Key Elements of Soka Education
“Knowledge alone cannot give rise to value. It is only when knowledge is guided by wisdom that value is created. The font of wisdom is found in the following elements: an overarching sense of purpose, a powerful sense of responsibility and, finally, the compassionate desire to contribute to the welfare of humankind.” (From The University of the 21st Century-Cradle of World Citizens Commemorating the First Commencement Ceremony of Soka University of America, Aliso Viejo, held on its campus, on May 22, 2005)
Senior High School
The first 12 years of schooling is thought to be the period during which students most substantially build and deepen their character. Each student’s individuality becomes apparent, while their mind seeks ever more knowledge. Because of this, teachers use resourceful approaches to enable students to gain the strength to think and practically transform knowledge into wisdom, and truth into value. This is also a time when students often begin developing a vision of their own future. The school strives to create opportunities for students to ask themselves for what purpose they are studying and how they can make use of knowledge, so that they can achieve self-realization.
Junior High School
The junior high school years are known to be a time during which students awaken to a deeper sense of self, and it is seen, in essence, as a type of second awakening. For this reason, the school works to provide the students with a deeper sense of responsibility and attempts to deepen the student’s global understanding of the world. Through a wide array of experiences, whether through conducting experiments, making art or doing physical activities, the school’s teaching style enables students to become aware of the importance of cooperating with and respecting others.
While the school focuses on enabling students to acquire basic knowledge, it uses a creative approach to help students enjoy learning and to increase their discipline and will to learn. Making full use of the natural environment, the school nurtures students’ intellectual curiosity and seeking minds through the observation and cultivation of animals and plants in their immediate environment. The school also encourages students to actively engage in reading, learning languages, arts and sports to cultivate a rich sensibility. These educational practices foster in each student the wisdom to interact and coexist with their environment, while creating value.