Soka Education: A Buddhist Vision for Teachers, Students & Parents

Overview

From a Japanese word meaning “to create value,” this book presents a fresh spiritual perspective to question the ultimate purpose of education. Mixing American pragmatism with Buddhist philosophy, the goal of Soka education is the lifelong happiness of the learner. Rather than offering practical classroom techniques, this book speaks to the emotional heart of both the teacher and student. With input from philosophers and activists from several cultures, it advances the conviction that the true purpose of ...

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Overview

From a Japanese word meaning “to create value,” this book presents a fresh spiritual perspective to question the ultimate purpose of education. Mixing American pragmatism with Buddhist philosophy, the goal of Soka education is the lifelong happiness of the learner. Rather than offering practical classroom techniques, this book speaks to the emotional heart of both the teacher and student. With input from philosophers and activists from several cultures, it advances the conviction that the true purpose of education is to create a peaceful world and to develop the individual character of each student in order to achieve that goal.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Soka education is based on the Buddhist-influenced ideas of Japanese educational reformer Tsunesaburo Makiguchi (1871-1944), a contemporary of John Dewey, whose philosophy was similar in many aspects. Both believed in child-centered schooling, but Makiguchi was persecuted for his value-creating pedagogy during World War II, when Japan was intolerant of independent thinking. The Soka movement was resurrected after the war by Josai Toda, the author's mentor, and has since established schools and cultural centers worldwide. President of the Tokyo-based Soka Gakkai International (SGI), one of the most important Buddhist schools in the world, Ikeda has compiled a selection of papers and speeches he has delivered on such topics as the interrelatedness of the learning environment and the importance of creative teaching. And since the book is published by a subsidiary of SGI, it is not surprising that the didactic aspirations are flatteringly idealistic. Nonetheless, because of the popularity of Buddhism in the United States and Soka's growing number of followers, this is a worthwhile addition to academic and public libraries. Will Hepfer, SUNY at Buffalo Libs. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967469744
  • Publisher: Middleway Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Daisaku Ikeda is the author of The Way of Youth, For the Sake of Peace, and The Living Buddha. He is the president of Soka Gakkai International, one of the most prominent Buddhist schools in the world today, with over 12 million members. For his role as a peace activist, he received the United Nations Peace Award.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2002

    Soka Education

    The Japanese term 'Soka' means creative, contributive living; Soka Education is education that empowers students, enabling them to lead happy, fulfilled lives. Ikeda objects to using schools to serve nationalistic or corporate ends. Japan did so throughout the past century, and is now suffering the consequences. To counter that trend, Ikeda has founded 'Soka schools' in Japan (kindergarten through university) and elsewhere that are characterized by joyful, enthusiastic students; wise, affectionate teachers; and a prevailing belief that every student has a unique and important role to play in the world. I have visited many of those campuses; no experience has ever given me greater cause for optimism about the future. The current thrust in the USA is to gear instruction toward raising standardized test scores. This is a step away from placing students' interests and needs first. In Soka Education, Ikeda calls for 'a society that serves the essential needs of education.' In contrast to this notion, American society, with politicians leading the fray, heaps blame and abuse on teachers. What's worse, the schools most in need of support-inner-city schools, for example-come under the harshest attacks. To counter the dark, conservative mood that holds sway in the USA and other countries, hopeful, practical prescriptions are needed. Soka Education provides these in abundance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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