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HOLISTIC EDUCATION : A NEW PARADIGM FOR TEACHING        

 

                  Aim of Education: Personality Integration, Creative Intelligence

                                       and Enlightenment or 'Happiness'

 

Theme: The aim of education in the fullest and deepest sense of the word is to foster natural human psychological growth and development for personal maturity of moral consciousness or 'conscience' in conjunction with the unfolding of human potential in conditions of personal freedom as inner freedom. Mature rational conscience as the 'human spirit' provides the acute sense of responsibility to oneself and to others. It is the defining characteristic of the nature of the human personality or 'human nature'. Complete actualisation of human nature or 'humanisation' is human 'awakening', 'enlightenment' or 'happiness' as a function of the cultivation and development of both reason of understanding and wisdom of compassion to result in moral or 'spiritual' intelligence which is perceptive, intuitive creative and therefore effectively adaptive. The cultivation of creative intelligence emerges from authentic meaningful experiential learning as a function of motivation driven by intrinsic psychological motives of learning behaviour or 'human needs. Intrinsic motivation of humanised individuals is required for creative and effective adaptation... adaptability... to changes in the social environment upon which species survival depends. In light of these principles it is necessary to find a new model for educational practice or more precisely a model of theory in practice or praxis.  

"The primary aim of education is to enable the child to be resourceful in the solution of the problems connected with his own needs." (Ovide Decroly)

"The finest ideal for a generation is to strive that the generation that follows it may be able to live and enjoy more beauty and more happiness; it is to reduce the causes of misunderstanding, stupid prejudices, unnecessary suffering, useless conflicts. This is the ideal of education. Without it the very purpose of man's existence vanish. If there were not the child to bring up, protect, to teach, and to transform into the man of tomorrow, the man of today would be meaningless and could disappear. The child is the future. We shape him for the future." (Ovide Decroly)  

 traditional paradigm...   aims of education  in terms of political ideology...     so-called 'dichotomy society / individual...     ideals prevent understanding of the present...                             

integration of outcome and process...   

The aim of education is to foster the development of inner freedom (freedom from fear and conflict)...

  maturity as personality integration...

implications..

non-traditional and innovative education (essay) ...

What is education? Discussion of the aim of education is a function of the philosophy of education or 'educational theory'. The different understandings of education cultivate different avenues of human possibility.

The root of the word 'education' is derived from the Latin 'e-ducare' literally meaning to 'lead forth' or bring out something which is potentially present. Education in the true sense is an activity, an endeavor, an enterprise which is related to the notion of bringing up, rearing, leading forth. It is the human endeavor of self-development towards self-realization, self-actualization, self-fulfillment, self-transcendance. It involves the human aspiration for enlightenment or 'happiness' and the life of values which transcend the world of materialsm and economics. Education is a quest for meaning, integration, wholeness and the renewal of eroded human values which are necessary for responsible action. True education as education for humanisation is helping the individual to be and free to flower, to bloom, to blossom in love and goodness and so to become fully mature or ‘human’.

What is the aim of education?  In the history of philosophy generally, one notices progress in ideas and their practical application when the questions are rephrased. With persistence in posing the 'wrong' question one cannot arrive at a suitable answer which is practically applicable. In the philosophy of education, the question which is always discussed is the following: "What is the aim of education?" as "what should students known in the future?" as defined in terms of their need to apply what they learn to an understanding of themselves and their world. he question itself involves speculation and so does not lead to practical solutions to the problem of setting rational goals. The speculative nature of the educational aims debate accounts for the confusion about the priorities of education. To avoid confusion and meaningless discussion, any question about education has to be raised in a specific context. For example, what is the aim of  education in terms of political ideology and specifically 'what is the aim of education for citizens of a democracy?'  or 'what education is best for democracy?' or 'what is best for society?' In this sense 'the society' is perceived as an entity separate from the individuals who make it up. A dichotomy is perceived between individual and society when in fact no dichotomy actually exists. In dealing with problems of society and education, the tendency is to deal with outer structures and forms. But the sructures and forms are created by individuals and depend on their levels of consciousness. The formulation of 'aims of education' within the context of what is 'good for the society'... what 'society' needs most... is bound to be misleading when the level of perception gives rise to the so-called dichotomy society/individual. Any attempts to formulate educational aims for 'the society' without consideration of the needs of those who make up the society, will ultimately fail. Education for the 'needs' of the society or 'task-oriented education' inhibits intellectual and emotional growth and results in lack of creative intelligence, lack of of vision and lack of wisdom. 

"Critical to educational policy is the following question: 'which worldview is shaping the goals of education?' Educational goals are set within the framework of a prevailing worldview or paradigm. Information is presented and reflected upon within the context of the accepted worldview. In the past, the worldview of empirical science has been shaping the goals of education. This worldview is now being challenged by the worldview of holistic science. The goals of education are being shaped by the new wholistic science." ( Willis Harman, The Shifting Worldview: Toward a More Holistic Science," Holistic Education Review. September 1992: 15-25)

"The objective of education is not the production of self-confident fools." (Bruner, Jerome. Process of Education. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1966. 65)

"The school should always have as its aim that the young man leave it as a harmonious personality, not as a specialist. The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost."(Albert Einstein. Out of my Later Years New York: Philosophical Library, l960)

Dilemma in Education: Schools are faced with the apparent dilemma of how to motivate students to work within the framework of adult controlled instruction. How can we teach so that children are motivated to learn within the framework of a required curriculum while respecting their natural motivation for learning? The problem is this: requirements are established for children's education and yet there has been a general decline in educational standards. If learning is a natural basic function of the healthy mind, then how can children be motivated to learn, to study and to work?. How do we teach to the needs of the 'society' while respecting and maintaining children's natural function of learning? If learning and thinking are necessary skills for citizens of a free and democratic society then what kind of instruction will meet the society's established requirements? Insights from transpersonal psychology should be considered. Education for the needs of each individual fosters growth and results in vision and wisdom. It is important to avoid policies and programs which counteract children's motivation for learning behaviour which is an inherent characteristic defining the human personality or 'human nature'.  

What kind of education is needed for mature professionalism?  Professionalizing of immature minds creates professions 'in grooves'. Each 'profession' makes progress but it is progress in its own groove if it results from cultivating technique without cultivating complete psychological development for maturity or 'humanisation'.

Education with emphasis on the cultivation of technique without provision of conditions for psychological growth results in the illusory sense of psychological security and makes for superficial experiencing. So-called 'professionals' whose psychological development is unbalanced and incomplete have immature minds which lack the awareness of the human values and consequently lack the vision and wisdom of the human value-life. As insecure individuals their desire for security becomes the driving force behind irresponsible decision-making which can have far-reaching and devastating effects. Consequently the aim of education for mature professionalism would be to encourage the learning of technical knowledge or 'technique' in conjunction with conditions of freedom to cultivate the knowledge of one's human nature or 'self-knowledge' which allows for a comprehensive understanding of the the fullness or significance of life...  the ability to experience an integrated life ... to experience life anew every moment. Authentic experiencing creates its own technique or 'style' and provides the right perspective for the technique. Personality integration of maturity is the end result of balanced psychological development which is a function of intellectual, emotional and moral or 'spiritual' development. Maturity involves the wholistic perception of reality and the elimination of misconceived dichotomies which create unsolvable problems or 'pseudoproblems'. A mature personality is an integrated personality and the mature person is aware of their responsibilities to themselves and to the society in which they live. Education for maturity is education which allows for the person's complete psychological development. It is education for the person as a whole or 'holistic education'.

W
hat is holistic education? Holistic education involves personalised learning in which the learner and the teacher are co-creators of the content of the learning process. Holistic education involves integration of  the spiritual dimension of human nature. Holistic Education is Integral Education. Holistic education is education for optimal human development.Holistic education is education for renewal of eroded human values which transcend economics and are necessary for responsible action. Holistic education faith in the child’s integrity and ability. Holistic education involves experiential learning based on natural brain functioning ...
 ...
brain-based learning...   biology of learning...


 "One of the most important lessons to derive from brain research is that in a very important sense, all learning is experiential. What we learn depends on the global experience, not just on the manner of presentation. We do not automaticallylearn enough from our experience. What matters is how experience is used. ...in deliberately teaching for the expansion of natural knowledge, we need both to help students have appropriate experiences and to help them capitalize on the experiences."
(Caine 104)

 

"The goal of education is the cultivation of the individual's human capacities for 'self-actualization', for love, justice community and joy." (David Purpel, 1989. The Moral and Spiritual Crisis in Education: A Curriculum for Justice and Compassion in Education. Masschusetts, Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Inc.)

In the paradigm  of 'traditional education', the aims of education are defined in terms of content and the acquisition of information. Process as process of learning is interpreted in terms of methods etc...

The question "What is the aim of education?" is commonly interpreted in the narrow sense of "what content should students know in the future?" Content and process are considered separately for practical purposes. The content is considered in terms of expectations and 'learning outcomes'. The process of education has been defined in terms of teaching methods and learning strategies so that while content is determined by the philosophy of 'politics'and becomes the overt curriculum or 'outcome' the process of learning the content is also determined by politics and becomes the 'hidden curriculum' which determines what is to be studied, by whom and to what extent ...one learns how to learn the content, who decides which aspects of the content are to be learned, whom one must obey and respect, how to addresss and react to different members of one's class, whose favor one must curry, whose opinions one must respect and so on. But in fact the knowledge that exists today is only static knowledge which becomes new knowledge successive to yesterday's existing knowledge. For social adaptation in the modern world the reliance on the process of acquiring new knowledge becomes more important than reliance on static knowledge and this changingess is the only thing that makes sense as a goal for education. It is not so important which facts are taught as they could become obsolete even before they have been learned. It is more important that students be helped to feel independent and empowered  in their own world so that they can develop their own potentialities and so  rely on their own ability to cope with the unexpected and to solve whatever new problems crop up in their lives. For this reason the period of 'schooling' should offer the conditions of freedom which will make it a period of natural learning or ‘optimalearningas a process for preparation of life as a mature adult human being. The long term result of separating outcome from process is the person's sense of alienation from life experience and from their world. The resulting disempowerment results in their inability to adjust to the demands of a changing social
 environment.

