One of my(Pooja) dearest friends recently started her own blog: www.edumodels.ca. Roopa and I have been best friends for almost twenty years. We are both educators and can discuss our views on education for hours on end. Her most recent post was so beautiful, I decided to re-blog it here. She reflects on book written by J. Krishnamurti (philosopher/educator): Education and the Significance of Life. I have not yet read this text, but after reading Roopa’s blog post, it is at the top of my reading list.
Below is an excerpt from Roopa’s blog:
Taking an important step (leap!) back, Krishnamurti pushes us to think fundamentally about the purpose of education, and focuses on the importance of self-knowledge and individual freedom. In a chapter on “The Right Kind of Education” he expands:
The purpose of education is to cultivate right relationship, not only between individuals, but also between the individual and society; and that is why it is essential that education should, above all, help the individual to understand his/her own psychological process. Intelligence lies in understanding oneself and going above and beyond oneself.
In addressing the danger of setting ideals for children (whether in educational institutions, or as parents), and in conditioning them, Krishnamurti makes his views clear:
The right kind of education consists in understanding the child without imposing upon her an ideal of what we think she should be. To enclose her in the framework of an ideal is to encourage her to conform, which breeds fear and produces in her the constant conflict between what she is and what she should be; and all inward conflicts have their outward manifestations in society.. If a child lies for example, of what value is it to put before her the ideal of truth? One has to find out why she is telling lies. To help the child, one has to take time to study and observe her, which demands patience, love and care.
Krishnamurti’s emphasis on the primary importance of self-understanding; the secondary importance of technique and profession; and the understanding of the individual child, all resonate very strongly with me. In practice, I’m curious as to how this plays out at the Krishnamurti schools; and I will follow up with a post on the schooling Krishnamurti called for later this week!
To read Roopa’s entire blog post as well as her previous posts, click below: