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

28 Sep
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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