When I think of Hinduism, my mind automatically thinks of Ghandi. In this case we are not talking about architecture but education expectations of Hinduism in India. Hinduism is a religion that is mostly founded in India and it was established around 1500 BCE. Hindus believe in multiple Gods, particular one prime God, Brahmans. Hindus are a part of our American culture too. Research shows, the PEW survey estimated that the number of Hindus rose from 0.3 percent of the population in 2007 to 0.7 percent in 2014, 77 percent of Hindus in the U.S. are college graduates (Rambachan). This shows how much can change in seven or more years in today’s society. Becoming a teacher does not always mean just sticking to the books and teaching the children. For example, counting or speaking can be something that you will teach a child but to except each other as an equal. I want to educate my students on different cultures and their values. Also, to be excepting of each other with a different culture no matter the case and be inclusive of the students who are of different culture or race. I want to display diversity in my classroom and give parents that warm welcoming feeling. In my classroom, I want to make a difference to my students. As an adult now, I still remember the teachers who went over and beyond for me to included me in projects or group work when I was too shy. Also, those teachers treated every one of my peers the same, know matter what our religion was or race. I decided to do my culture paper on Hinduism and their education expectations. I chose this because I wanted to learn more about the culture’s education and how they want their children to be educate so that way I can better understand their culture.
To begin with, the first article of information about their education expectations was, a person has an importance to focus on the human life and the four aspects of oneself. To elaborate, on the four aspects of the human life according to Hinduism are, dharma (virtue),artha (wealth), kama (pleasure) and moksha (liberation). This to me seems like it is almost like a reference to a four pillars image, to live by but in the education realm. Hindus believe that their life is scared. I respect that, and I would respect that of the families and students who are Hindu. Another expectation, the author of The Future of Hinduism in America’s Changing Religious Landscape, wrote, When I was a child attending a Hindu elementary school in Trinidad, we recited a series of questions and answers about Hinduism from a small catechetical text. One of the questions was, Why are you a Hindu? The answer followed: Because I was born a Hindu (Rambachan). This could greatly affect my teaching and communication styles because for one I have little experience working with Hindu culture. Furthermore, I have never taught by the four aspects of human life and I am not familiar with the catechetical text. That being said I would like to educate myself on this to try and incorporate this into my plans.
Next, more background information about India’s education system. Primary and Middle lower primary and upper primary education is compulsory and free in India. Primary education begins at age 6 with Middle/Upper Primary school education ending at age 14 (Education System in India). That completely amazes me! I had to reread that sentence a few times before it sunk in. I never knew or thought that the primary education in India was required by law to be free from ages 6 to 14. Furthermore, I had read that in the primary education (elementary schools) which is grades first to eighth grade, start to learn the English language as their second language by the grade level of third. Also, in the secondary schools they may learn three different types of languages, regional language, an elective language, and the English language. Continuing on to the ninth grade to twelfth grade would be the secondary education (like our high schools). To elaborate more on secondary education, education continues to be free at government schools, although private education is more common at the secondary level. Public examinations are held at the end of both cycles and grant access to grade 11 and university level study respectively (Education Systems in India). Grant access to grade eleven is an interest fact about this culture but it also seems relevant. Maybe it is a good idea to have a public examination to see how much the student really knows and what they could work on. This could very much help them to be setup to succeed in their future and in their education.
Continuing, education is the means by which an individual can gain right knowledge, control his desires and learn to perform his obligatory duties with a sense of detachment and devotion to God, so that he can overcome the impurities of egoism, attachment and delusion and achieve liberation (Hinduism and Education). Hinduism is more than just a textbook and learning how to count. Hinduism is the loyalty that they give to their God. Furthermore, in Hindu tradition, an illiterate person is considered to be equal to an animal (pasu), because without education he will not be able to rise above his physical self. Hence the belief that a person who is initiated into education is twice born, first time physically and second time spiritually (Hinduism and Education). Fascinating to know that Hindus initiate into education twice. This could relate to the American culture because we try to rise above to succeed in our education.
Furthermore, in my research I discovered that in India some students attended, Gurukulas, which is, a residential school that you live near or with the guru (teacher). That is very neat to know. This would give the students the attention they needed from the teacher. If the teacher saw a student not succeeding, they would either be punished or take it upon themselves to work harder with that student to accomplish what they are learning about. Continuing, women were not allowed to attend Guruklas. They were not allowed to attend because they were not allowed to study outside of their own homes. I could not imagine not begin able to attend school.
Lastly, I would like to go over some accommodations that I would like to make in my own classroom for the Hindu culture students and other cultures. Starting with, doing background information about the culture before meeting with the student and their family or caregiver. I would like to talk with the school board about getting an audio recording in Hindu instead of the student reading the text in English. This will help the student better understand what I am trying to teach them as well as make them feel included. Also, I would like to setup a conference with their family or caregiver to go over what our curriculum would look like throughout the year and talk about how to oblige to their religious background. I want to take this step-in meeting with them and going over the curriculum because I want the family to feel included as well as the student. Also, to make them feel comfortable knowing that, yes, their child is in a public American school or daycare but that their culture is being shown in some of the curriculum or displayed in the classroom.
In conclusion of my culture paper, Hinduism is a religion, but it does not define the child that you are teaching. What I am trying to say is that we are all equal and we may have a difference in religions and beliefs. That does not mean we cannot coexist in our American education. I want to show my students that we need to be excepting of one another. Also, I want to show the parents of the Hindu children that I have done research and I am knowledgeable in their culture. I want the parents and their children to feel safe and welcomed into my classroom. I want to make a difference in the way I teach my students for the future.
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