Ikeda Center Interviews Soka Education Scholar
The Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, recently interviewed Gonzalo Obelleiro, a doctoral student of philosophy and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Obelleiro is working on a dissertation "to introduce the perspective of Soka education into the already serious, dynamic, and diverse conversations on cosmopolitanism and education."
In the interview, Obelleiro shared his views on the moral, social and aesthetic dimensions of Soka education, especially as developed by Tsunesaburo Makiguchi. He notes Makiguchi "favored the idea of teachers and students as co-learners in the educational process, and was committed to the dialogical mode of learning . . . He wanted the student, from a very young age, to engage with the challenges of problem solving and finding alternative, creative responses to the problems we find in everyday life."
This creative approach and its "capacity to create new values when necessary," the Argentine scholar believes, is imperative at a time people must respond to and act upon the global issues of the modern era. "The goal is not the rejection of tradition, but critical engagement with it, to determine optimal solutions," he explains.
Obelleiro concludes that the "best education is liberating and transformative . . . Education can enable us to find meaning in our experience and existence. But this occurs only when we—teachers and students alike—engage in the educational process with our whole being."
[Read the full interview at: http://www.ikedacenter.org/thinkers-themes/thinkers/interviews/obelleiro]
[Adapted from a June 2010 interview of Gonzalo Obelleiro by Mitch Bogen of the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue, USA]