Question: (Mr. Clarke, of Sunnyvale): What are the differences between your schools' educational system and that of
the typical public school of a commensurate grade-level?
Answer: The parents of children at Instilling Goodness Elementary Schools can be assured that their child will never come home from school having contracted the HIV virus, or
having been part of a violent episode at school. Children learn
what they are taught twenty-four hours a day. The teacher
communicates his or her values and conduct with every inter-
action, and the child will inevitably learn by this modeling. It
is not the case that suddenly in this century children's ability
to learn has decreased. Far from it. Children learn as keenly
as ever. But they study the "hidden curriculum" as assiduously
as they do the lessons in the books. If they witness their teach-
ers behave with virtue and patience, then they will learn those
lessons. If they see school-sponsored violent videos or contact
sports, if they witness smoking and substance abuse, then they
will study and master that topic, whatever we present them as
our own values. The word "to educate" comes from educare,
to lead out, and this is the teacher's role as much as pouring
in statistics and other information.
Question: (Ms. Lu) Sometimes people who know that I come to this temple ask me why the students are so well-
behaved; they want to know if we beat them or punish them in
Answer: Quite the contrary, we force them in no way to conform to a value system that we ourselves do not observe.
No fighting is the first rule at our schools, and students learn
it by watching the teachers deal with each other and with the
students. The boarding students have a system whereby the
elders look after the juniors, serve them in the lunch line, and
guide them on the playing field. They learn to behave by
watching the adults live their lives. It puts a lot of pressure on
the adults to practice what we preach!