SAIIER School Guidelines
A SAIIER SCHOOL SHOULD ENDEAVOURS FOR:
- A physical and psychological environment that allows the psychic to blossom. The caring and loving aspect of school is essential to integral education. The school should be clean, orderly and beautiful, and the students should be in an atmosphere of protected freedom. There should be no fear; learning depends on a caring school climate that nurtures positive and deep relationships between teachers and students, students and other students and amongst the teachers.
- The program. The foundation of Integral education is the development and harmonization of all planes of the being (physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual), so as to assist in the growth and unfolding of the soul. The program that is offered to the students should reflect this. The program should be flexible, but complete so that each student’s uniqueness is addressed and each one is given the chance to progress at his or her own rate.
- Student learning. Student learning is complex. Teachers should be aware that each student is unique and has different learning styles and needs, and all instruction should respect and allow for these differences. Process rather than output or product should be stressed; the student should be guided to learn how to learn. Learning includes acquiring knowledge of subject matter, thinking skills, dispositions and values needed for life.
- Teacher learning. Teachers should be in a state of openness to new learning at all times. Teachers should be offered the opportunity to continue learning and progress in their personal and professional lives; time for training and development should be available. Teachers should have the skills necessary for their work. Teachers should be avid observers of their students both in and out of class.
Evaluation and Assessment. The purpose of student assessment should be encourage self-awareness and to help both teacher and student improve the students learning experiences. Many different forms of assessment should be used simultaneously to give a complete profile of the student, which includes samples of work and ongoing assessment.
- School self assessment. Schools should be expected to engage in continuous and systematic self – assessment and adjustment in an effort to meet the needs of the teachers and their students. The ability to do so must ensured and nurtured.
A physical and psychological environment flat allows the psychic to blossom requires:
- Clean, orderly and attractive classrooms and campus
- Adequate teaching facilities, space and staff
- Student’s work displayed in an aesthetically pleasing way
- Students and teachers are happy and at ease. They feel safe, accepted, cared for, appreciated, respected and supported in their growth and inner development
- Teachers are good role models for students
- Warm friendly relationships between all; teachers and students relate to each other respectfully and sincerely
- Emphasis on problem solving
- Students are encourage and given time and space for self observation and reflection
- Areas dedicated to silence.
The program should be framed in accordance with the three principles of education given by Sri Aurobindo Programs that emphasize quality, practical skills, group dynamic and awareness of all the planes of the being (physical, emotional, mental, psychic and spiritual). The following areas of study should be offered to the students, keeping in mind developmental level and learning styles. A variety of methods could be used (projects, research, book work, lecture group work, individual work, computer...)
- Academic classes such as languages, mathematics, sciences, literature, history, geography, philosophy...
Arts such as Music, Dance, Drawing, Painting, Theatre, Poetry and Handwork
- A scientific program of physical education
- Studies in the history, philosophy, governance and contemporary activities of Auroville
- At secondary levels — studies of Sri Aurobindo & Mother’s work.
- The opportunity to develop research skills
- General Knowledge
- Concentration, awareness of inner states, sensory development as in Awareness Through the Body classes
- Space and time for undirected activities that are regulated and supported by the school.
Student learning requires:
- Activities that allow student to use various learning styles
- Development of multiple Intelligences and faculties
- Teachers who help students grow in confidence
- Frequent opportunities for the students to choose
- Responsibility for learning gradually assumed by the Student
- Students assisted to come to know themselves and to become self- directed individuals.
- Mistakes seen as a chance to learn and a challenge for improvement
- All classes encourage students to adopt a value – oriented approach to life in with they have an understanding of individual, collective and global responsibility
- A classroom atmosphere conducive to learning
- Student progress and this is demonstration through regular assessment
- Pre Periodic stimulation of imagination by presentation of wonderful facts through exhibitions or meetings with persons whose contact does that
Teacher learning requires:
- Teachers who are consciously striving to develop their psychic and spiritual beings.
- Teachers’ awareness of the aims of education in Auroville and working with the students with this in mind.
- Teachers present classes to the students in a manner that gives the students the chance to profit from the class.
- Teachers should have time and space to observe their students.
- Teachers who are always trying to develop better methods for presenting topics and documenting the process
- Teachers who continuously engage in habits of reflection and self–assessment.
- Teachers who follow the SAIIER code of conduct
- Regular attendance at teacher study days and workshops
Evaluation and Assessment
- Students assessment which is participatory and non-judgement and leads to futher learning:
the students should be able to realize that she/he is the master of his/her learning process.
- Students assessment which is individualized.
- Assessment procedures which is individualized
Various types of evaluation should be used
- Progress report
- Interview between teacher and student; Teacher, students and parent; and teahcers and parents
- Team work
- Tests and quizzes
- External exams as a tool; these exams should not be the primary form of evalution, and they should not run the system---the program should not be a preparation for the exams.
School self assessment requires:
- Schools which assess themselves regularly
- Self assessment as a process that supports schools in improving learning and teaching through ongoing reflection and review
- School self assessment seen as a whole school process af goal- setting regarding student learning and growth, with a continuous cycle of internal self-review and self-improvement