School Concept

The Green School
We Trust We Create We Care

Being based on human values, the school will be open to all, regardless of caste and creed. Hence it offers electives varying from languages such as Classical Arabic as well as Sanskrit, our link with the nation’s past; Heritage Walks that will make the city legible; practical Urban Farming that is a grassroot approach to greening the city, practice of Yoga to develop the kinesthetic sense essential for a healthy body’s self-awareness. Being co-educational, the school stresses on the equal right of both girls and boys to be educated; post-primary it is envisaged that it will branch off into separate schools for boys and girls as “co-educational schooling exacerbates students’ gendered perceptions of their own abilities.”
 
We Trust
The Trust Pledge: We nurture respect for elders and genuine care for young by having a healthy student/teacher/parent relationship based on trust.

At its core will be the respect for the family unit i.e the relationship between parents and their children based on irreducible respect and obedience towards the elder, respect and affection for the younger. Crucially it is founded on trust. The school partakes in this equation as a substitute family i.e. teachers as substitute parents.

Hence, the foundation of the school’s success is the demonstrable respect and obedience that the students have for the teacher and the actions of the teacher that are expressive of the affection and respect the teacher has for the students. When this equation is in place only then the stage is set for teaching and learning.

The school will also distinguish itself by the respect it shows to parents of the students irrespective of their class or creed. When the student witnesses a genuine respect for her parents by her teachers, it will reinforce her respect for elders, be they teachers or parents.

This family centric approach results, for instance, in:

a. Reinforcing parent-teacher councils and treating parents as resources and active partners in the child’s development with opportunities for parents to volunteer in school activities.

b. Restricting homework assignments as they steal away the child’s time with her family. Thus all student work will preferably take place in class. The only takeaways will be Test Review packages that it will be upto the students to use or not use.

c. In future provide guest rooms for parents who visit their children from rural areas to stay overnight with dignity.

We Create
The Create Pledge: We develop student in a balanced and wholesome way releasing their innate creativity to create leaders for the future.

As the future is not merely a projection of present trends, the school has the humility born of a healthy respect for an uncertain future that the past, the present and human intelligence cannot fully encompass. This will entail that the children are regarded as pioneers in an age that is yet to come and that they be equipped by the full-spectrum development of their God-endowed skills (that schooling and society unfortunately stultify).

To be a Renaissance person is the call of the future and pedagogically all the child’s Multiple Intelligences will be actively developed. The big challenge facing the deployment of human resources 'is how best to take advantage of the uniqueness conferred on us as a species exhibiting several intelligences'. To meet that challenge will necessitate unleashing the forces of creativity in the child and the ability of the teacher to see herself not as a micromanager but as a gardener who recognizes that the seed is already programmed to succeed in becoming a tree, all it needs is the right environment. Hence the teacher is someone who provides the right conditions in which learning can occur, recognizing that the word education comes from the root “educere” which means “to draw out.” In presence of the child, the teacher imbibes the humility of the gardener.

Humility is akin to modesty which will reflect in the design of the school uniforms of both boys and girls that is culturally and climatically appropriate.

We Care
The Care Pledge: We inculcate environmental concern in our students and staff: the need to take care of ourselves, our family, our city and our planet.

The school will be grounded on environmental consciousness, nurturing the attitude of being minimalists using minimal resources and of healing the earth. This will have overarching implication in both administration and teaching. Hence, the mainstream curriculum will be energized and enriched with this core ecological awareness.

The school has a green extension campus, not far from school, dedicated to organic farming. The plot will have designated self-harvesting subplots assigned to students and their parents. Urban farming is known to encourage health and nutrition and the social development of the neighbourhoods. We believe this will encourage families to use their home balconies and terraces for urban farming; a movement that leads to sustainability of cities by reducing their ecological footprint.

The school will endeavor to reinforce the connection between abstract knowledge and life of the individual student and the school organization as well as the immediate community surrounding the school. Recalling the divine dictum “do good, that you may succeed” the curriculum will include mandatory volunteer hours that the student, and his teacher, fulfills in a year (in the earlier years the child may volunteer to help his teachers and his parents). An appreciation of our city’s past will be gained through heritage walks, leading to caring for the city’s future.
 
Conclusion
A holistic outlook, founded on the unity of all creation, acknowledgment of the Creator and the service to His creation, reciprocal respect and trust across generations along with the nurturing of creativity, and a profound respect and care for our planet, city and family, will go towards constituting beneficial knowledge ie beneficial both to the individual student as well as to the whole society.

Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him) said : “God, His angels and all those in heavens and on earth, even ants in their hills and fish in the water call down blessings on those who teach others beneficial knowledge.”
H. Masud Taj 12-12-2012
Capital Educators Award 2011 Canada.
CUSA Teaching Excellence Award 2012 Canada.
“You can only be as good at teaching as your student is at learning, with your weakest student determining how good you really are and your strongest student leaving you wondering how good is good enough.”
 
 
I:- Sullivan, Alice "Academic self-concept, gender and single-sex schooling" British Educational Research Journal Vol. 35, No. 2, April 2009, pp. 259 – 288

II:- “And your lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful towards your parents.” Quran: Al Isra 23

III:- Howard Gardner has identified primarily eight intelligences: 1 and 2 have been traditionally valued in schools; 3-5 are associated with arts;
6-7 are what are called 'personal intelligences' and 8 has ecological implications:

1. Linguistic intelligence. Writers, poets, lawyers and speakers have high linguistic intelligence.

2. Logical-mathematical intelligence associated with scientific and mathematical thinking.

3. Musical intelligence. It runs structurally parallel to linguistic intelligence and is an aural counterpart of mathematical intelligence. The instrument can be restricted to percussion (daf).

4. Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence as mental and physical activity as related. Athletes have a high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence.

5. Spatial intelligence found in architects, geographers, animating artists etc.

6. Interpersonal intelligence. Educators, salespeople, religious and political leaders and counselors have developed interpersonal intelligence.

7. Intrapersonal intelligence is a working model of ourselves, and its utilization regulate our lives. It is well developed in those that lead examined lives eg. Visionaries, philosophers.

8. Naturalist intelligence is what human beings use to orient themselves in, recognize and leverage upon selected features of the environment.
IV:- Gardner, Howard (1999) Intelligence Reframed. Multiple intelligences for the 21st century, New York: Basic Books. p.45
V:- This stance of being minimalists hearkens back to the astute remark by the Prophet (pbuh) that even if you do your ablutions in a flowing river ie endless resource of water, you yet use only as much as you need to fulfill cleansing and not a drop more. Imam Ahmad No. 6768 and Ibn Maajah No.419.
VI:- The Prophet (pbuh) referring to the whole of earth as a mosque. Sahih Bukhari No.335.
VII:- The Green School, true to its stance will work towards being housed in its own green building that will aid in:

Performance: A healthy building enhances students’ performance and helps create healthier learning environments that lower illness and absenteeism, even among the faculty and staff and contributes to greater retention of students and faculty.
Pedagogy: The school building itself becomes a teaching tool for projects on environmental responsibility. It is a case of architecture contributing to the curriculum to achieve the goal of beneficial knowledge.
Propagation:
The students can make presentation of a virtual tour of the building to their community to propagate the green attitude. The curriculum will include mandatory volunteer hours that the student, and his teacher, fulfills in a year (in the earlier years the child may volunteer to help his teachers and his parents).
VIII:- Quran 22:77 (part)
VII:- Al Tirmidhi 1392
VIII:- Prof. Taj, Carleton Now award interview; August 2011.