Educational principles and methodology
In relation to the learning that enables us to function in the material life, the main educational principles would be:
The non-directive nature of the learning process. Vettaveli does not impose any curriculum beyond the “curriculum of life” as discovered individually by each child. In the School, the children manage their own time and carry out activities chosen by them. The basics of Vettaveli are to preserve the natural learning impulse of children and provide them with the necessary resources. There are resources enough at their disposal: books, computers, kitchen, library, interesting persons doing interesting things and much more. This availability of resources helps children to meet a multifarious variety of themes and activities, including most of the concepts we find in a traditional curriculum as well as many other things not included therein.
We do not impose any curriculum just because nobody would learn anything that is not interesting for him. We do prefer that children discover and pursue their own interests, as this will allow them to enjoy learning and also to retain the knowledge through the years.
Freedom and responsibility. As Javier Herrero (Ojo de Agua) says, human development can occur only through the voluntary interaction with the outer environment. Each and every activity is voluntary in this environment where the interaction initiative comes from the inner individual structure. This is defined as education in freedom. Limits mean to live the consequences of one’s actions only to experience the lessons of life. There is another more general kind of responsibility pervading the whole environment, because environment is exactly the responsibility to assume one’s own learning process: what should I learn, how to learn it, with whom, where, when…
The initiative of the interaction with the outside comes from the inner structure of each individual and this is the education in freedom. However, this freedom of decision and action is not limitless.
We establish some limits with a sight to offer all those who are coexisting the possibility to stay in a relaxed atmosphere, thus being possible to interact with the environment in tune with one’s inner structure.
We learn, develop and evolve in the company of others
Our evolution process is a process where a group with which to create a contrast, i.e. a reference group, is needed. Very often, the others act as an “alarm clock”, i.e. each of us serves as the alarm clock for someone else. We learn by sharing and dialoguing with others. We build our knowledge up by contrasting our own ideas with those of others. This is true not only as far as the cognitive knowledge is concerned but also with regards to the knowledge that leads us to the right action.
Principle of research. Children learn by searching in the reality, by handling it and wondering about it. From this point on, the learning by themselves –through their own experience, is favored. The Yoga acts under the same principle; it is through the experimentation, the self observation and the act of contrasting that the evolution towards the Self takes place. However, in this case the research goal is to attain what we are, that is to say, it is a state of Absolute Bliss not interfered by anything.
Therefore, we work on the basis of a model of non-directive school in which the students establish their own program of study, accompanied by the teachers. We take as a reference the following educative approaches: experiences of Rebeca Wild in Ecuador through the Pestalozzi, Montessori experience, Freinet, democratic schools and experiences of Auroville guided at their beginning stages by the Mother and Aurobindo, where the factor of spiritual development is the element that agglutinates the whole educational process.
With a sight to the learning and development of the Permanent Bliss or Happiness, we have taken as a reference the knowledge and practices of the Siddhas, which are based on the following principles:
The love as the divine spark existing within the soul of every human being, revealed by the qualities of selflessness, compassion and mercy towards all the living beings.
The development of three concepts, free will, action and knowledge, guided by the Self and oriented towards the evolution of the individual.
The experience and life lesson as sources of knowledge. “A step of wisdom accompanied by a step of practice”.
The development of a Pure Consciousness beyond our physical and psychological personality-identity.