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Virtues Practice Classes

The Western philosophical tradition and philosophy of education convey significant ambivalence about emotions. In Plato's Phaedrus, for example, excessive emotions were depicted as the "bad horse" of the soul in the allegory of the charioteer, and who could only be managed through the cultivation of reason.

Subsequent emotional management apparatuses emphasized 

  • aesthetics – the development of taste as a means of taming coarse emotions
  • intelligence – a variant of reason, as in recent trends emphasizing “EQ” in an impulse to measure emotional cognition 
  • and, in education, learning 

Psychology distinguishes between affect as emotional expression and mood as something a patient experiences. As such, a patient’s affect might be incongruent with their mood.

Buddhist practice posits mastery of observation free from judgment as a vehicle of deeper awareness. PBA's interest is to develop a Buddhist approach to the awareness and practice of various affects as a matter of skillful means to effect peace in one's community. Because of this, the school developed a series of classes focused specifically on the development and practice of specific virtues important in Buddhism but universally accepted as desirable qualities. Currently, that sequence includes:

  Semester 1 Semester 2
9th grade

Buddhist Basics

EQ

Buddhist Basics

Compassion

10th grade

Interdependence

Courage

Human Sexuality

11th grade Creativity

Conflict

Gratitude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall learning goals for the Virtues Practice classes are:

  • To develop a focused curricular approach to PBA’s spiritual education
  • To enhance student awareness of and skills in the affective domain generally
  • To promote student self-awareness, empathy and the ability to nurture peace