One of the features of Eastern philosophy is its emphasis on the interconnectedness of life. Not only does it espouse a sense of equality among all life forms but that between life and the material world around it. In the school system we have today much fuss is made of individual excellence. Grades and standardized test scores have become the sole criterion of judgment, eschewing considerations of the social character of the student. My native worldview stands in opposition to this. Fundamental to this opposition is the understanding that an inequitable and unjust society cannot produce fair-minded and just individuals. By placing the thrust on the collective as opposed to the individual, Eastern thought takes a broader view of excellence. This is not to say that individuals and their merits do not matter. Individuals are appreciated to the extent that they act as socially conscious agents. It is this governing principle that I would like to bring to my teaching. But educators are merely one cog among multiple influences acting on students. So I may only succeed in a limited way in being able to achieve this change. In the capitalist consumer culture that is aggressively promoted today I recognize that my vision is difficult to implement.
Finally, having stated what my worldview is and how I try to bring it to my teaching practice, I have to acknowledge that there are numerous challenges. While we proudly boast of technological and material progress as a civilization we have somewhat regressed. I remember my own schooling days and what kind of ethos prevailed among our generation of students. In comparison the students that I handle come out a tad superficial, preoccupied with selfish interests and personal gain. Their social and political consciousness is quite appalling. In terms of apportioning blame, parents should take a huge share. On my part, however much I try to renew the system, I am too small to make a significant impact. This brings us to the role of school administrators and politicians to the fore. It is for them to ask what kind of leaders our current education system would produce. They need to act expeditiously, for the education policy in the country has become quite stale.