Traditional paradigm of education:  'What is the aim of education' in the sense 'what should students know in the future? The formulation of educational policy depends on consideration of the prevailing accepted worldview or paradigm. In the process of enculturation people subconsciously experience reality in the context of the prevailing cultural worldview or paradigm. The paradigm is a framework of perception which is based on a set of given assumptions which make up a system of cultural beliefs. It is defined by a given set of constructs, values and techniques. (See Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Unviversity of Chicago Press, 1970)  Information is presented and received within the context of the framework of the paradigm and in this way the paradigm shapes the goals of education. The Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm of empirical science of reductionism produces the mechanistic worldview according to which the universe is a mechanical system composed of elementary building blocks and natural phenomena can be can be analysed studied by reducing them to the parts which make them up. So-called 'traditional education' is based on this paradigm. Ideals are imposed and this encourages conformity. The concern is with the idea of what the individual should be. There is little concern for what the individual could be... little concern for the awakening of their intelligence, little concern for their growth, their humanity, their potential. There is no love. Traditional education is for personal motive and gain, for conditioned learning or 'conditioning'. Traditional education aims to limit and control the imagination. (See Gintis in R.C. Edwards et al(eds) The Capitalist System. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972, p.123 ) "The function of education in any society is the socialization of youth into the prevailing culture. On the one hand, schooling serves to integrate individuals into society by institutionalizing dominant values, norms and belief systems. On the other hand, schooling provides the individual competencies necessary for the adequate performance of social roles. These educational systems are fundamental to the stability and functioning of any society." The traditional paradigm is being challenged at the present time and there is a shift ... 'paradigm shift' ... towards the new paradigm of the science of connectedness or wholeness, systems science or 'holistic science' and its ecological worldview. With the paradigm shift away from the mechanistic worldview of reductionism, the ecological worldview of holistic science is shaping the goals of education.  in terms of providing the conditions of freedom required for human growth and development through meaningful learning.

Ideals have no place in education. They are detrimental because they prevent the understanding of  present reality. Concern for the ideal fosters sluggishness of mind which wants to avoid the present. For this reason the aim of education must not be based on any ideology … must not a be the means of conditioning the individual in some special way. When the aim of education is to work for an ideal… for the future... Fear of the future ... fear of the unknown is the driving force and as a result we establish for ourselves psychological zones of safety… in the form of systems, techniques, beliefs and so on. The ‘should be’ becomes more important than seeing the individual in the context of the complexities of their own life - the ‘what is’. This brings about confusion …creates in the individual psychological barriers which separate them and hold them apart from others. This breeds fear and produces inner conflict between what they are and what they are made to think they should be. The inner conflicts are manifest outwardly as external conflicts with others. The whole process hinders the understanding of the child as well as the child’s understanding of themselves.Political aims and ideals of the adults in the society interfere with the basic aim of education which is to provide the individual with a foundation for successfully living in the world. There is a need for depth education - education of the 'whole' individual.  Specialization of knowledge must be accompanied by full human development When one is pursuing an ideal pattern of action there can be no integration of personality. This is not understanding the full significance of life. The idealist , like the specialist, is only concerned with part of life and not the whole of life.

 We should understand the individual directly rather than looking through the screen of what we think they should be. The concern is not that we want to transform the individual into something else but that we want to help the individual understand himself.  

 

 "Not in the service of any political or social creed should the teacher work, but in the service of the complete human being, able to exercise in freedom a self-disciplined will and judgement, unperverted by prejudice and undistorted by fear." Maria Montessori. To Educate the Human Potential. Adyar, Madras, India: Kalakshetra Publications, 1961.3)

 

 "We never educate directly, but indirectly by means of the environment. Whether we permit chance environments to do the work or whether we design environmnets for the purpose makes a great deal of difference. And any environment is a chance environment so far as its educative influence is concerned unless it has been deliberately regulated with reference to its educative effect." (Dewey "Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education" New York : The Free Press 1966)

 "The relationship between society and the individual is not to be understood simply in the sense that cultural patterns and social institutions 'influence' the individual. The interaction goes much deeper; the whole personality of the average individal is molded by the way people relate to each other, and it is determined by the socioecoomic and political structure of society to such an extent, that in principle, one can infer from the analysis of one individual the totality of the social structure in which he lives." (Fromm Man For Himself, 78)  

Aims for education make sense if they are formulated in the context of a paradigm which is appropriate to the needs of the individuals within the society. One can arrive at a solution with contemplation and rethinking the question in a wider context such as in the context of the new cultural paradigm of holism. In this way one can change the direction of  thought and then new possibilities are opened up With the holistic  perception of reality...  holistic view of educational aims ...the society is clearly perceived in terms of the individuals who make it up so that the so-called 'individual/society' dichotomy disappears because what is good for the individual is good for the society. It makes non-sense and it is un-sane to talk about what is good for 'society' without talking about what is good for the individual. The ultimate purpose of education is the happiness of the individual and the welfare of the society.

 

"The individual is the heart of society." (Plato)  "Only by being true to the full growth of individuals who make it up, can by any chance society be true to itself." (John Dewey My Pedagogic Creed quoted in Wade Baskin, ed., Classics in Education, New York: Philosophical Library, l966  pp. l856- l859)

 

Since the individual is the heart of society a more intelligent approach to the question 'What is best for society?' is to ask "How to enable individuals to grow and develop...  improve themselves through their own inner development... in order to create that which is best for society?". Education which offers the right conditions for the individual's psychological needs which include spiritual needs or  'metaneeds' automatically accomodates the needs of the society. It is important to analyse the basic assumption which underlies the question 'what is the aim of education'? Is it valid to ask the question from the adult's point of view? If the answer is 'yes' then it is equally valid to ask the question from the child's point of view. The real problem is the following: what is the aim of education - for the child?

