A New Approach to Value Education
The Awakened Citizen Program is a three year graded value education program for students studying in middle school and high school. The program is designed to open the minds of children and enable them to discover values. It provides a framework for decision making in their life and bring about a transformation from within. It is currently running in over 1700 schools across Delhi-NCR, Bhopal, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Varanasi, Ranchi, Mumbai, Vadodara, Rajasthan and Haryana. These schools include both private and government schools. Started in 2014, the program has received wide acclaim for the impact it has had on students, teachers and principals alike.
Each one of us, carries within, an infinite source of power, strength and goodness. This power and strength can be felt, every time we say "I can". This infinite power gets manifested as various possibilities. The more we consciously develop or manifest these possibilities, the more faith we develop in ourselves. The Awakened Citizen Program is designed to help discover and manifest the infinite power within each one of us.
The Human Possibilities Framework has been formulated to help understand and explore the infinite possibilities within us. The possibilities are broadly classified into two categories:
a) Universal Possibilities : These are open to each one of us irrespective of religion, caste, age, gender, education, family background. E.g. Being Heroic, Seeking Perfection, Expanding Yourself.
b) Unique Possibilities : These can be developed based on our talents, interests, environment and self-effort. The Unique Possibilities have been further classified into Knowledge Possibilities and Physical possibilities. E.g Playing games and sports, Adapting to the environment I live in, Developing solutions to complex social challenges, Working with Collective Intelligence.
Through various explorations, situation analyses, discussions and real life examples, the students discover the tremendous impact of manifesting these possibilities and the means to do so.
The program has been developed by Illumine Knowledge Resources(P) Ltd. based on extensive research into the works of Swami Vivekananda, inputs from senior monks of the Ramakrishna Order, design sessions with teachers and behavioral research. Each module has undergone multiple pilots and content iterations to ensure high quality and enable the students to discover and accept values. The program is designed to be covered in three consecutive years for middle school and high school students. The program for each year comprises of 16 modules of 45 minutes each.
Proper facilitation by the teachers to encourage students to think from various angles, participate in the discussions and learn from peers is crucial for the program to have a high impact on the students. The emphasis is on students discovering the values rather than being told what is "right" or "wrong". Training sessions are conducted for teachers to provide an introduction to the program material and provide insight into effective facilitation practices. Two day training sessions are conducted for each of the three parts of the program. Schools are provided with CDs containing the program sessions and facilitation guides that detail how to effectively conduct the sessions. In addition, resource people from Ramakrishna Mission conduct school visits and observe classes to provide feedback to teachers regarding facilitation practices and assess the impact of the program.