Posted in general, mythoughts

Education – 3

Intelligence plus Character – that is the goal of true education

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Education means to inculcate good qualities in Human Beings.

Education makes a human being.

Education, today, is bread oriented. It teaches a person to become a good engineer, a good doctor, a good Chartered Accountant. But it does not teach the human being to be a good father or a good son.

They learn from their teachers less and parents more.

Actually when I think that education should imbibe qualities in a human being, in todays context, it becomes quite impossible to do all the things that is expected of it. As kids stay at school for just 6 to 7 hours. The rest of the hours, the kids are at home.

Do parents complement todays education?

Do they give such an atmosphere that the child can grow and develop?

It is always easy to pass on the blame than take it on us. But today we need to think about what we are doing as parents. Paying up the school and class fees just does not suffice.

Spending time with kids and playing with them is also a very important part of their life and upbringing. I still remember my grandmother, my neighbour telling me stories of Ram and Krishna in my childhood days and they have played a big role in shaping my thoughts and life. My mother was always there for me and always helping me find new and new books. She not only inculcate the habit of reading in me, she thought me my mother tongue,(Gujarati) as I studied in a Convent school. I see my wife doing the same for our kids.

After all this, it is also the atmosphere the child stays in and takes decision of what to pick up and what not. He needs guidance even there, and we peers need to be present at all such times.

So, in all, education begins at home and should continue in school and society.

And it is not only the responsibility of the school or school teachers only. Only thing is that we all need to play our part sincerely and honestly. This would help us all to make good citizens and better human beings.

Let us all be responsible.

Let us all learn.

Let us all develop.

Let us all become good fathers and good sons.

Let us all become good human beings.

Posted in general, mythoughts

Education – 2

Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man – Swami Vivekanand.

Continuing from my last blog, where we were talking about curiosity. Am attaching the link of the last blog just for reference.

https://ameetkothari.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/education-1/

The next part is that education removes vices. Was thinking over it that how can education have a negative definition; actually it should have been education means one which draws out the hidden virtues with a person.

But sometimes to build a positive narrative, we need to understand its opposing negative part. This helps in making our understanding about a subject as a whole.

We begin with a simple vice, laziness. Who doesnt love to be lazy? But it is not a virtue at all. I still remember my dad switching on all the lights of the house early even on a sunday or even in vacation. I didnt like it then, but thank him now at my age for imbibing the quality of diligence, at that age, which is helping me now. Now I feel that early morning schools are always a better option than afternoon schools as they leave the whole day free for kids to play and study.

Let us take another one like anger. But the educationists need to talk about patience and compassion. Patience is the key to success. It is the impatience in today’s lives that is the root cause of major problems in our lives. We need to be taught to learn to be patient. “Jam yesterday, Jam tomorrow, but no Jam today” – is a sentence we all will remember learning at school or home. Compassion comes with maturity, but that is possible if one has learnt to patient.

We can go on discussing many such vices which need to be substituted with a virtue, for example greed – generosity, pride – modesty / humility, jealousy – gratitude and so on.

Now we come to our question that does today’s education helps us do this or rather makes us do this? The clear answer is NO.

Frankly today education has nothing to do with character building, it is just career – making and bread oriented. Ethics and values do not form a part of the curriculum. Economics goes to the extent of saying ethics has no part to play in economics. Now if this is the state of education in our country, why expect loyalty or ethical behaviour in our society.

So we need to find a solution to this. Right now the onus is on the parents to impart value education to their kids which sometimes is overlooked in case of working parents or parents having only a money-minded attitude. Also the society as a whole need to sit back and think about this.

Let us, parents and teachers, together find a solution to this

Let us draw out the hidden qualities with our child so that he / she can become a better son / daughter, a better father / mother , a better brother / sister and so on…

And that is the reason I began my blog with Swamiji’s sentence that these things are already there inside, we need to draw them out…

To be continued…

Posted in mythoughts

Education – 1

Education means to “to draw out”.

To draw out questions, to draw out vices in life and to draw out the already imbibed yet undrawn (hidden) qualities in a human being.

Keeping in context with the above definition, let us have a fair discussion about the same. First I raise a few questions.

Does our Education encourage curiosity?

Does our Education remove the vices from our life?

Does our education inculcate good qualities in us?

There can be many questions but I will stick to the above mentioned three.

Curiosity (the art of asking questions) is an inborn characteristic of a human being. It is out of curiosity, that human kind has developed and progresses to where it is. From the Stone age to the artificial intelligence age, it is this curious nature which has kept the humankind going and growing.

It is this curiosity which helped man discover the art of lighting a fire to lighting a bulb.

It is this curiosity which helped humankind, transcend the shackles of earth and even the solar system and move beyond it.

It is this curiosity that helped him looked outside as well as inside.

It is this curiosity which helped him to move to broad mindedness from narrow mindedness.

Does today’s education do this? The plain answer is yes and no both. The courses are designed in such a way that they do support a few questions coming to our minds. The teachers are well trained but do not have the time to answer each and every query of their students as they need to finish their portion in a stipulated time. So this acts as a hindrance in teaching.

Some schools, I have seen do not cover the whole portion and do a few chapters during the year, so at least the topics that are taught are taught nicely and at length. But then the other parts not covered are left behind, so the students missed out being exposed to them.

Also students learn in language that they do not speak at home. They think in their mother tongue and learn and write in another language which again psychologically possess a big problem. The problem of finding correct words to express themselves possess a problem due to lack of knowledge of words. At the same time we also know that learning different languages from a small age helps a lot. I know from my own example that from my childhood days, I was exposed to Gujarati (my mother tongue), Marathi, Hindi and English (my medium of learning). Later was exposed to French, Urdu and Kutcchi (a local dialect). Due to this it has helped me communiacte easily with people around me and understand them too.

According to psychologists there are 5 dimensions of curiosity:

1. Joyous Exploration – this is the prototype of curiosity – the recognition and desire to seek out new knowledge and information, and the subsequent joy of learning and growing. 

2. Deprivation Sensitivity – this dimension has a distinct emotional tone, with anxiety and tension being more prominent than joy – pondering abstract or complex ideas, trying to solve problems, and seeking to reduce gaps in knowledge.

3. Stress Tolerance – this dimension is about the willingness to embrace the doubt, confusion, anxiety, and other forms of distress that arise from exploring new, unexpected, complex, mysterious, or obscure events.

4. Social Curiosity – wanting to know what other people are thinking and doing by observing, talking, or listening in to conversations.

5. Thrill seeking – the willingness to take physical, social, and financial risks to acquire varied, complex, and intense experiences.

It is education which will help us inculcate these 5 dimensions in ourselves and our kids. The pshycologisys further go on to say that from their experiments, they have found evidence of 4 types of curious people:

1. The Fascinated – high on all dimensions of curiosity, particularly Joyous Exploration

2. Problem Solvers – high on Deprivation Sensitivity, medium on other dimensions 

3. Empathizers – high on Social Curiosity, medium on other dimensions

4. Avoiders – low on all dimensions, particularly Stress Tolerance

So now let’s decide how we want to be? How do we want to mould our life and that of our kids? And how can education help us with all this.

Shouldn’t we think together?