim of development is complete fulfillment of the human being, in all the richness of personality, complexity of form of expression and various commitments."

b. It is increasingly realised that in the contemporary world, the humanist and the technologist are finding themselves in greater and greater need of each other and the scientist and the mystic are getting ready to embrace each other.

c. It is being acknowledged that human personality is complex and that each major element of the personality needs to be integrated with the totality in a harmonious manner. In other words, the physical, the vital, the mental, the psychic and spiritual do not stand in juxtaposition, but they have among them a constitutional relationship.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

The physical and the vital can, to a great extent, be controlled and guided by the mental, and to a certain stage of development the mind can act as a leader. But the leadership of the mind is rather restricted and often fails and fails disastrously in controlling or leading the vital and the physical. Reason is opposed by Unreason, and conflict between the two, as seen today, is extremely grave. Moreover, as the rational, ethical, and aesthetic powers of the mind begin to develop, they begin to collide among themselves. It is, therefore, being recognised that the psychic and the spiritual powers of the human, personality need to be brought forward so as to establish, the true integration of all the powers of the being.

d. In our present system of education, we are too occupied with mental development, and we give preponderant importance to those qualities which are relevant to subject-oriented, book-oriented and examination-oriented systems. In contrast, the concept of integral education implies a simultaneous integrated process of the development of the qualities and values relevant to physical education, vital education, mental education, psychic and spiritual education.

e. In the domain of physical education, the values that are implied are those of health, strength, plasticity, grace and beauty. In the domain of emotional education or vital education, the values that are pursued are those of illumination, heroism, and harmony. In the domain of the rational development, the values that are to be sought after are those of utmost impartiality, dispassionate search after truth, calm and silence and widest possible synthesis. The values pertaining to aesthetic development would be those of vision of beauty and creative joy of the deepest possible aesthetic experience and expression. Values that the moral being ought to seek are those of sincere goodwill and obedience to whatever one conceives to be the highest. In psychic education, the values to be sought after are those of the aim of life, the highest development of the individuality free from egoism and knowledge that guides the inmost and harmonious relationship between the individual and the cosmic, and fulfillment in the light of the supreme discoveries of the ultimate reality, whatever it may be. The values of the spiritual domain are those of highest unity and oneness and pursuit of perfection of all parts of the being and of instruments of personality.

f. Integral value-oriented education is a matter of research, and the results of this research indicate the need to simultaneously develop knowledge, will, harmony and skill, and that this development should be for each individual a system of natural organisation of the highest processes and movements of which he or she is capable.

g. It may be observed that integral value-oriented education could be pursued g independently of any particular moral or religious doctrine or any particular spiritual discipline. Whether one belongs to one religion or the other or to no religion, one can pursue this integral process through a process of exploration, even experimentally and experientially.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal


Morality and spirituality

a. In any sound philosophy of value-oriented education, an effort should be made to arrive at clear conceptions of morality and spirituality, since both are distinct and yet related, and since both need to be distinguished from religion. Again, this matter is very important in the context of the Indian system of education, since the Indian Constitution clearly states that "No religious instruction shall be provided in educational institutions wholly maintained out of the State Funds", and that "No person attending any educational institution recognised by the State and receiving aid out of State Funds shall be required to take part in any religious instruction that may be imparted in such institutions or to attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institutions or in premises attached thereto unless such person or, if such a person is a minor, his guardian has given his consent thereto.”  

b. As far as the distinction between morality and spirituality is concerned, it may be said that much depends upon what we intend to include in our definition of the word “morality" or in the word "spirituality". In Indian thought, a distinction between morality and spirituality has been clearly made and we have two definite terms, naitik and adhyatmik each having its own specific and distinguishing connotation.

