Celebrate Tagore With a Poem about Schools


Rabindranath Tagore

Express India alerted me to the fact that Amanora School, a part of the Pearson Schools chain, today commemorated the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore by organising a function titled “Celebrating Tagore”. Various competitions were held based on the works of Tagore-impressions and brought out the creative skills of children. The students took the audience on a historical journey with tableaux on Tagore’s contributions during the pre-independence era of the freedom struggle. The cultural inter-school competition for all age-groups began with a musical, art and cultural extravaganza on Tagore.
The celebration reminded me of Tagore’s poem 35, from Gitanjali.  It’s a prayer for India but I think it works quite well for a school:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge if free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
Into that heaven of freedom, may Father, let my country awake.

Sounds like a great school, doesn’t it? I love the plug for interdisciplinary studies (not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls) and real rigor over busy work (clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit). It all starts with a culture devoid of fear.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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