What curriculum should be according to Aurobindo?

The essential principle of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy of education is freedom. Unity is never demanded at the cost of diversity. On the other hand, diversity creates a rich unity. Therefore, no rigid scheme of curriculum has been prescribed. The earliest permissible age for starting regular study according to Sri Aurobindo is seven or eight years. The proper medium for early education of the child is the mother tongue. The following criteria for planning curriculum are found in Sri Aurobindo’s writings:

1. Human Nature

The curriculum should aim at developing whatever is already given in seed form in the child. Education can only lead to the perfection of the instruments, which are already present in the students. Nothing can be taught or imposed from outside.

2. Individual Differences

The curriculum should be planned according to individual difference. The mind has to be consulted in its own growth. The aim of the teacher is to help the growing soul in drawing out his best and to make it perfect for a noble use.

3. From Near to the Far

Another principle governing the planning of curriculum is to proceed from near to the far, from that which is to that which shall be.

4. Modern and Up-to-date

Sri Aurobindo was a modern thinker with a love for modernity and up-to-date knowledge. Therefore, he prescribed that the education must be up-to-date in form and substance and modern in life and spirit.

5. Universal Knowledge

The curriculum should include whatever is universally true. That is the basis of all scientific knowledge and philosophy.

6. Successive Teaching

Sri Aurobindo disagrees with some educationists who wish to introduce every subject simultaneously to the child. He prescribes that the subjects should be taught successively.

7. Co-curricular Activities

The school should provide not only academic but also co-curricular activities.

8. Five-fold Curriculum

Integral education is psychic and the spiritual education. Therefore, the curriculum must be fivefold according to these five types of education

9. Multisidedness

Integral education is multisided. It aims at all-round growth. Therefore its curriculum involves music, poetry, art, painting and sculpture, besides the academic subjects. These are necessary for the aesthetic development of the child.

10. Provision for the Genius

The curriculum must provide for the genius. According to Sri Aurobindo, “What we call genius is part of the development of the human range of being and its achievements especially things of the mind and their will can carry us half way to the divine.

11. Moral and Religious Education

Curriculum for moral education should aim at refining the emotions and forming the proper habits and associations. Thus the aim of the curriculum according to Sri Aurobindo is the actualization of the potentialities of the students. The curriculum should not be fixed but flexible and evolutionary. A variety of choice and opportunities must be prescribed for maintaining the freedom of growth. The integral curriculum should find a due palace for every subject and every discipline.

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