 

So what is the aim of education for the child?  Belgian medical doctor, psychologist and pedagogue Dr. Ovide Decroly (1871 -1932)  asked this very question. His answer was based on scientific, biological principles of  development of the child as a social being... a social organism which like any other biological organism is motivated by motives for learning and behaviour or needs involved in the instinctive drive for self-preservation, security and growth. During their natural growth and development the child learns from the adults of the society by way of the 'introjection instinct' those values, capacities and skills which will enable them  to adapt to changes in their social environment and to have the creative powers ... creative intelligence ... which they need to improve the social conditions for a life of meaningful productivity. Consequently children must be offered an education which offers those conditions of personal freedom required for human development with the aim to satisfy the human motives for learning and behaviour or  'human  needs'.  Education based on needs of the individual... education of the individual child as a whole ... 'holistic education' fosters growth and results in creative intelligence, vision and wisdom the very characteristics which are 'best for society'!

 

Basic aim of education for the child is maturity and integration of personality required for responsibility of personal freedom and adaptability. The purpose of education is to cultivate the mind so that the individual can accomplish all his/her aims in life. Education should enable the individual to use the full potential of the body, mind and spirit... should develop the ability to make the best use of his personality, surroundings and circumstances in order to accomplish the maximum in life for himself and for others. The purpose of education would be met if the schools provided educational methods of self-development by which the individual can gain complete possession of of all his powers. Broadly speakly, education has two goals which are mutually dependent: cultivation and development of the individual and the improvement of society... individuals make up the society... the society improves with the improvement of the individuals who make it up... the individual is the heart of society....only by being true to the full growth of individuals who make it up, can by any chance society be true to itself. The aims of education are to foster the individual's inner freedom and development towards the following: self-initiated action and acceptance of responsibility for one's own actions, self-direction and intelligent decision making, critical learning and evaluation of others, acquisition of knowledge for resolution of problems, intelligent and flexible adaptation to new situations, creative utilization of experiential learning in adaptation to new situations, effective cooperation with others, self-motivation and a desire to work for one's own purposes i.e. 'intrinsic motivation'.

 "The educator has the great resoponsibility of leading students to use and develop their own minds to think critically. Children must be allowed to develop their individual personalities and potentialities, as well as their mental and intellectual capacities in an educational climate of freedom and respect. Such a climate is the requisite condition for effective learning because it fosters the unfolding of their natural potentialities and their inner development towards inner freedom and rational thought."   (Ovide Decroly)

Aim of education can be formulated in terms of the acquisition of information or knowle as acquisition of information or objective CONTENT or 'outcome' and the overt curriculum... or in terms of knowledge as the subjective PROCESS of knowing... as subjective learning. Since content of knowledge is gained through the process of knowing any rational discussion of education must consider both content and process.

Ask the old question (what is the aim of education?) in the new paradigm of holism and holistic science. Within the framework of the new holistic paradigm, the formulation of educational aims does not necessitate the separate consideration of outcome and process because content and process are interrelated. They are considered simultaneously. As a result educational aims are formulated in terms of the interrelationship between content and process. Consequently the content of one area, domain or field is regarded in terms of its relationship to other fields... so in terms of its 'significance'. The process' of learning is considered in terms of making associations and extending relationships. Teaching and learning are concerned with the integration of 'outcome' and 'process'. The long term result of integrating outcome and process is the person's integration with life experience... their sense of connection with the world... their enhanced capacity for adjustment to changes in the social environment... their 'adaptability'. Of particular importance, the integration of outcome and process results in self-empowerment which allows for the ability to adapt to social change. 

 "The child is presented as a behaving organism, whose mind is given to aid him in adapting to this world's life. Hence the purpose of education is to organize his powers of conduct so as to fit him for his social and physical milieu. Interests must be awakened and broadened as the natural starting points of instruction. The will must be trained to sustain the proper attention for productive thought and ethical action. The right sorts of habits must be early inculcated to free the child for his role as an intelligent being, and his ideas must be put wherever possible to the practical test. In the end the job of the teacher is to turn the 'sensitive, impulsive, associative, and reactive organism' that is the child into a purposeful, thinking adult who will use his talents to the fullest in the struggle for a better life." (William James Talks to Teachers on Psychology: and to Students on Some of Life's Ideals) (Lawrence A. Cremin The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education l876-l957 Vintage Books, Random House l964 p.108)

 

"The purpose of education is to culture the mind of a man so that he can accomplish all his aims in life. Education, to justify itself, should enable a man to use the full potential of his body, mind and spirit. It should also develop in him the ability to make the best use of his personality, surroundings and circumstances so that he may accomplish the maximum in life for himself and for others." The purpose of education would be met if the schools provided  educational methods of self-development by which the individual can "gain complete possession of of all his powers." Broadly speakly, education has two goals which are mutually dependent: cultivation and development of the individual and the improvement of society. But it is individuals who make up the society. Therefore the society improves with the improvement of the individuals who make it up.