c. The word "morality" connotes a pursuit of the control and mastery over impulses and desires under the guidance and supervening inspiration of a standard of conduct formulated by thought in consideration of man's station and duties in the society or in consideration of any discovered or prescribed intrinsic law of an ideal. morality is often conceived as a preparation for spirituality. Spirituality, on the other hand, begins when one seeks whatever one conceives to be the ultimate and the absolute for its own sake unconditionally and without any reservation whatsoever. Moreover, while morality is often limited to the domain of duties, spirituality is fundamentally a search of the knowledge that liberates (sa vidya ya vimuktaye). As it is declared, the true knowledge is not intellectual knowledge but spiritual knowledge.

d. Both the moral and the spiritual are to be distinguished from what is called "religious" when we speak of religious instruction. Religion, which can be called sarmpradaya has the following distinguishing features:

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal
  1. Specific religious dogma on the nature of Reality, scripture and traditional founder, prophet or incarnation;
  2. Every specific religion has, as its essential ingredient, certain prescribed acts, rituals and ceremonies;
  3. A religious authority to which religious matters are referred and the decision of which is final.

e. Both moral and spiritual values can be practised irrespective of whether one believes in one religion or another or whether one believes in no religion. Both morality and spirituality can be independent of the rituals or ceremonies and of any acts specifically prescribed by any particular religion. Furthermore, both of them are independent of any authority except that of one's own free judgement and direct spiritual experience.

f. It is also useful to distinguish religion from what in India is called "dharma". Dharma is not any religious creed or dogma nor system of rituals, but a deeper law of the harmonious and interdependent growth of the deepest aspirations of the collectivity and of the individuals that constitute the collectivity. Dharma can be regarded as an ordered system of moral and spiritual values.

g. Spirituality proceeds directly by change of consciousness, change from the ordinary consciousness to a greater consciousness in which one finds one's true unegoistic being and comes first into direct and living contact and then into union with the Spirit. In spirituality, this change of consciousness is the one thing that matters, nothing else. Spirituality not only aims at the total change of consciousness, but its method is that of a gradual and increasing change of consciousness. In other words, spirituality is an exploration of consciousness through progressive change of consciousness.

h. In spiritual consciousness, and in the knowledge that it delivers, there is the fulfillment of the highest that morality and religion in the their deepest core seek and succeed only when they cease to be limited within their specific boundaries. It replaces the moral law by a progressive law of self-perfection spontaneously expressing itself through the individual nature. In this operation, no more is the imposition of a rule or an imperative on the nature of an individual. The spiritual law respects the individual nature, modifies it and perfects it, and in this sense, it is unique for each individual and can be known and made operative only during the course of the change of consciousness. In its progressive movement, it may, if necessary, provide a short or long period of governance by a moral law, but always as a provisional device and always looking for going beyond into a plane of spontaneous expression of the Right and the Good. To spiritual consciousness, moral virtue is not valuable in itself, but only as an expression of a complex of certain qualities, which are, for the time being, for the given individual necessary and useful in an upward journey. For the spiritual consciousness, what is commonly called vice has, too, behind it a complex of certain qualities which have a certain utility m the economy of Nature, and can, therefore, be converted by placing them in their right place, as a complement to what lies in consciousness behind what are commonly called virtues.

i. Spirituality is not confined merely to the aspect of conduct; it includes all works and strives by the method of a progressive change of consciousness for the perfect harmonisation of all the aspects of works; and through this striving it realises also the unity of works with the highest knowledge and the deepest Love j. For spiritual consciousness, that which is commonly called agnosticism, scepticism, atheism, positivism or free thinking has behind it a concern and a demand for a direct knowledge, which, when rightly understood, recognised, respected and fulfilled, becomes a powerful element of spirituality.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

k. For spirituality always looks behind the form to essence and to the living consciousness; and in doing so, it brings to the surface that which lies behind, and its action is therefore of a new creation. Spirituality transcends the forms and methods of morality and religion and recreates its own living and progressive forms.

l. In the words of Sri Aurobindo, "Spirituality is in its essence an awakening to the inner reality of our being, to a spirit, self, soul, which is other than our mind, life and body, an inner aspiration to know, to feel, to be that, to enter into contact with the greater Reality beyond and pervading the universe which inhabits also our own being, to be in communion with It and union with It and a turning, a conversion, à transformation of our whole being as a result of the aspiration, the contact, the union, a growth or waking into a new becoming or new being, a new self a new nature." 


