Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Executive Director of Arigatou International Geneva, was invited by Mindful Educators – Sri Lanka, to lead the third of a series of online learning sessions on Ethics, Values & Inclusivity in Education. The session was held on 18 February 2021 and aimed at guiding educators towards using mindfulness-based practices in the classroom.
“Globally we all know how much erosion is happening gradually in terms of value systems. (…) In Sri Lanka, we have seen continuously many instances where the erosion of value systems and increasing discriminatory practices happen inside schools and classrooms,” stressed Dr. Tara de Mel, Founder of Education Forum Sri Lanka, in her opening remarks.
Ms. Uribe talked about the issues faced by education today, and how we should think of education for the future: “Today education systems and programs need to be reimagined and reinvented to respond to the multiple ethical challenges of societies, but also to the globalized nature of our daily interactions and lives.”
She explained how the way parents, caregivers and educators nurture ethical values in children is critical for them, and the formation of their identity. Fostering ethical values like respect, empathy, responsibility, and compassion, can be done in both explicit and implicit ways. She also highlighted the importance of nurturing spirituality in children, emphasizing that children’s innate spirituality can only be nurtured in an environment free of violence and through non-violent practices.
Ms. Uribe talked about how education should help fostering interconnectedness, critical consciousness, and the freedom to choose, and gave some examples of how this type of education has been successfully implemented in different countries and contexts.
She finished her intervention by stressing the idea of our interconnectedness, and how our actions have an impact beyond ourselves. She elaborated on the concept of “ethical demand,” explaining that we are demanded to respond to others and to situations that affect others, not because of sympathy but because of the simple fact that our lives depend on each other and we are interconnected.
“Education today needs to be conceived as an ethical demand and foster in children and youth the awareness of the ethical dimension of our interactions and relations with others,” she concluded.
Mindful Educators aims to encourage and support educators to introduce the practice of mindfulness, and to share mindfulness-based-initiatives for promoting values, ethics and respectful behavior inside classrooms, schools and universities.
We humbly thank Mindful Educators for inviting us to share our knowledge and experience, and the attendants for their interest and their thought-provoking questions and interventions.
The full recording of the session is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0D16cQdSWw