 

Schools must design curricula for interdisciplinary studies  The implications for education in schools... Schools must not isolate children from life experience. In designing a curriculum for transdisciplinary studies, look for relationships and patterns in different subjects and organize the subject matter according to unifying themes. Seeing relationships and patterns results in the meaningful integration of the different subject areas.

The teacher and the student are not separate. Art, science, literature and music are 'embedded' in history.   

 "What is needed is a framework for a more complex form of learning that makes it possible for us to organize and make sense of what we already know" about educational theory and methods. Such a framework has to have a 'bottom line' integrity ; for us that means it must integrate human behaviour and perception, emotions and physiology. To make our point, we borrow heavily from cognitive psychology, education, philosophy, sociology, science and technology, the new physics, and physiological responses to stress, as well as the neurosciences... New framework can be created in the link between education and the neurosciences. Teachers must become facilitators of learning. (Doll, W.E.J "Complexity in the Classroom." Educational Leadership 47, 1: 65-70)

"The highest function of education is to bring about an integrated individual who is capable of dealing with life as a whole." (Jiddu Krishnamurti) 

 (Carl Rogers 1969. Freedom To Learn. Columbus, Ohio: Charles Merrill Publishing Co.) 

The aim of education is to foster the development of complete inner freedom... cultivate completeness …wholeness of the mind which is totally FREE from fears and conflicts... total freedom ... freedom from fear... from sorrow... total freedom brings about a sense of love and compssion with its own intellligence... The aims of education are to foster the individual's inner freedom and development towards ...enabling the development toward the following: self-initiated action and acceptance of responsibility for one's own actions, self-direction and intelligent decision-making, critical learning and evaluation of others, acquisition of knowledge for resolution of problems, intelligent and flexible adaptation to new situations, creative utilization of experiential learning in adaptation to new situations, effective cooperation with others, self-motivation and a desire to work for one's own purposes. Necessary environmental conditions... 'learning environment'... must be provided for the students in a so-called 'progressive' educational setting. Self-initaited learning occurs when students have direct confrontation with meaningful and relevant problems. Self-direction in the learning process occurs with teachers who have a basic trust in the capacity of the student for developing his own potentiality; self-motivation and desire to work occurs with teachers who are sincere, sensitive, and sympathetic. The effective teacher is a mature person with integrity as well as knowledge. He concentrates on creating a climate which facilitates learning and fosters responsible freedom. Without imposing himself or his knowledge, he is a resource and a provider of resources. He values each individual student as a developing human being with many feelings and many potentialities, empathetically accepting feelings of fear for new problems and satisfaction with each new achievement. With the knowledge of these requisite conditions, and psychological climate, it would be possible to establish an educational establishment which fosters the individual's proper growth and inner freedom. (pp47-66

... originality of thought based on independence of mind required for search for knowledge or 'truth'... 'science' in the true sense   

Cognition of the whole mind (INTUITION) can discover the truth which is needed to make proper evaluation of the environment to produce creative and adaptive behavior

"The goal of education is inward freedom. Some practical experience and empirical knowledge - children prefer responsible freedom and self-imposed limits to the licence of chaos and aggression.... (see the experiment of A.S. Neill in his school Summerhill).... "The success of the experiment was due to Neill's sincerity and genuineness, his faith in the potential of each individual, his firm respect for each child and for himself... He had the courage to trust the individual and his natural desire to learn. The experiment demonstrated that children can learn to be free, the core philosophy of the progressive education movement, frequently debased into turning education into a sugar-coated pill." (Carl Rogers. "Some Efforts to Permit Freedom in Education" in Person to Person, Lafayette CA: Real People Press. page 57)

 Education for freedom is education for peace  Peace is possible only between individuals who are free of fear. Fear comes to an end with  self-awareness or ‘self-knowledge’. Self-knowledge is knowledge…understanding of human nature…if we understand the living reality the ‘what is’ then we are free of it… free of conflict… free of fear. This is ‘freedom’.  To be free we must be aware of who we are we must stop struggling to become something which we are not.

Complete human development leads to inner freedom and the accurate perception of reality which is free from distortion.

 The aim of education is to produce integrated individuals… free of fear… able to solve life’s problems…is to cultivate integration of personality cultivate integration of the personality … to develop integrated human beings… creative human beings… human beings who are creatively intelligent… enabling the person to deal with life as a whole …Integration of personality leads to intelligent thinking ..being able to meet life as a whole… that is to solve life’s problems… so ADAPTABILITY

 

… integrated understanding of the significance of life which will enable the individual to cope with the ever increasing complexities of  life… The aim of education is for the integration of the human mind which is intelligent and free. Education in the true sense is helping the individual to be mature and free… to flower, to bloom, to blossom… in love and goodness… to become fully ‘human’.

  

Only possible with LOVE. Only love can bring about understanding of the other. Where there is love there is instantaneous communication… communion with the other…. on the same level and at the same time This is peace...

 

 

TO CULTIVATE PERSONALITY INTEGRATION   required for personal freedom as the foundation for adaptation to the environment i.e. ‘adaptability’.

     

 Aim of education is to cultivate (awaken) creative intelligence required for adaptability... for creative living. What is creative intelligence?  Creative intelligence is creative understanding . Creative intelligence combines the understanding of reason with the wisdom of compassion. CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE  involves 'critical consciousness... understanding of the significance of the environment – being aware of conditioning influences on one’s psychological functioning and thus being free of them. This is inner freedom. Freedom is aloneness of solitude which implies connectedness with nature and human nature (one’s own and that of others). Aloneness is distinct from ‘loneliness’ which implies isolation in the sense of disconnectedness with nature and human nature.  Creative intelligence is required to solve life’s problems…to live adaptively i.e. ‘adaptability’. As the ability to adapt adaptability is only possible with an integrated understanding of life… understanding of the significance of the whole of life which can only be understood in terms of the interconnectedness between the parts and the whole i.e. ‘holistic perception’. Holistic perception of life results from integration of knowledge. Aim of education is to foster the understanding of the ‘what is’ of the true reality… of the living reality or ‘truth’. It is consideration for the truth of  ‘what is’ that awakens intelligence. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential – the ‘what is’ the ‘truth’. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is the function of education. Cultivation of creative intelligence leads to fullness of integrated life and action and so the integration of thought and action

Implications for teaching It is the intelligence of the educator which is even more important than their knowledge of methods and techniques. Education for personality integration depends on intelligence and affection on the part of the educator. The intelligent educator gives thought, care and affection to the creation of right environment and the development of  understanding so that with maturity the individual  will be able to deal intelligently with the human problems confronting him/her. In order to do this educators must understand themselves instead of relying on systems of  ideologies  and beliefs.  Educators must be concerned with things as they are. The right way to educate is based on understanding the child as he is… without  imposing an ideal of what the educator thinks he should be teacher  'attributes’.

 "The secret of good teaching is to regard the child's intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be grown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination. Our aim is not to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorise, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core....we seek to help the child in his growth, mental and emotional as well as physical." (Maria Montessori. To Educate the Human Potential.Adyar, Madras, India: Kalakshetra Publications, 1961. p. 15)

NOTES.............................

 Sources: Jiddu Krishnamurti. Education and the Significance of Life  , Total Freedom

Schippensburg University   www.ship.edu 

 

Wisdom is kindness. “What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” Jean Jacques Rousseau

                                  “My religion is kindness Dalai Lama”

 

Transformative Learning involves a structural shift in the basic premises of thought, feeling and behaviour... a shift in consciousness which permanently alters the person’s point of view or ‘worldview’.

 

Contemplaton is a creative power .... freedom implies responsibility and so is not synonymous with license.

 

Self-knowledge:  At the heart of the urge to develop full human potential is a deeply spiritual yearning for self-knowledge… knowledge how to live in harmony with oneself with others and with the environment… knowledge for connectedness with oneself, with others and with the environment… feeling connected with human core values… essential values. Importance of self-knowledge ... Consciousness of the inner self...  ‘self-knowledge’ is the vital foundation for enlightened human living... The right kind of education… Education should cultivate the capacity for self-awareness… or ‘self-knowledge’. Ignorance is lack of understanding of oneself… so lack of self-knowledge. The ignorant person is not necessarily the unlearned… The supposedly learned person can be ignorant … Education as the cultivation of techniques should not separate from education as cultivation of the intelligence of self-knowledge.

 

 

Soul nourishing education is a fundamental human right.

 

ESSENCE  OF UNDERSTNDING…  appreciate the dynamic interconnectivity which is fundamental to the nature of whatever system is being investigated – human nature included.

 

  Love is compassion combined with intelligence…

 

‘Theosophy’ is spiritual wisdom

 

SELF-ACTUALISATION  is personal integration

"The aim of education is to encourage natural learning which is a feature of human development. The need for learning cannot be met without education" (Montessori)

'attributes'   freedom as 'inner freedom'  ...the 'what is' of reality or 'truthThe word 'society' is only a word. The word is not the thing (see Korzybski). There is no 'thing' which can be identified as the society. There would be no society without the individuals who make it up. "The individuals of the society "share a given set of constructs, values and techniques which together are referred to as a 'paradigm'." (Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1970) PEDAGOGY the art, practice or profession of; esp. systematized learning or instruction concerning principles and methods of teaching.

education in schools: Ask the question "how can schools become more integrated and cohesive?" Schools must not isolate children from life experience. In designing a curriculum for transdisciplinary studies, look for relationships and patterns in different subjects and organize the subject matter according to unifying themes. Seeing relationships and patterns results in the meaningful integration of the different subject areas. Useful metaphors: 1. 'Embeddedness' Teaching is 'embedded' in learning. The tw We should understand the individual directly rather than looking through the screen of what we think they should be. The concern is not that we want to transform the individual into something else but that we want to help the individual understand himself.

The right kind of education… Education should cultivate the capacity for self-awareness… or ‘self-knowledge’. Ignorance is lack of understanding of oneself… so lack of self-knowledge. The ignorant person is not necessarily the unlearned… The supposedly learned person can be ignorant … Education as the cultivation of techniques should not separate from education as cultivation of the intelligence of self-knowledge.

 ..Only possible with LOVE. Only love can bring about understanding of the other. Where there is love there is instantaneous communication… communion with the other…. on the same level and at the same time This is peace

 

        Creative intelligence is required to solve life’s problems…to live adaptively i.e. ‘adaptability’. As the ability to adapt adaptability is only possible with an integrated understanding of life… understanding of the significance of the whole of life which can only be understood in terms of the interconnectedness between the parts and the whole i.e. ‘holistic perception’. Holistic perception of life results from integration of knowledge.

