When working in Sri Lanka we were approached by the Galle Education Department who invited Graham Peebles (the Create Trust director) to give an introductory talk at the Rahuna Teacher Training College. This led to series of sessions with trainee teachers and staff, discussing a range of subjects; creative thinking, freedom of thought, competition, conditioning and fear.
Training programmes aimed at teachers, parents and social workers, were designed flowing from the talks to explore and establish - through informal discussions - the broad, underlying principles of education and to identify the factors, which stimulate the free-thinking that promotes initiative and creativity.
There are a great many problems facing humanity, both individually and collectively and of course the two are not separate. Throughout the world the importance of education as a means, perhaps the means, of solving our difficulties is increasingly recognised.
Educational reform is under discussion in many countries: 'new' creative ways of teaching, a greater understanding of our-selves and by extension of the student's in our care is required. Creative thinking, allowing teachers to deliver subjects in stimulating ways that inspire and energize students, instilling hope and self belief are essential if the children of today are to find within themselves the resources needed to re-shape society.
Creative thinking, we could say is, thinking freed from conditioning: it is an expansive movement of the mind in which intelligence flowers naturally. An intelligence unrestricted by the limitations of knowledge based upon tradition, culture, ideology, religious or political dogma - conditioning.
An intelligence which has its roots in Love, not sentimental love, nor a transient emotional feeling which we mistakenly name as love, but rather that universal state of being which makes itself felt when the noise of the self is no more. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, Love is our goal.
All involved should approach the programme in the spirit of mutual investigation. For their to be significant educational development, the teachers themselves at all levels need to strengthen their understanding of themselves and consequently of those in their care, it has been said that it is in fact 'the teachers who need teaching' in order for the students to appropriately learn. This programme is an attempt to aid in that process.
The programme should be seen as an opportunity for group enquiry, the only authority in such an endeavor should be the authority of mutual understanding. For there to be sustained fundamental change within society the attitudes of those who make up the society need to develop, the training programmes we are formulating are an attempt to support that movement and, as a group to discover a new method of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable members of our society.