During our educational careers, many of us had an abundance of what we refer to in our VTE Teacher Training Courses as negative learning experiences. Perhaps the majority of these negative learning experiences, which are referred to as such because they don’t encourage learning, but rather impede it, revolved around assessment.
Remember those dreaded final exams?
Don’t worry, the assessments in our courses are completely different than what you have ever experienced before. Our teachers stress that when you go through the assessment process, you are simply engaging in devotion service by diving deeply into the nectar of Srila Prabhupada’s books and trying your best to understand and apply our Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy.
We don’t publicize the results of the assessments, but rather the results are between teacher and you and are dealt with in such a way as to assist you in learning and assimilating this transcendental knowledge. As a result, our process of assessment does not encourage you to do well on exams to achieve profit, distinction and adoration, but rather encourages you to make spiritual advancement. Our assessment process is wholistic in that it addresses the knowledge, understanding values, and skills you require to be effective preachers, teachers and leaders within Srila Prabhupada’s movement.
Remember how we used to “cram for exams” filling our heads with useless knowledge, answering from rote memory on the exam, and then forgetting what we learned the next day? What a waste…
In our assessment process, only 40% of the assessment mark is based upon memory and recall which includes sloka memorization. You will undergo oral assessment on the slokas, which is how you will use the slokas in your preaching. In another 5% of the assessment mark, you will keep track of your own sadhana practices, and as a result, most of our students have the best sadhana of anyone in Mayapur. After experiencing deep taste from these practices, most students upon graduation continue to make these strong sadhana practices an integral part of their devotional lives.
You can find out more about the specifics of the Bhakti-sastri Course assessment in the Preliminary Self-study guide and during the orientation at our campus in Mayapur, but in summary, you will be assessed on the basis of your devotional knowledge, understanding, skills and values. The assessment will be a very important and positive aspect of your devotional learning experience from which you will achieve deep happiness. You may not get straight A’s, but you certainly will get a lot of transcendental bliss.
You can read about the Bhaktivaibhava Course assessment in the Preliminary Self-study guide for each Module.