Values of Indian culture

a. It is natural that Indian education underlines the importance of what can be called Indian.
b. In Indian thought, a distinction has been made between the ego and the self. According to Indian thought, whereas egoistic personality is ridden with self-contradiction and internal conflicts, a true selfhood is free from this contradiction and conflicts. And true self is the integrating centre in which physical, vital, mental and other personalities are harmonised. Pursuit of self-realisation is held out in Indian educational thought as one of the supreme spiritual values.
c. There are, indeed, certain other values which are uniquely Indian, in the sense that even though these values may be shared by India in common with other countries, they are pursued in India either with a certain special zeal and dedication or pursued with a certain speciality or completeness. For example, the value that we attach to the ideal of tolerance is something special in India. In fact, the word tolerance itself is not adequate to convey the intended meaning. In the ordinary idea of tolerance, there is still a feeling that our own preferred idea is somewhat superior to the other contending ideas. On the other hand, what is peculiarly Indian is the sentiment and the recognition that various principal contending ideas are all equally legitimate ideas and that superiority lies not in holding one idea as some preferred idea but in trying to find such a synthesis that each idea finds its own highest fulfillment in it. What is uniquely Indian is that the value and ideal of synthesis has been pursued throughout the long history of Indian culture as the most desirable goal — and that too repeatedly and with very special insistence.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

d. Along with the basic idea of synthesis, there is also the accompanying idea of unity, mutuality and oneness in diversity.

e. Similarly, what is meant by secularism in the Indian context is uniquely Indian. According to the Western idea, secularism means a tendency or a system of beliefs which rejects all forms of religious faith or worship. It means something that pertains to the present world or to things which are not spiritual or sacred. In the Indian context however, secularism means comprehensiveness in which all religions receive equal protection, treatment and respect, and in which there is place for every one whether he belongs to one religion or another or to no religion. Again Indian secularism encourages us to approach everything, whether material or spiritual, with a sense of sacredness. In Indian secularism, there is freedom for the propagation of each religion without hindrance or bar and there is also the freedom to promote and propagate synthesis of religions. At the same time, Indian secularism insists on the promotion of moral and spiritual values which are common to all religions and to no religion as also on the promotion of a synthesis of science and spirituality. Secularism so defined and understood is, thus, a very special value that is uniquely Indian.

f. There are several other Indian values which require a special mention and which should find their right place in our educational system. The sense of joy that is behind various festivals in India which are shared by people of the country is something which can be understood only when one enters into the heart and soul of Indian culture. The Indian idea of the rhythm of life and the law of harmony, expressed by the word "Dharma" is also uniquely Indian. Again, the value that we attach to the pursuit of knowledge, to the pursuit of purity, to the pursuit of wisdom is something unique, in the sense that these things are valued most and they are cherished most, and on the call of which we are inspired to renounce everything. We feel that all this and many other values which are uniquely Indian should be encouraged and fostered.

g. It is noteworthy that the great Indian values, some of which we have mentioned above, became dynamically vibrant during the period of India's struggle for freedom, In fact, this period was marked by the rise of great men and women who embodied these values and enriched them. Again, it was during this period that these values guided and shaped great movements and events. Thus a study of our nationalist movement provides a perennial source of inspiration, and it should be a part of a programme of value- oriented education.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal



It has been argued that values cannot be taught but caught. This is, of course, true; but this can be said about everything that has been taught in the world; it may be that this is particularly more relevant in the field of value-oriented education. Basically, what is to be underlined is that in value-oriented education methods of teaching are very important; methods should be such that the learner is enabled to discover by means of his own growth and development all that is intended to be learnt. It points out, in other words, that the role of the teacher should be more of a helper and a guide rather than that of an instructor. This will also mean that the teacher should not impose his views on the learner, but he should evoke within the learner the aspiration to learn and to find out the truth by his own free exercise of faculties.

