Values Based Education for a Better World

Where many schools plant trees and school gardens, often the survival rate of trees is relatively low because of competing priorities, lack of watering and care during school recess periods and other interfering energies. This network of schools have close to a one hundred percent survival rate of trees, without even prioritizing this goal!  And the most exciting is that these outcomes are organic side effects’ of inner peace. Students who can love themselves, and one another, are caring human beings and therefore are able to care for all plants and animals as well as to recycle and reuse materials through innate understanding, envision the natural world as part of their overall wellness.

For me, 2020 started with an amazing new opportunity to document a values-based educational initiative that is truly changing the world one child, one school, one community at a time. The Sri Satya Sai University for Human Excellence was a first step in what has now grown to and India based, international network upwards of thirty schools in several countries, including Australia, Nigeria, Indonesia, and globally though a soon to be launched global teacher training platform.

The values-based approach consists of three "H's" which are Head, Heart and Hands. In today's increasingly angry and divided world, so much of education is about transmission of knowledge "head" without the kindness, compassion and self-discovery that are found in heart-centered inquiry... which, it seems to me, also mirrors scientific-based inquiry which is to hypothesize, observation and testing... indeed, so much observation can be lost without a heart cleared of pre-conceived notions. 

To me, it is incredible that one of the best environmental education project in schools that I have seen in a long time is not even teaching about the environment!  As I interviewed students about their lives and what they like about school, many of which come from most abject intergenerational poverty, so many told me about the trees that they have named and their treks in the forest on Sundays and their kitchen gardens.

Just another reminder from one of my favorite Einstien quotes that we cannot expect different results from the same experiement. Each of us is unique and as we can understand that, everything else falls into place.