On Education

July 22nd, 2009  |  Published in Philosophy

On Education

It is important for children to learn in school about ethics, morals and philosophy in general.

Learning is not just the mere cultivation of memory and accumulation of knowledge, but the capacity to think clearly without illusion, to start from facts and not beliefs and ideals.

There is no real learning if all thoughts originate from conclusions. To merely acquire information is not to learn. Learning implies the love of understanding and the love of doing a thing for itself.

Again, intelligence is not the cultivation of memory but the capacity to deal with life as a whole.

Most parents and educators are concerned only with the cultivation of some superficial knowledge that will secure their children a respectable position in society, a degree that will assure them of a livelihood; a successful career. They frighten or affectionately bully them into acquiring knowledge, and so the school-books become very important; and with it the mere cultivation of memory, the mere repetition of facts, without the quality of real thought behind it.

Students and learned men of every kind and every age go as a rule in search for information, not insight. Information however is merely a means towards insight and possesses little value in itself.

Most students learn to earn money. They do not strive for wisdom but for the appearance of it and to be credited with it.

It is from Dilettantes however, and not from wage-earners, that the greatest things have come.

A child’s natural curiosity, the urge to learn, exists from the very beginning, and surely this should be intelligently encouraged continually. If this eagerness to learn is encouraged in the child at all times; then studying will not be a problem. Learning is facilitated when there is an atmosphere of happy affection and thoughtful care.

An educator must understand that in cultivating intelligence there must be a sense of freedom.

The feeling of being secure in a relationship is a primary need of children. Students need to feel secure in their relationships with their teacher. Not dependent.

A child who feels secure has his own natural ways of expressing the respect which is essential for learning.

A child needs to learn not to deal just with intellectual issues but also with emotional issues.

Teaching is not the mere imparting of information but the cultivation of an inquiring mind.

The educator must be concerned from the beginning with humility, gentleness, consideration, courtesy and patience. Modesty and courtesy are innate in a person of right education.

Teaching is the noblest of all professions – if it can be called a profession at all. It is an art that requires not just intellectual attainments, but infinite patience and love. To be truly educated is to understand our relationship to all things – to people, to nature, to property – in the vast field of our existence.

If education were left to liberty, we would be teaching our children the ideas of great thinkers and philosophers.

Experience without philosophy is blind. 

(above from Kant, Krishnamurti, Schopenhauer and Marquard)

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