Against the view that values cannot be taught, there is a view, advocated mainly by behaviourists that the learner has no hidden potentialities except some rudimentary capacities of reflex responses and that anything and everything can be taught to the learner by suitable processes of conditioning which can be designed according to the goals in view. Thus Waston claimed that learners can be trained to become whatever you design them to become. According to this view, everything can be taught, all virtues and values can be taught and cultivated by suitable methods of conditioning.

It is true that the claims of behaviourism have been questioned by several rival theories of psychology. The school of mathematical logic, for example, rejects behaviourism and prescribes that the aim in teaching should be more limited and that the claims as to what can be taught should be more modest. It maintains that the aim of teaching should be to teach procedures and not solutions and that the methods should be so employed that the mental processes are taken in the direction of mathematical logic. The Gestalt school of psychology maintains that there are in the learner basic perceptual structures and schemes of behaviour that constitute some kind of basic unity. It underlines, therefore, the presence of an innate intuition in the learner and it prescribes intuitive methods based on perception that are found largely in audio-visual pedagogy. Psychoanalysis has discovered an unimaginable large field of innate drives of which our active consciousness is normally unconscious. But Freudian form of psychoanalysis, which posited Eros and Thanatos as the two ultimate but conflicting innate drives in man, has been largely over- passed by Adler, Jung and others. Modern psychic research is discovering in the sub-conscious a deeper layer which can properly be termed as subliminal, since it is found to be the seat of innate capacities of telepathy, clairvoyance, etc. As psychology is advancing, we seem to be discovering more and more of what is innate in the learner. At the same time, we are becoming more and more conscious of the necessity to be increasingly vigilant about the methods which we should employ in dealing with the learner.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

It is, however, sometimes argued that there is a valid distinction between knowledge and values and that while knowledge can be taught, values cannot be taught. But when we examine this view more closely, we find that what is meant is that the methods which are valid and appropriate in the field of learning in regard to knowledge are not applicable to the field of learning in regard to values. We may readily accept this contention and may insist on the necessity of recognizing the fact that corresponding to each domain of learning there are valid and appropriate methods, and that the effectivity of learning will depend upon an ever-vigilant discovery of more and more appropriate methods in each domain of learning. It is clear, for example, that while philosophy can be learnt by a process of discussion, swimming cannot be learnt by discussion. In order to learn to swim one has to plunge into water and swim. Similarly, the methods of learning music or painting have to be quite different from those by which we learn mathematics or physics. And indeed, when we come to the realm of values, we must recognise the necessity of a greater scruple in prescribing the methods which can be considered to be distinctively appropriate to this field.

One speciality of the domain of values is that it is more centrally related to volition and affection, rather than to cognition. This point needs to be underlined because of two reasons. Firstly, it is sometimes assumed that value-oriented education should be exclusively or more or less exclusively limited to certain prescribed acts of volition and that the value-oriented learning should be judged by what a learner does rather than what he knows. It can be said that this is too simplistic and exclusive, and we should avoid the rigidity that flows from this kind of gross exclusivism. Secondly, and this is an opposite view, — it is sometimes argued that learning is primarily a cognitive process and, therefore, value-oriented learning should largely or preponderantly be limited to those methods which are appropriate to cognition. This view also can be regarded as a kind of a gross exclusivism which should be avoided.

It may, therefore, be recommended that while methods appropriate to volition and affection should be more preponderant, methods appropriate to cognition also should have a legitimate and even indispensable place. In other words, a cognitive exploration of values can be regarded as a powerful method of value-oriented education, provided this is supplemented by other methods which are appropriate to volition and affection. This is reinforced by the fact that the striving towards values stirs up the totality of the being. As a result, cognition, volition, and affection all need to be stimulated to their maximum degree. This would occur when the value-oriented learning is allowed its natural fullness.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Having said this, it can be emphasised that instruction, example and influence are the three instruments of teaching. This is true of all domains of teaching and learning, but when we come to value-oriented education, the role that has to be played by example and influence has to be stressed. At the same time, the role that instruction can play has also to be recognized.

