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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Time to redefine education: Children need to be taught ‘How to think’ not ‘What to think’

Time to redefine education:  Children need to be taught ‘How to think’ not ‘What to think’

 “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

“Education” means: to draw out that which is within you, to make your potential actual, like you draw water from a well. Education should prepare you to be yourself. Education is a bridge between the potentiality and the actuality. Education is to help you to become that which you are only in a seed form. Education should give people better ways of life, how to live more totally and more intensely; better ways of loving, better ways of beautifying existence — without any comparison with others — just for your sheer contentment.

Swami Vivekananda points out that the defect of the present-day education is that it has no definite goal to pursue. A sculptor has a clear idea about what he wants to shape out of the marble block; similarly, a painter knows what he is going to paint. But a teacher, he says, has no clear idea about the goal of his teaching.

Right now education prepares you to be an imitator; it teaches you how to be like others. This is miseducation. Right education will teach you how to be yourself, authentically yourself. You are unique. There is nobody like you, has never been, will never be. This is a great respect that God has showered on you. This is your glory, that you are unique. Don’t become imitative, don’t become carbon copies. But that’s what your so-called education goes on doing: it makes carbon copies; it destroys your original face. But never, even by mistake, does it says to you, “Just be yourself; relax and enjoy your being, and bring your potential to its maximum unfoldment.”

Today, all education remains part of the mind; it does not make you more alert, more conscious, it simply fills you with information. It treats you like a computer. It gives you a livelihood, but it does not give you life, and it does not give you love. Our whole education system is based on giving ready-made answers. Because of those ready-made answers you never develop your intelligence; there is no need. You ask the question and a computer teacher answers them.

Education is not bringing peace and silence and blissfulness to people. There is something missing in it; it is only education in subjects which do not touch your interior being at all. They may make you doctors, engineers, professors, but they do not give you the insight that can create a good human in you. Why from outside, borrowed knowledge is being forced into the minds of innocent children.

You go on accumulating degrees and inside you remain empty. Your degrees can befool people, may even befool yourself, but you cannot have the joy, the blissfulness, the peace, the silence, and the compassion. And unless education has two wings, it cannot fly in the sky in total freedom. Right now it has only one wing; the other wing is missing. Why is it missing?

We need an education which is nonviolent, education which is not only informative but also transformative, an education that will make you more of an individual and bring the best in you to its flowering. “Know thyself” must be the most precious education, and then you can become acquainted with everything else.

One-third of our education should be concerned with livelihood; one-third of our education should be concerned with our well-being — body, health, ways to stay younger and live longer. And one-third — the last and the most important — should be concerned with love, with death, and the secrets of life itself. Only then will we have a wholesome education. And through that education, we can create a man and a society which will be healthy, youthful, loving, soulful, overflowing with joy, always ready to share with anyone — because nobody is a stranger on the earth; the whole earth is one family.

An education is complete when it is inner and outer both. We have to find a human kind of education in the world; the education that exists is very inhuman. We have to find ways so that children can play in the sun and still learn a little arithmetic. That can be done — once we know that arithmetic is not so important as playing in the sun, once that thing has been decided, then we can find ways. A little arithmetic can be taught, and a little is needed. Everybody is not going to become an Albert Einstein. And those who are going to become Albert Einstein, they won’t bother playing in the sun — their joy is arithmetic, that is their poetry. Then it is different, then it is totally different; then the growth is not hindered and guilt is not created.

“Real education need to bring out what is hidden in you… what God has put in you as a treasure… to discover it, to reveal it, to make you luminous. Education is to bring you from darkness to light.”

(Inspired by the Talks of Swami Vivekananda and Osho on education)

 

 

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Posted by on September 28, 2014 in Speeches and talks

 

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From Teaching to Thinking

We can learn from anybody and everybody in life.

Kunwar Shekhar VijendraKnowledge is not to be found outside. No teacher, no scripture can give it to you. It is inside you and if you wish to attain it, seek your own company. Be one with yourself.
Be curious… eager… and probing. Those who gone deeper have found the pearl.

Unfortunately, today our entire education is past-oriented. All our doctrines, ideas and ideals are taken from the past. That is what is dead and gone. We are trying to impose thousand years old things on the minds of our children.

There was a king who wanted to appoint a minister. An announcement was made that anybody who would solve the puzzle given by the king will become his minister. And
the puzzle was simple- there was a lock on the door of the Darbar, and the candidates were supposed to open that . But the lock was an odd one. Quite big and of such a shape as nobody had seen earlier… very futuristic. No teacher had ever taught about such a lock, no book had ever mentioned such a lock.

There was confusion now. Fear too. All three candidates who reached the final round wondered what to do.

The first one got up and asked the king for some time, as he wanted to go through his books; his notes that his teacher had given him in the class. But the poor chap never realized that he was taught only a part of the past.

The second one also asked the king for more time, as wanted to go and meet some lock picker… Some thieves, who knew how to break a lock and find solution to this enigma. But he too forgot that no one had ever picked a futuristic lock.

The third one was free from the pull of the past. He had a futuristic outlook towards knowledge; and he decided first to look at the lock. He wanted to feel the lock; he wanted to understand the problem more clearly. And then he touched the lock. And lo and behold! It was unlocked!! As if it was never keyed on!

We need to develop such an environment where past does not dominate the future; we need to provide an opportunity to students to think, to learn, and to experience on there own.

We need to stop teaching the story of hare and tortoise where the consistent but the slow one could only win. We need to teach the story of how we can win by identifying and utilizing our own unique inner strength.

I remember a story of the frog race. There was a race where the frogs had to run and climb a tree…. Frogs climbing trees is something unbelievable. Everybody was ready but had fear… and the race started….

All frogs were running fast, jumping high…. but there was a crowd, a crowd of those who never believed that frogs could ever climb. The crowd was shouting slogans, displaying their disbelief about the climbing ability of the frogs. “Stop you idiots… you can never climb a tree”, some shouted.

And suddenly frogs stopped. They were standing, they were confused and even some were smiling by themselves as if asking – `what an idiot I’m, how could I believe that I can climb a tree’.

But there was one… who was running, who was jumping and whom everybody in the crowd thought was gone mad. And to everyone’s surprise he climbed up the tree…. Yes, a frog climbed on the tree. An utter silence prevailed. Nobody could believe it. And then, suddenly everybody was clapping, everybody was shouting slogans that yes we knew that frogs could also climb the tree. They asked the winner how he could climb but the winner frog was not listening, and he actually didn’t listen because he couldn’t. He was deaf.

This is the secret of success, believe in yourself, don’t listen to the crowd, do what you are doing with confidence and you will win. Learn to speak dreams loud and share them with the world with proud.

Same is the case with the teachers, with administrators… Stop being critics of your students, of your team members; let them work, let them perform and they will give results for sure.

I have also observed a new behavioural tendency. If I am close to the boss I am also the boss. It is just like my driver claiming to be a boss as he is one person who works closely with me, who moves with me. Stop this approach. It will harm you. Be your own boss, be your own servant and you will find the results. You have to prove your worth to yourself. You have to be responsible to your responsibilities; don’t try to be a boss of others.

I thank all the teachers and my wonderful students to be a part of this journey of empowerment. Your success will only make us proud. You are our ambassadors and please ensure you remain one worthy of praise always.

My best wishes to all of you on Adarsh Teacher’s Day.

No, explanation is not needed – only exclamation, a wondering heart, awakened, surprised, feeling the mystery of life each moment. Then, and only then, you know what truth is. And truth liberate ~ Osho

(Excerpt of the talk delivered on Adarsh Teacher’s Day at Shobhit University Gangoh on 05 September, 2014)

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Speeches and talks

 

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