What distinguishes us from others

Universal School of Life is a school inside an ecovillage. It offers a new alternative or a different choice concerning children's education. The most distinctive aspect of our school centers on the way parents are involved, giving priority to their children's education:

Giving priority to children's education means:

  1. Parents are ready to re-evaluate their profession, their leisure time and their consumer behavior in order to answer the children's real needs and not their whims.
  2. Parents are willing to act upon specific educational principles each day.
  3. Parents are ready at times to reconsider their personal points of view and ready to change one's behavior, if necessary.
  4. Parents are responsible for maintaining the principle of harmony in their living surroundings.
  5. Parents get involved financially and this could be done in different ways: making an asset available to the school such as equipment, a piece of land, a business asset, or volunteer time and effort to make students' projects work.

In Universal School of Life, parents play the leading role in education; when parents are fully involved with the school, it fulfills the children's need of coherence.

The Universal School of Life immerses students in a learning environment; everywhere they are becomes educational. In other words, it includes all the resources of the ecovillage (business buildings, family homes, leisure resources) into the child's learning process. Every individual living in the ecovillage is part of the school regardless of their relationship with the children. Adults have to be role models and have to show coherence between what they ask of a child and how they behave. The way adults live sets an example, which not only informs children, but shapes them.

PRINCIPLES

The most important principle that we teach in our school, as well as in the ecovillage, is TO BE RESPECTFUL. Respect for a child's parent, for nature, the environment, other children, the educator, his/her own body, all religions, all races, animals, every living thing, etc. We believe that it will help a child become an asset for a nation. We do not consider RESPECT to be blind obedience, but rather the ability to listen, to comprehend a situation, to understand others and to negotiate instead of coming to one's end at any cost.

RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS

Universal School of life offers a universal approach concerning religions. We present factual background regarding the main religious systems as follows:

  • Hinduism: one of the oldest religions still alive today. It honors hundreds of gods: the most important being Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus believe that their next life is directly connected to the actions they accomplished in their present life, which explains why they accept, without arguing, the cast in which they are. (Cast being the place and rank occupied in a society, which is determined by their birth and is related to their parents).
  • Buddhism: which dates about 2500 years ago, teaches that happiness has to come from renunciation of desires and passions, not from any cult towards a god. The final step in the Buddhism path is the end of suffering (Nirvana). According to Buddhism, one who acquires all of the necessary virtues puts an end to the birth-death-reincarnation cycle.
  • Judaism: dates back more than 3000 years ago and it is the oldest monotheistic religion. Judaism focuses more on the commandments than on the beliefs. Jews believe that if they really understand the Words of God, they will get closer to the Divine. This belief in one God will also become a concept adopted by Christians and Muslims.
  • Christianity: originated from Judaism. Christianity relates to the teaching of a man called Jesus who, for Christians, represents God under the appearance of a human being. Jesus teaches that love and devotion to others are more important than any details of the Jewish Law and speaks about God as a Father. He teaches that one must obey God's law by loving his neighbors and by avoiding the temptation to judge them.
  • Islamism: means subordination to Allah's will. The religion was founded by Mahomet around 600 A.C. The divine message that he was responsible to preach was written in a sacred book of Islam, the Koran, which consists of five main rules: 1) profession of faith repeated many times a day, 2) the five daily prayers, 3) charity to the poor, 4) the fast of Ramadan, 5) the pilgrimage to the Mecca.