In a system of education, where teaching is restricted almost exclusively to instruction, there is little room where example and influence can play their legitimate role. Moreover, our present system is a continuous series of instruction punctuated by homework and tests which accentuate the rigidity of procedure and mechanical adherence to schedules, syllabi and examinations. In this rigid and mechanical structure, the centre of attention is not the child but the book, the teacher and the syllabus. The methods which are most conducive to the development of the personality of the child such as methods of self-learning, exercise of free will, individualised pace of progress, etc., do not have even elbow room. Indeed, if we were to remain content with such a rigid system of education, the most important elements of learning would forever remain outside the system, and we couldn't confidently recommend any effective system of learning, much less any effective programme of value-oriented education.

It is sometimes argued that values can best be taught through the instrumentality of a number of subjects rather than through any specific or special subject, whether we may call it by the name of "moral education” or “ethics", or "value-oriented education”. There is indeed a great force behind this contention, and it can be recommended that a well-conceived programme of studies of various subjects should naturally provide, both in their content and thrust, the requisite materials for value-oriented education.

The question, however, is whether our current programmes of study have been so carefully devised as to emphasise those aspects which can readily provide to teachers and students the required opportunities, conditions and materials for value-oriented education. Much work remains to be done before a confident answer can be given in the affirmative. The work which has been done in this regard by NCERT and other boards of education has been rather marginal, and although intentions have been expressed at every important occasion, we do not as yet know how to integrate value-oriented education into a number of subjects.

But even if our programmes of studies were to be revised in the desired direction, there would still remain the specific area of value-oriented education which should receive a special, although not exclusive, attention and treatment. In other words, there is a need in the totality of educational programmes of a core programme of value-oriented education. This core programme should be so carefully devised that various threads of this programme would be woven into the complex totality of all the other programmes of studies. And here the central theme of value-oriented education would not form a mere appendage of all other subjects, but would stand out as the over-arching and the supervening subject of basic importance.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

It appears that the right methodologies of value-oriented education would include the following:

a. Narration or presentation of biographical stories which would inspire the readers or listeners or viewers to pursue values which are emphasised in the biographies;

b. The atmosphere in which children develop has a great effect upon the process of value-orientation. It is felt that if the atmosphere is kept surcharged with the values of Truth, Beauty and Goodness children respond positively to these values and they feel inspired to imbibe and internalise these values. Here the methodology would be for the teacher to create such surroundings for the children where these values become vibrant.

c. The way in which the children are treated by the teacher is also an important factor in promoting value-orientation. The right type of encouragement given by the teacher at the right suitable moment would go a long way in conveying a message to the student and would encourage the student to aspire for values.

d. Providing activities in which children are invited to participate is also important. There are activities in which team work is encouraged; there are activities in which endurance is developed; there are activities in which heroism is encouraged; and there are many other activities which could be conceived by the teacher and these activities could be made a part of the programme of education.

e. There are also certain kinds of exercises of introspection, of repeated activities, of dealing with friends, neighbors and others through which values are expressed. Such activities should be conceived, proposed and children should be inspired to participate in them. In addition to these special methods, it is also necessary to expound to the students the theory of values and the psychology of values, and the significance of values; but this should be done not in the form of prescriptions but as programmes of exploration. Explorations encourage freedom of choice in students' consciousness, and this freedom of choice cultivates in students what may be called power of volition, of will. Finally, in a full programme of value-orientation, development of free will and will power is an indispensable element.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal



The secret of value-oriented education is to inspire and kindle the quest among the students by means of one's own example of character and mastery of knowledge. It is by embodying values within ourselves that we can really radiate them to our students.

Value-oriented education should not be conceived as an enunciation of a series of Do's and Dont's. The idea of a series of Do's and Dont's implies a belief that there are certain actions which are absolutely good, and there are others which are absolutely bad. An inner process, however, shows that outer actions derive their value only in relation to the inner motive and the inner consciousness from which those actions emerge. It is not actions in themselves but the inner qualities behind actions which are important. The given right qualities may express themselves in different forms of actions. And each of these actions would be right, since behind each one of them there would be a living vibration of the right quality. On the other hand, an action which may apparently seem to be good and right in its outer form, and yet, if it is not a spontaneous expression of the right quality, it ceases to have any moral or spiritual value.