Aim of education is to foster the understanding of the ‘what is’ of the true reality… of the living reality or ‘truth’. It is consideration for the truth of  ‘what is’ that awakens intelligence. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential – the ‘what is’ the ‘truth’. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is the function of education.

The aim of education is to cultivate completeness... integration of thought and feeling 'wholeness of mind'..... which is totally free from ignorance of human nature... fear which leads to conflicts.  .

Cognition of the whole mind (intuition) can discover the new  truth which is needed to make proper evaluation of the environment  to produce creative and adaptive behavior.

 The aim of education is to produce integrated individuals… individuals…  who are free of fear… able to solve life’s problems…is to cultivate integration of personality cultivate integration of the personality … to develop integrated human beings… creative human beings… human beings who are creatively intelligent… enabling the person to deal with life as a whole …Integration of personality leads to intelligent thinking ..being able to meet life as a whole and  to solve life’s problems… so 'adaptability'.… integrated understanding of the significance of life enables the individual to deal with the ever increasing complexities of  life… 

The new worldview or 'paradigm' reflects a more integrative point of view: "the collective, cooperative, and organizational aspects of nature... (Paul Davies The Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries in Nature's Creative Ability to Order the Universe" New York: Simon & Schuster 1988)

 The aim of education is for the integration of the human mind which is intelligent and free. Education in the true sense is helping the individual to be mature and free… to flower, to bloom, to blossom… in love and goodness… to become fully ‘human’.  

Relatively recently, 'education' has come to stand for a field of study once called 'pedagogics', considered to be a subject matter and field of inquiry to be 'taught' and developed by further research

the term 'education' is defined as 'development of the mind' as cultivation of the human capacity for critical consciousness, for 'self-actualization'... source of love and compassion, for justice and fellowship, for humanity and joy. As the necessary prerequisite for accurate perception of the cultural environment, the individual's critical consciousness is the basis of freedom and individuality within a cultural context.  Critical consciousness is necessary for survival - necessary for the individual human organism to distinguish between 'operative' values which are in his true self-interest and 'conceived' values - the cultural values which may not be in his true self-interest. Education for adaptability is education for critical consciousness - accurate perception of reality. Education which is responsible education... education for inner freedom.

creative intelligence... critical consciousness, the necessary prerequisite for accurate perception of the cultural environment, As the individual's critical consciousness is the basis of freedom and individuality within a cultural context. If the term 'individuality' refers to an individual's human potential for self-realization, then teaching methodologies which cultivate a non-critical conformity to the cultural consciousness - the cultural values and belief systems - do not foster true individuality within the cultural context.

 A major purpose of education is to cultivate open-mindedness and intelligence as aptitude for acquiring knowledge... intelligence depends upon an alert curiosity. The cultivation of intelligence depends on freedom to exercise  curiosity.                          

 The aim of education is to produce integrated individuals… individuals…  who are free of fear… able to solve life’s problems…is to cultivate integration of personality cultivate integration of the personality … to develop integrated human beings… creative human beings… human beings who are creatively intelligent… enabling the person to deal with life as a whole …Integration of personality leads to intelligent thinking ..being able to meet life as a whole… that is to solve life’s problems… so ADAPTABILITY

… integrated understanding of the significance of life which will enable the individual to with the ever increasing complexities of  life… The aim of education is for the integration of the human mind which is intelligent and free.

 

 

 

The aim of education is to cultivate completeness  awaken ‘creative intelligence’ for creative living. …wholeness of the mind which is totally FREE from fears and conflicts. holistic integration and development of the brain. 

In the Great Books there is general agreement that education should be concerned with preparing the individual in both thought and action for a future station in life. According to great thinkers of the past, the aim of education should be the individual's development as a good person and as a good citizen..(File AIMS2 p.3) The purpose of education is the natural development of the individual's 'humanity'. The question on the purpose of education...(File AIMS2 p.7) ...Education for human self-development and self-fulfillment is based on the natural wholistic functioning of the human brain 

The aim of education is to cultivate completeness …wholeness of the mind which is totally FREE from fears and conflicts.  

  The aim of education is not the formation of independent functions or processes. Educational material of the environment should appeal to their inner needs. It should have emotional appeal and an inviting character. It should arouse their interest and stimulate activity and concentration. It should enable children the opportunity to work independently and to have their own experiences. Their entire personality should be involved. Material added to the environment is stimulating to the child. If it has always been there it becomes part of the scenery and is not noticed. A prepared environment requires an outward adjustment to others in the group and thus encourages social development and proper social education. The child's need for belongingness in the community requires a balance between freedom for the indivuidual and the needs of the group. The child learns to consider his own needs within the context of the needs of the group.

 "The goal of education is inward freedom." (Carl Rogers 1969. Freedom To Learn. Columbus, Ohio: Charles Merrill Publishing Co.)

