Integral education

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Integral education refers to educational theories or institutions which are informed by integral thought.


In the teachings on education of Sri Aurobindo and especially those of his co-worker The Mother, Integral Education is the philosophy and practice of education for the whole child: body, emotions, mind, soul, and spirit,.[1][2] There are several institutions that attempt to use their teachings to inform educational methodology. These include the Auro University in Surat, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, The Mother's International School, 'Mirambika', in Delhi, 'L'avenir - the future', in Delhi and several others.

Haridas Chaudhuri, a follower of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, and Frederic Spiegelberg founded the Caliafornia Institute of Integral Studies in 1968 in San Francisco .[3]

Author Michael Murphy, who studied at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, founded the Esalen Institute with Dick Price in 1961.

Ken Wilber's Integral University, a part of the Integral Institute, is a set of programs offered at established schools such as John F. Kennedy University and Fielding Graduate University. Sean Esbjörn-Hargens, whose work uses Wilber's ideas, has written about integral education.[4][5]

Literary figure William Irwin Thompson and mathematician Ralph Abraham, whose ideas about the evolution of consciousness are influenced by, among others, Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, designed a curriculum for the private K-12 Ross School in East Hampton, New York and the Ross Global Academy in New York City. Thompson wrote an essay in 1998 entitled "Cultural History and the Ethos of the Ross School". Thompson had also founded the Lindisfarne Association in 1972.

One current example of Integral Education on the undergraduate level is Antioch University Seattle's LEAPYEAR program.[6] This is an alternative freshman year of college emphasizing physical embodiment, spiritual study, mental education, the practice of creativity, and regular opportunities for cross-cultural study. The curriculum aims at the reclamation of wholeness that is lost through our traditional U.S. system of compulsory schooling.[7]

A humble approach has been sought out by the members of Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore,[8] in the form of the integral Enrichment program.[9] The program aims to inculcate in children and parents the appreciation for the five aspects of education outlined by The Mother - the physical, vital, mental, psychic and spiritual.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]


  1. Collected Works of the Mother, Volume 12 - On Education, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, Pondicherry
  2. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Education, Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press, Pondicherry, 1986
  3. Ulansey, David. (2001). The Early History of the California Institute of Integral Studies.
  4. Esbjörn-Hargens, S. (2006). “Integral Education By Design: How Integral Theory Informs Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum in a Graduate Program” in ReVision 28 (3), p. 21-29
  5. Esbjörn-Hargens, S.; Reams, J.; Gunnlaugson, O. (ed.), Integral education: new directions for higher learning. SUNY Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-4384-3348-6
  7. Dumbing Us Down
  8. Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore. Website.
  9. ' "Sri Aurobindo Society, Singapore blog"

Further reading[edit]