This coming Saturday will be the first ever Soka Education workshop (to my knowledge) in Denver, and I am honored at having been asked to be a part of the planning committee. So, in the true spirit of a blog, I take a break from my Lost Apple Core series of posts and begin reporting on the event now. To be honest, I am feeling more than a little stressed. The whole thing is being put together in a very short order of time. Optimally, there should have been weeks for planning, rather than days. The overall event will consist of multiple workshops related to peace, culture and education. Our workshop is specifically related to Soka philosophy. Rather than prepare a lecture style program, my team felt it would b better to involve participants directly in a Soka, or value-creative learning process. As a result, we are preparing a genuine workshop rooted in dialogue, and with plenty of opportunities for questions and answers.
One of the first questions people ask when introduced to Soka Education is whether or not it is a curriculum. How do you teach in a Soka style? For better or worse (I think better), there is no easy answer. Soka is not a curriculum, but it is a pedagogy. How it can and should be applied varies by time and place. Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, the creator of Soka, developed a complete philosophy of education, but did so in the context of early twentieth century Japan. What is remarkable in reading Makiguchi is just how applicable his views are to contemporary American education, but an approach, or method of instruction is something American Soka educators are just beginning to develop. It is my hope that our workshop will further these efforts that much more. In the meantime, please enjoy the links embedded herein and look forward to reports throughout the conference weekend.