A good teacher should, therefore, have a sound psychological knowledge of the different aspects of the being, of the different qualities that come into play in various actions and of the right laws of the development of personality in relation to the development of capacities and values of an integrated personality.

As we have noted elsewhere, values cannot be taught in the same way as lessons of information. Instruction should have a minor role, and a major role should be assigned to intimate contact and individual guidance. The role of the teacher is to put the child on the right road to his perfection and to encourage him in his growth by watching, suggesting and helping, but not by imposing or interfering.

All occasions of daily life should be utilised by the teacher to bring his students nearer to the realisation of the ideals. There are occasions when children express wild impulses and passions, and often are in revolt. Children have their own daily battles of loyalties and friendship, and there are moments of desperate depression and violent enthusiasm. There are occasions when children get vexed, become sulky and go on strike. All these occasions are occasions for value-oriented education.

With patience and perseverance, the teacher can utilise all these occasions to show the truth and light and to awaken among children the right sense and the right directions of true progress.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal


We may now venture to suggest some further guidelines which may be helpful to teachers to guide and help the children at different levels:
a. It may first be noted that a good many children are under the influence of their inner psychic and spiritual being, which shows itself very distinctly at times in their spontaneous turning toward truth beauty and goodness. To recognize this turning and to encourage it wisely and with a deep sympathy would be the first indispensable step.
b. The most important quality to develop among the children is sincerity.
c. This quality and several others are taught infinitely better by example than by beautiful speeches.

d. Undesirable impulses and habits should not be treated harshly. The child should not be scolded. Particularly, care should be taken not to rebuke a child for a fault which one commits oneself. Children are very keen and clear-sighted observers: they soon find out the educator's weaknesses and note them without pity.

e. When a child commits a mistake, one must see that he confesses it to the teacher spontaneously and frankly; and when he has confessed it, he should be made to understand with kindness and affection what was wrong in the movement and that he should not repeat it. A fault confessed must be forgiven.

f. A child should be encouraged to think of wrong impulses not as sins or offences but as symptoms of a curable disease which could be remedied by a steady and sustained effort of the will — falsehood being rejected and replaced by truth, fear by courage, selfishness by sacrifice, malice by love.

g. Great care should be taken to see that unformed virtues are not rejected as faults. The wildness and recklessness of many young natures are only an overflowing of an excessive strength, greatness and nobility. These should be purified, not discouraged.

h. Affection, that is firm yet gentle, sees clearly, and manifests a sufficiently practical knowledge will create bonds of trust that are indispensable for the educator to make the education of a child effective and value-oriented.

i. When a child asks a question he should not be answered by saying that it is stupid or foolish, or that the answer will not be understood by him. Neither should curiosity be postponed. An effort must be made to answer questions truthfully and in such a way as to make the answer comprehensible to the student's capacity.

j. The teacher should ensure that the student gradually begins to become aware of his deeper self and that with this growing awareness, the student is able to harmonise and resolve his inner conflicts.

k. It should be emphasised that if one has a sincere and steady aspiration, a persistent and dynamic will, one is sure to meet in one way or another the help that one needs, externally by study and instruction, internally by concentration, revelation or experience. Only one thing is absolutely indispensable, namely the will to discover and realise. This discovery and this realisation should be the primary occupation of the being, the pearl of great price which one should acquire at any cost. Whatever one does, whatever one's occupation and activity, the will to find the truth of one's being and to unite with it should always burn like fire behind all that one does, thinks and feels

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

l. At higher levels of development, the teacher should use the methods of daily conversation and discussion on books read from day to day. Books should contain lofty examples of the past, given not as moral lessons but as experiences of supreme interest. These books should also contain (a) great thoughts of great souls, (b) passages of literature which set fire to the highest emotions and promote the highest aspirations, and (c) records of history and biography which exemplify the living of great thoughts, noble emotions and inspiring ideals.

m. Opportunities should be given or created which would enable students to progressively embody higher and nobler values.


