On education

I have reproduced verbatim, an email from Ananthuji of Navadarshanam, forwarding a thought provoking article by David Orr. The quality & thougtfulness of Ananthuji’s emails are always very good and nice. Good content, worth reflecting on…

—— begin quote —–

Dear friends,

We educated people naturally assume that education is a good thing. We always strive to give our children the best possible education. Educating the poor and illiterate is often seen as a great social service.

But is education the way it is currently structured all that good? Prof. Ramachandra Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi as well as Rajaji, and a great educator himself, had once bemoaned our stress on the three Rs (Reading, Writing and Arithmetic), and suggested that these need to be replaced by a stress on the three Es – Ethics, Ecology and Enlightenment.

Another well-known educator, David Orr, has recently raised similar fundamental questions about the nature of our education.

I am reproducing his article below in the hope and belief that you will find it of interest.
Trustee, Navadarshanam Trust
What Is Education For? Six myths about the foundations of modern education, and six new principles to replace them – by David Orr
One of the articles in The Learning Revolution (IC#27) Winter 1991, Page 52, Copyright (c)1991, 1996 by Context Institute .

—— end quote —–

In Context magazine is truly one of the nicest things that ever happened (during 80s and 90s) and its web presence, tastefully captures every word of it. Peruse at your leisure, the back volumes, at the context institute website.

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  • Jayashree Janardhan  On February 16, 2009 at 10:47 am

    “To draw out what is within. That is education that shall set us free.” Please do read Aurobindo’s or the Mother’s thoughts on education. Based on which ….
    I want to point out that we often quote mostly western thouhgts on education. The depth found in writings on education in the different spiritual traditions within India or the east or even traditional texts such as the Upanishads have said the above for ages.

    • Ramjee Swaminathan  On February 16, 2009 at 11:18 am

      I agree with you in toto. 🙂 Thanks for bringing up this point. Amazing, only a few days back, I was harranguing a visitor about ‘Savitri’ – I suppose you have read it too. I haven’t read much on/by Mirra, and I suppose I should.

      Going slightly away, my opinion on ‘Indian’ education and education in general changed when I read ‘The Beautiful Tree’ by Dharampal a couple of decades back or so. I strongly recommend that ANYONE who is even remotely concerned with education, read it. 🙂

      The points about Upanishads are very valid and apt too as also the servile seeking of occidental approvals – I see a rant welling up in me too – but shall reserve it for a later post. 🙂

      Jayashree, I suggest that you post a well thought out and presented article detailing your point of view. It would be nice to read and reflect upon… What do you think?

      (and thanks for your views)

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