Shifting Perspectives to Education – Part 2
Posted on: September 6, 2019.

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The Socratic method of ancient Greece and the Gurukul system of the ancient Vedic traditions of India have inspired modern day facilitation styles of learning, by reflecting on these traditions, and by inquiry-based learning, which was developed in the 1960’s and is currently now taking hold in mainstream public education, worldwide.

Then, there are religion-based schools and independent schools who are trying different approaches, but they usually conform to the government standard when it comes to final examinations so that students can be ranked and offered placements in higher education or employment.

Yes, there is one more critical component in the 21st century—which was not there in earlier times—and that is technology. In fact, media is by far the leading educator of children today, TV being the main source. A major subject offered to children in ‘TV Media School’ is ‘violence’. The second subject high on the list for all in the curriculum is ‘sex’, and the third and fourth major subjects being ‘material consumerism’ and ‘alcohol’.

So, what values are we imparting to our children through media education?

And why are we surprised that children are blasé about these things and disillusioned about what we offer them?

What is our personal and societal vision for our children’s education?

These are questions we can all ask…

What next?

We all know that the manufacturing model of education of the 19th and 20th centuries is no longer adequate for education in the 21st century, yet we still need to work on an approach that offers education for everyone.

We also need to impart skills, knowledge, and training. There is room for it, face-to-face and online. In fact, this is what most of current day education is all about – skills training for specific jobs/careers.

But we also know there is a higher dimension to education, offering an ongoing holistic learning and evolution through life, a development of wisdom and guidance towards a fulfilling existence. For that, we need to implement child-centred and heart-centred approaches.

“Rajaji” C. Rajagopalachari, once said, “Every child has an individual genius. The role of a teacher is to uncover that genius.”

The word “education” comes from the Latin word “educare” meaning to ‘draw out’. So, in the higher view of education, we are not merely supposed to feed knowledge to the children, but instead uncover their genius and let it blossom, let their consciousness and the higher dimensions of their minds expand.

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