Satish Kumar Teaches Sustainable Holistic Education

holistic education

Soil Soul and Society is the holistic and inclusive trinity that expresses the spirit of Satish Kumar’s approach to connecting human societies with nature, more specifically with soil as he says that soil (humus) and human have the same root.
Satish Kumar, Indian British, is a former Jain monk, peace and environment activist, writer, and speaker. His speeches focus on social justice, spirituality, ecology, nature, consciousness, and holistic education among others.

In one of his speeches on Holistic education, he starts by saying that we have forgotten the meaning of the word education because children and students are treated by universities like empty vessels that need to be filled with information. Based on this way of thinking, education would end when people complete their studies.
But what is the meaning of the word education?
Kumar explains it referring to the Latin origin of the word Educare, which means to bring out what is in the child or student. But education is a life-long process that teaches people how to bring out what is in them.

Hence, Kumar uses a metaphor when saying that a student is not an empty bucket or vessel. The student is a seed and educators should act like gardeners. They need to provide the right conditions so the seed to develop into a tree. In a few words, the gardeners love the seed and care for it. Like a seed, every child or student has a particular potential that can develop if hopefully, they get some help from schools and universities.
On the other hand, he says that those who are born in tribal societies, maybe will not need schools and colleges because their whole natural world will be their book of nature.
But we are in a civilized world and teachers hopefully will help students to go on a journey and discover who they are.
Kumar highlights that education is a journey of self-realization, but the reality is different as the meaning of education has been reduced in obtaining a degree to qualify for the job market.
People are borne with amazing bodies with a brain, mind-heart, imagination, creativity, but people at universities are told that their bodies are tools to look after their heads. As teachers focus on teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic, the imagination, creativity, soul, heart, mind become irrelevant to education. This is the reason why Kumar, calls this type of education ‘a head education’.
He adds that in order to focus on holistic education, reading, writing, and arithmetic should be replaced with education the head, heart, and hands because they form relationships that are essential in life. People don’t live in their heads, they live in their relationships with humans and nature, Kumar says.
Moreover, he says that hands are a magical gift that together with our minds and hearts can transform things into beautiful things. People need to learn how to use their hand/heart/imagination skills, to get abilities that help them discover themselves and enjoy the art of living. Yet education does not help discover the artist’s potential that everyone has. On the contrary, it suppresses people’s minds with the idea that the only way they can succeed in life is through a good job.

Kumar also says that schools are filling people with knowledge, but depriving them of the experience. They teach about trees, forests, rivers, mountains with pictures and detailed information, but without giving the experience of being in a forest. Hence people just create an idea in their head but without filling it with their senses, it remains incomplete. Schools have turned nature into an object and developed fields of studies to exploit for human benefit.

Kumar’s advice is that if you are learning for wholly sustainable holistic education, you need to challenge the world view of conquering nature. This view should be replaced with the idea of living in partnership with nature and all the species on earth as the whole earth is our community.
This way people can learn and apply reciprocity with nature. Currently, we are not doing that as we use nature’s resources and what we give back is pollution, climate change, and global warming.
Thus education has to go out in nature and in the human community to create a livelihood or job, be self-reliant. Educational institutions should equip students with imagination, creativity, skills, ideas, heart, relationships that make them go out in the world and be happy.

If you’re not getting an education to enhance the world to make it peaceful and joyful, you’re not getting the right education, no matter how famous the university can be.

At the Entrepreneurship Campus, you can gain entrepreneurial training and learn how to become a sustainable entrepreneur. These skills can help go out in your community, to cope with major challenges that people are facing, and to make it more peaceful.

Source: Holistic Education: Learning with Your Whole Being – by Satish Kumar

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16 Comments

  1. I want to ask campus members this question: what kind of education was Satish Kumar talk about?

  2. Was Satish Kumar a former Jain monk, peace and environmental activist?

  3. Did you know that Satish Kumar says that soil (humus) dovetails humans?

  4. Campus members if the above question l posted is YES, l want ask more one question since my sole job is to ask questions than seek for answers.