 "The goal of education is inward freedom. Some practical experience and empirical knowledge - children prefer responsible freedom and self-imposed limits to the licence of chaos and aggression. See experiment of A.S. Neill in his school Summerhill. The success of the experiment was due to "Neill's sincerity and genuineness, his faith in the potential of each individual, his firm respect for each child and for himself." He had the courage to trust the individual and his natural desire to learn. The experiment demonstrated that children can learn to be free, the core philosophy of the progressive education movement, frequently debased into turning education into a sugar-coated pill." (Carl Rogers. "Some Efforts to Permit Freedom in Education" in Person to Person, Lafayette CA: Real People Press. page 57)  

THE AIM OF EDUCATION  IS TO CULTIVATE PERSONALITY INTEGRATION WHICH IS REQUIRED FOR PERSONAL FREEDOM AND ADAPTABILITY

 We should understand the individual directly rather than looking through the screen of what we think they should be. The concern is not that we want to transform the individual into something else but that we want to help the individual understand himself.

Only possible with LOVE. Only love can bring about understanding of the other. Where there is love there is instantaneous communication… communion with the other…. on the same level and at the same time This is peace

 It is consideration for the truth of  ‘what is’ that awakens intelligence.

Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential – the ‘what is’ the ‘truth’. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is the function of education.

      

Aim of education is to foster the understanding of the ‘what is’ of the true reality… of the living reality or truth

It is consideration for the truth of  ‘what is’ that awakens intelligence.

Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential – the ‘what is’ the ‘truth’. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is the function of education.

Cultivation of creative intelligence leads to fullness of integrated life and action and so the integration of thought and action 

 

AIM OF EDUCATION IS TO CULTIVATE (AWAKEN) CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE  REQUIRED FOR ADAPTABILITY The aim of education is to cultivate or awaken ‘creative intelligence’ for creative living. What is creative intelligence? Creative intelligence is creative understanding ... involves understanding of the significance of the environment – being aware of conditioning influences on one’s psychological functioning and thus being free of them. This is inner freedom. Freedom is aloneness of solitude which implies connectedness with nature and human nature (one’s own and that of others). Aloneness is distinct from ‘loneliness’ which implies isolation in the sense of disconnectedness with nature and human nature

Creative intelligence combines the understanding of reason with the kindness of compassion.

        Creative intelligence is required to solve life’s problems…to live adaptively i.e. ‘adaptability’. As the ability to adapt adaptability is only possible with an integrated understanding of life… understanding of the significance of the whole of life which can only be understood in terms of the interconnectedness between the parts and the whole i.e. ‘holistic perception’. Holistic perception of life results from integration of knowledge.

CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE involves understanding of the significance of the environment – being aware of conditioning influences on one’s psychological functioning and thus being free of them. This is inner freedom. Freedom is aloneness of solitude which implies connectedness with nature and human nature (one’s own and that of others). Aloneness is distinct from ‘loneliness’ which implies isolation in the sense of disconnectedness with nature and human nature.

Saying that something creates its own technique… its own style… If one has something to say the very saying of it  creates its own style. Style without inward experiencing is superficial.

ON METHODS It is the intelligence of the educator which is even more important than their knowledge of methods and techniques. Education for personality integration depends on intelligence and affection on the part of the educator. The intelligent educator gives thought, care and affection to the creation of right environment and the development of  understanding so that with maturity the individual  will be able to deal intelligently with the human problems confronting him/her. In order to do this educators must understand themselves instead of relying on systems of  ideologies  and beliefs.  Educators must be concerned with things as they are. The right way to educate is based on understanding the child as he is… without  imposing an ideal of what the educator thinks he should be  ‘attributes’.

The purpose of education is to culture the mind so that the individual can accomplish all his/her aims in life. Education should enable the individual to use the full potential of the body, mind and spirit... should develop the ability to make the best use of his personality, surroundings and circumstances in order to accomplish the maximum in life for himself and for others. The purpose of education would be met if the schools provided educational methods of self-development by which the individual can gain complete possession of of all his powers. Broadly speakly, education has two goals which are mutually dependent: cultivation and development of the individual and the improvement of society... individuals make up the society... the society improves with the improvement of the individuals who make it up... the individual is the heart of society....only by being true to the full growth of individuals who make it up, can by any chance society be true to itself. The aims of education are to foster the individual's inner freedom and development towards the following: self-initiated action and acceptance of responsibility for one's own actions, self-direction and intelligent decision making, critical learning and evaluation of others, acquisition of knowledge for resolution of problems, intelligent and flexible adaptation to new situations, creative utilization of experiential learning in adaptation to new situations, effective cooperation with others, self-motivation and a desire to work for one's own purposes.

Albert Einstein said that "the school should always have as its aim that the young man leave it as a harmonious personality, not as a specialist. The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost."(Albert Einstein. "Out of my Later Years" New York: Philosophical Library, l960)

A major purpose of education is to cultivate open-mindedness and intelligence. Defined in terms of the aptitude for acquiring knowledge, intelligence depends upon an alert curiosity. The cultivation of intelligence depends on freedom to exercies curiosity. The aim of education is to foster the development of inner freedom

 Sources: Jiddu Krishnamurti. Education and the Significance of Life.

The aim of the biological process of human development and therefore of education is the full maturation of the 'productive' character of self-realization. 

"By universal consent, the supreme goal of education is to develop in the child the seeds of humanity which he contains." (Emile Durkheim, 1938. The Evolutuion of Educational Thought, London: Routledge& Kegan Paul. