Humankind is at a crossroads, and we are without doubt active participants in the evolution of life on Earth. The crisis witnessed in the world today is not just one of our civilizations, but one of evolution itself, and which path we choose to walk together will unfold a different future for our planet.

 

This reality is the foundation of the work of Sri Aurobindo, Indian philosopher, yogi and leader in India’s movement for independence from British rule. He envisioned a new education, Integral Education, to equip the next generations with a growing consciousness and an increasing universality to actively guide evolution towards sustainability in every aspect of our existence.  

 

Education for sustainable development must not just strive for a change in human life, but in human nature itself. To build a sense of interconnectedness and responsibility between all peoples and lifeforms as part of a greater whole, in mind and action. Mainstream education is continuing to educate the children of the world towards the competitive and segregating values of the capitalist society, with the purpose of economic growth.

 

Integral education is not an alternative education model adjusting within this mindset, but a completely new way of looking at what education needs to serve to build a better humanity. Research in Integral Education requires us to let go of all that we are conditioned to know as education, and rethink and recreate education from its foundations. 

Through an Integral Education the development of all the parts of the being is addressed, building an inner awareness that can empower each individual to become a conscious leader of their own growth and actions. It is not teaching of curricular content, but offering opportunity to develop the faculties of our human consciousness.

 

By becoming active participants in deepening the awareness of the self, also brings with it a growing understanding of others, and of nature, and the inter-dependence of all things. This is the expansion needed to work towards human unity and sustainable development on our planet, becoming leaders of our own evolution. Integral Education is a gift from Mother India to the World, with this purpose.   

So how do we develop our consciousness? This can take endless forms, as each of the faculties of our consciousness  and the instruments of our mind require different types of work and stimulation to bring them to the forefront of our awareness.

Thinking: What is thinking? How do we become conscious in our thoughts? How do we silence our mind, develop concentration, attention and memory?

Seeing: What is seeing? How do we see? How do we develop physical sight, subtle vision, apprehensive cognition and photographic memory?

Hearing: What is hearing? How do we develop physical hearing, subtle hearing and comprehensive cognition? 

Communication: How to speak consciously? How do we develop recognition of intention and context? How do we develop communication skills?

Vital (energy): Cognition of emotions, feelings and sensations. Awareness and discrimination of experiences. Develop dynamism and creativity. Negotiation of stress, fear, anger, lust, greed and desire. 

Body: What is body awareness? Work to perfect the body, and develop skills like plasticity, flexibility and endurance.  Awareness of how to nourish the body, and negotiation of habits, inertia, desires and illness. 

Exploration of the practice of Integral Education began at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, and later in Auroville international township, Tamil Nadu, and has now spread across India and the world. For this new, transformative aim of education and learning, novel methods, structures and tools need to be created, experimented with, and shared. 

Aurogames isn't just a game, it is an educational tool created for this purpose. The original Aurogames prototypes were created by AuroCulture (Helga Ahy). Her adventure in game creation began in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the 1970s and continued in Auroville where she moved in the 1990s. She worked on inspiration until a game materialized. She created over 30 beautiful handmade game prototypes. In 2015 she handed over the game prototypes to our team in Auroville, to be explored with children, developed further, and shared with the world. She followed the work with enthusiasm until her passing in 2020. 

 

Through research, the game prototypes are developed further as a range of leveled games and activities. These educational materials nurture the imaginative mind. Puzzles that can be put together in endless ways in a kaleidoscopic manner. Exploration with the games develops the muscle of the mind to realize how the whole can change endlessly depending on the placement and orientation of its parts. It brings attention to detail, and how this affects the creation of the whole pattern.

 

Playing with Aurogames integrates the development of our consciousness, in areas like: concentration, memory, attention, analytic skills, patience, perseverance, mathematical thinking, cooperation, imagination, plasticity, creativity, visual and spatial perception, acuity, orientation, and flexibility.

 

Although Aurogames were originally developed for children, we have seen that they are beneficial for people of all ages. For young children they introduce new concepts and expand the mind, for elderly they help keep the mind's agility and support memory. They encourage people to learn in an atmosphere of equality, respect, and harmony.

The team:

 

We live in the international town of Auroville in South India. The idea of Auroville is to experiment with the possibility of Human Unity, where people from all over the world, with different cultural backgrounds, can grow individually and collectively. 

 

When building a city of the future - a city of peace, sustainability, and human unity - education has a central place.    We work with research to support the emergence of an Integral Education that will empower young people to grow up with values and awareness to manifest change, awakening each individual to his/ her full potential. This is where our passion lies.


Maya Shakti - Research and Aurogames project coordination

Maya has worked in the field of education for more than 25 years and is presently doing research on the practice of Integral Education in Auroville. She also works with teacher training,  game development and design. During 7 years she has deepened in Integral Education through applied research and facilitation in The Learning Community, an educational project in Auroville. Prior to her work in Auroville, she worked as a class teacher in public Montessori schools in Sweden. She has a B.Ed. in Science of Education (Mathematics/Science with a thesis on Freedom in education), a B.Ed. in Pedagogy (Montessori/Integral Education/Learning Study with a thesis on Integral Education) and an M.A. in Education for Sustainable Development with a thesis on Integral Education. 

Ishay Botbol - Digital creative 

Developing (project management) of Aurogames from physical game prototypes into the revolution of the digital world, Ishay works with digital strategy development that meets the needs of the present without compromising future, user interface, creativity, the visuality of the game, and marketing. He has a B.Ed. F.A. in Digital Media and Photography.

Sara Madaschi - Facilitation of game sessions

Since 2013 Sara has been working as an educator in Auroville, first in the kindergarten, and presently with applied research on the practice of Integral Education in The Learning Community.  She also facilitates Aurogames play sessions. She has many years of experience working with children with special needs and has done various training in the field. She has a B.Ed. in Science of Education (with a thesis on Integral Education with a particular focus on Awareness Through the Body - ATB). 

Sara Sponza - Facilitation of game sessions

Sara joined the Aurogames team in 2021, and is training to become an independent facilitator. She offers game sessions to children. 

Veronique Jobard - Game development and facilitation of game sessions

Veronique joined the Aurogames team in 2022. She is a passionate gamer and a fan of puzzles since her own childhood. Since many years she organizes game sessions for adults and children thanks to a collection of almost 70 games that she has collected. She has created many board games, which she paints on boards, tables, fabric, rocks, using natural or recycled objects for pawns and other accessories. Her training is the animation of creative workshops with children of all ages. Her love for games comes from the fact that in every adult lives an inner child who only dreams of playing and having fun. She has started her journey of exploring Aurogames, offering game sessions to children and elderly, and is taking part in furthering the development of the original Aurogame prototypes.

Paula Caesar - Resource person

Paula has worked as a class teacher in a Transition school in Auroville for over 15 years. She has also worked with research and development of Aurogames, offering game sessions, and training for facilitators. She is a registered nurse,  has a B.A. in Psychology,  a Diploma in Ayurveda, and has done training in Neuro Dramatic Play and Awareness Through the Body (ATB).

Online game development

By Softnet, https://softnet.auroville.org/

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