    So campus members based on the preceding question l ask before, does soil humus and humans have the same root? If your answer is yes_who said this in the above article?

  5. In my opinion, what matters here is how to combine – in a sustainable way- the highest well-being of the humanity with time that is always in short supply and obtain the highest life expectancy of the citizens of the earth. That is ultimately the physical-death removal from the people.

    I have never been in a desert, but I have flown over the SAHARA desert, over and over again and I think human life is more difficult there than living in a forest for example.
    The way education should address desert life would probably be –learning by experience as Mr. Kumar is arguing. To me it goes without saying that we should intensify the creation of green zones. To create a green zone means first saving what we already have by avoiding bushfires, thus the soil erosion.
    Finally, allow me to follow up with Mr. Kumar: “education has to go out in nature and in the human community to create a livelihood or job, be self-reliant. Educational institutions should equip students with imagination, creativity, skills, ideas, heart, relationships that make them go out in the world and be happy”.

  6. I urges all campus members to embrace and read chicken’s comment above. Isn’t it wonderful?

  7. Can Satish Kumar give us another article at our platform? Is quote are concrete

  8. Campus members can you imagine that connecting the human societies with nature has been the expression of Satish Kumar based on Soil humus and society is the holistic and inclusive Trinity?

  9. Do you know that, Kumar uses a metaphor when she says that students are not empty vessels or buckets? Campus members what inspires you in the above quote?

  10. I love what Emmanuel Ekpenyong’s comment. Can we campus members follow his footsteps and exchange
    our comments?

  11. “Educational instructions should equip students with imaginations, creativity, skills, ideas, heart, relationship that make them go out in the world and be happy.”
    I love this part of Kumar’s idea.
    It’s exactly what the world needs today.

  12. This article indeed have given me a different view of education. In Eduheal, I tam beginning to idealized how to make my on line sessions educative and not jusr teaching and perhaps others learning from the other sisde. How do I make this happens as an online facilitator is my challenge but I know I will sort out things because I want my frineds to learn as I am learning that is where I will find satisfaction

  13. Marie Grace Mutuyimana

    22.06.2020 · Reply

    As Kumar said that a student is not an empty bucket or vessel. The student is a seed and educators should act like gardeners. They need to provide the right conditions so the seed to develop into a tree.
    what I studied is about tourism but according to the campus courses now I learn the way i can do research about the issues my community may face and to find the root course of the problem in order to learn about the solution I can provide in order to solve the problem . It showed me that education it hasn’t border education is progress activities in our daily life because if you are on the world you meet different problems in this case we have to continue to learn in order to solve different problems.

  14. Really education in contemporary times have been somewhat the filling of an empty vessel. As enterprenuers I encourage all campus members to read this, it is only entrepreneurs that can change the world we want to see and live.

  15. “Thus education has to go out in nature and in the human community to create a livelihood or job, be self-reliant. Educational institutions should equip students with imagination, creativity, skills, ideas, heart, relationships that make them go out in the world and be happy”.I really understand this ideology/philosophy because such education prepares people to face challenges that occur in life and prosper by having the creativity to turn challenges into sustainable solutions instead of complaining. This has come to my understanding that Youth Citizenship Entrepreneurship Competition provides us with enough training to facilitate us towards competing into the competition which is different from other competitions that expect one to participate with the little understanding. I congratulate this platform for providing us with constructive thoughts, challenging our thinking and make us open our minds and creativity to the maximum potentiality. Thank you.

  16. Kumar also says that schools are filling people with knowledge, but depriving them of the experience. They teach about trees, forests, rivers, mountains with pictures and detailed information, but without giving the experience of being in a forest. Hence people just create an idea in their head but without filling it with their senses, it remains incomplete.

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