Soka Education: A Buddhist Vision for Teachers, Students and Parents
In this collection of addresses and proposals, Daisaku Ikeda brings a fresh perspective from which to view the ultimate purpose of education and its transformative processes.
"What our world most requires now,” he writes, “is the kind of education that fosters love for humankind,that develops character—that provides an intellectual basis for the realization of peace and empowers learners to contribute to and improve society."
Ikeda is founder of the Soka education system, which includes kindergartens in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Brazil, a complete school system in Japan as well as Soka University in Japan and the United States. His informed inquiry into educational reform spans the genesis of the university in the Middle Ages to the crisis in learning of our contemporary age.
In his lecture at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the author discusses the life and works of Japanese educator Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, founder and first president of the Soka educational society that later became the lay Buddist organization Soka Gakkai. Makiguchi, a contemporary of American educator John Dewey, conceived the principles and framework of Soka—or “value-creating”—education in the early 20th century. He asserted that the purpose of education is the lifelong happiness of learners.
Victor Kazanjian writes in his Foreword: “Drawing from the writings of philosophers and poets of all ages and places, Mr. Ikeda breathes new life into the ancient vision of education as the primary force for human liberation by applying these teachings to a contemporary context.”
Soka Education is also available in Danish, Italian and Sinhalese.
“Daisaku Ikeda restores heart to education. Envisioning education as a value-creative, peace-promoting process strongly rooted in a profound philosophical heritage, Ikeda’s practical prescription places students’ needs first, empowers teachers, and serves as a framework for global citizenship.”
—George David Miller, professor, Lewis University, author of Value, Peace and Wisdom: The Educational Philosophy of Daisaku Ikeda
“In this collection of his essays, Daisaku Ikeda once again demonstrates his commitment to the type of educational practice that honors innovation, discovery, and the creation of value. He demonstrates by example how the seeds of holistic and humanistic education can be nurtured, and how the flowers of peace, culture, and global citizenship can be cultivated. In the spirit of his predecessors, the great humanists Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and John Dewey, Mr. Ikeda reminds us that education and culture are prerequisites for individual and social growth.”
—Larry A. Hickman, Director, Center for Dewey Studies