There are important aspects of mental, vital and physical education which contribute to value-oriented education. They can be briefly mentioned:
a. In its natural state, the human inind is limited in its vision, and narrow in its understanding. It is often rigid in its conceptions, and a certain effort is needed to enlarge it to make it supple and deep. Hence, it is very necessary to develop in the child the inclination and capacity to consider everything from as many points of view as possible. There are several exercises in this connection which give greater suppleness and elevation to thought:

  1. A clearly formulated thesis is set; against it is opposed an antithesis, formulated with the same precision. Then by careful reflection the problem must be widened or transcended so that a synthesis is found, which unites the two contraries in a larger, higher and more comprehensive idea.
  2. Another exercise is to control the mind from judging things and people hastily and without sufficient data. True knowledge is always at a higher level, and one must be able to reach not only the domain of pure ideas but even of deeper experiences. Therefore, the mind should be trained to be silent and to search intensely in order to derive knowledge from higher regions of pure ideas and deeper experiences.
  3. To suggest a further exercise, whenever there is a disagreement on any matter, such as a decision or an action to take, one must not stick to one's own conception or point of view. On the contrary, one must try to understand the other person's point of view, put oneself in the other's place and instead of quarrelling, find out a solution, which can reasonably satisfy both parties. There is always one for men and women of goodwill.

A wide, subtle, rich and attentive, quiet and silent mind is a powerful base not only for the discovery of supreme values but also for manifesting them in our outer actions, thoughts and feelings.

The vital being in us is the seat of impulses and desires, of enthusiasm and violence, of dynamic energy and desperate depression, of passions and revolt. The vital being is, however, a good worker, although most often it seeks its own satisfaction. If that is refused totally or even partially, it gets vexed and sulky and goes on strike.

The right thing to do at such moments is to remain quiet and refuse to act. For it is important to realise that at such times one does stupid things and can, in a few moments, destroy or spoil what one has gained in months of regular effort.

Another approach is to deal with the vital as one deals with child in revolt, with patience and perseverance, showing it the truth and the light, endeavouring to convince it and awaken in it the goodwill that will overcome the revolt.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

A wide, strong, calm but dynamic vital, capable of right emotion, right decision and right execution is an invaluable aid to the realisation of higher values.

The body by nature is a docile and faithful instrument, but it is very often misused by the mind with its dogmas, its rigid and arbitrary principles, and by the vital with its passions, its excesses and dissipations. It is these, which are the cause of bodily fatigue, exhaustion and disease. The body must, therefore, be freed from the tyranny of the mind and the vital. This can be done by training the body to feel and sense the presence of inmost harmony and peace and to learn to obey their governance.

The emphasis in physical education should be laid on the development of health, strength, agility, grace and beauty through various exercises, whether done by Yogic Asana or by other methods of physical culture such as gymnastics, athletics, aquatics, combative games and sports. When the body is rightly trained, it will learn to put forth at every minute the effort that is demanded of it, for it will have learnt to find rest in action, and to replace through contact with universal forces and energies what it spends consciously and usefully. By this sound and balanced practice, a new harmony will manifest in the body, which will give right proportions and the ideal beauty of form.

There are many sports, which help to develop the qualities of courage, hardihood, energetic action, initiative, steadiness of will, rapid decision and action, the perception of what is to be done in an emergency. Another invaluable result of these sports is the growth of the sporting spirit. This includes good humour and tolerance and consideration for all, a right attitude and friendliness to competitors and rivals, self-control and scrupulous observance of the laws of the game, fair play and avoidance of the use of foul means, equal acceptance of victory or defeat without bad humour, and acceptance of the decision of the appointed judge, umpire or referee. More important still is the intrinsic discipline, obedience, order and teamwork, which many games necessitate.

