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Value Based Spiritual Education (VBSE)

The Value Based Spiritual Education (VBSE) programme reflects the vision that brought the school into existence, and which, in some ways, is the very reason for the school's existence.  It is a blueprint to transform students and all those who live and work in the school from what they are to what they have to become.  It must therefore permeate the entire web of life in the school, and create as its end-product individuals who live and breathe these values, throughout their lives.

The International Commission on Education for the 21st Century clearly sets as a fundamental principle that "education must contribute to the all-round development of each individual - mind and body, intelligence, sensitivity, aesthetic sense, personal responsibility and spiritual values".

In addition to the acquisition of knowledge, we aim to develop students' awareness, human qualities, inner resources, skills, that will prepare them for the world not as it has been in the past but as it is likely to be now and in the future… uncertain, shifting, where all humanity is entwined and interdependent in a way that it has not been before. 

More than ever our young people need to have moral courage, increased tolerance, patience, co-operation, frugality to develop responsibility, generosity, compassion, a sense of greater perspective, and adaptability.   It is important for them to have a keen concern for the vulnerable members of society and manifest this in service and self-sacrifice.  

And perhaps most important of all, young people need to develop their inner resources, their faith in the Divine (however they conceive it), the knowledge that they are primarily souls with a journey to be undertaken towards a goal, rather than just humans taking all they can out of this life and this world.  This is how a VBSE curriculum differs from VBE. 

 

What are these values?
How are they taught?
Example of VBSE project based learning
Other VBSE related School Activities
VBSE Teacher Training

 

What are these values?

 

LMOIS has founded its VBSE programme on the Core Human Values outlined by UNESCO in their 2002 Sourcebook "Learning to Be – a Holistic and Integrated Approach to Values Education for Human Development".    

These are the "Navaratnas", the nine gems of the VBSE programme.

  • Truth & Wisdom
  • Love & Compassion  
  • Sensitivity & Creativity
  • Spirituality
  • Peace & Justice          
  • Self Awareness &Self-Management
  • Environmental Morality         
  • Citizenship    
  • Health & Nutrition

 

How are they taught?

 


Through experience! We start with the belief that values cannot only be taught, they have to be modelled by adults and experienced by the students, and imbibed so that they become part of the character of the individual.  The values have to be absorbed progressively and through a variety of activities structured according to the age of the student.  These may include project based learning, seminars, groupwork, dialogue, role-play, films and other media presentations, fieldwork, and last, but not least, by reflecting on personal experience.  Teacher taught learning is a small part of the system.  Experiential learning and reflecting on experience, is infinitely more effective.  Thus we follow the process of Experience > Reflection > Action.
Students are encouraged to discover for themselves and absorb the way in which the values work.  This is the only way to make them a permanent part of their lives.
Most importantly, the teachers and staff must themselves be repositories of these values in attitude, and in action, ie following the adage,
"Practice what you preach".
In addition to the weekly VBSE sessions for every class, students in Omega take part in other school activities that will help them integrate these values

 

Example of VBSE experiential learning

 

  • How can you teach love and compassion?

    It needs to be experienced in a real-life situation.Students in Omega are associated with a Chennai school called Siragu, for children from poor villages or rescued from hard labour or from the streets. During a visit to the school, 11th Standard Omega students reported how moved they were by the vitality and openness of the children.  They greatly enjoyed interacting with the children, and then they spontaneously started serving the children their lunch.Our students were also amazed at the children's knowledge, and when they returned to Kolapakkam, they began a project to make learning resources for the school, plus they collected clothes, books, stationery and game equipments for them.

    Siragu

  • Two ways to learn about Citizenship
    1. Omega has its own Student Council: all classes elect representatives who will participate in the Student Council.  There are 8 Ministries of the Council reflecting the school's values:  Peace and Justice; Service; Environment; Health and Nutrition; Culture and Creativity; Sports and Games; Academics; Information and Public Relations.

      Through Council activities students learn values and skills such as leadership, co-operation, commitment, ideas-generation, public speaking and negotiation.

      Student Council

    2. Participating in United Nations video conferences: by actively researching world issues and coming up with potential solutions, students learn that they are truly global citizens.   As educated and privileged young citizens, they have responsibilities towards the human family, and they come to realise they CAN make a difference through understanding the needs of others and committed action.  This is excellent preparation for adult life.

      Omega and UN

Other VBSE related School Activities

 

Examples:

VBSE Teacher Training

 

LMOIS offers training for its own teachers in how to impart VBSE via interactive workshops.

Workshops cover:

  • Input and discussion of the underlying principles and approach of VBSE.
  • Experience of sample learning activities - as children!
  • Sharing ideas and questions with other professionals on the application of the programme.
  • Practice teaching a VBSE activity in the workshop itself, and receiving feedback.
  • Opportunities to contribute further ideas for the evolving curriculum.