In the words of the Sri Aurobindo:

"If they (the above qualities) could be made more common not only in the life of the individual but in the national life and in the international where of the present day the opposite tendencies have become to rampant, existence in this troubled world of ours would be smoother and might open to a greater chance of concord and amity of which it stands very much in need. The nation which possesses them in the highest degree is likely to be strongest for victory, success and greatness, but also for the contribution it can make towards the bringing about of unity and more harmonious world order towards which we look as our hope for humanity's future.”  

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal


Community service should be included as a part of the total educational process. But to make community service truly value-oriented, emphasis should be laid on the true spirit with which the proposed work is to be done. Requisite spirit can be developed progressively through certain successive stages. For example, work motivated by desire or by restlessness should be replaced by the work done with ever-growing skill and perfection. At the higher stages, work should be done in order to discover its relationship with one's own inmost and highest aspiration. At a still higher level, work should be looked upon as an offering, without any sense of bargaining. At still higher stages, work should be done in consonance with the highest ideal that is being progressively worked out in the world, namely, the ideal of solidarity, unity and harmony. The entire discipline of work should be looked upon as tapasya, which should be carried out not only in the right spirit but also with efficiency and skill. True morality and spirituality demand meticulous care in handling materials things. There should be a living deep respect of things, material, a tools and processes of work. There should be an increasing awareness that matter, too, is sacred.


An important element in children's development is the presentation of dreams of a new world, a world of peace and international understanding, a world where truth alone would prevail, a world where beauty and goodness would pervade all that we see and experience.

Stories and plays to illustrate these dreams would be an effective instrument. Artistic imagination that would refine sensitivity and sense of beauty should develop right from the early stages of education. Even ordinary, habitual things of daily life should be taught as activities of art and beauty. That even activities such as those of bathing, cleaning the teeth, dressing, sitting and standing require art and a refined sense of beauty should be brought home to children and young students.

Students should be encouraged to live in harmony with nature and to develop the habit of being calm when in the intimate company of plants, trees and flowers.

At a little higher stage, students may be introduced to the art of listening to music. Acquaintance with some selected ragas (Indian) and harmonies (Western) should be encouraged. Exhibitions of books of beauty in its various aspects should also form part of the programmes in schools. A great stress should be laid upon physical fitness as an essential part of the pursuit of beauty.

Those who have special interests in music, dance, art and poetry should be given special facilities so that they can develop their interest and capacities in these fields.

Examples of poetic excellence should also be presented to the students in various ways. An idea should be emphasised that just as there is beauty and harmony of physical forms, even so there is beauty and harmony in the forms of thoughts, words, feelings and deeds.

At a still higher level, special emphasis may be laid on the powers of expression, a such as lucid recitation, poetry and dramatics. A special emphasis should be laid on the study of the appreciation of art and music.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal


Since stories play a great role in providing inspiration to the children in regard to values, teachers should prepare various collections of stories and plays from world literature which would satisfy the following criteria:

a. They should be written in language that is beautiful and devoid of vulgarity;

b. They should be full of human interest, which, however, do not involve plots of mischief and cunning, and

c. They should create an atmosphere of peace and harmony and a spontaneous inspiration for Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

Teachers should also endeavour to:

a. Select and compile exercises of remembering and repeating noble aspirations and thoughts, (b) of observation and accurate description, and (c) of control of senses, speech and behaviour;

b. Identify subjects and topics, which develop a sense of wonder;

c. Identify topics, and subjects which would provide an inter-disciplinary study of science and values;

d. Identify activities which may relate to a free choice directed towards control and mastery over lower impulses and towards excellence in studies and in works;

e. Identify topics that would help students to widen and elevate their consciousness;

f. Select topics related to self-knowledge and to the methods of concentration by which human consciousness can be developed not only horizontally but also vertically so as to create states of consciousness in which mutuality, harmony and true brotherhood could flower spontaneously;

g. Identify subjects and topics related to values needed for a new world order of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; and

h. Finally, identify subjects and topics related to the Values of the Synthesis of East and West.

Value-Oriented Education: A Project Proposal

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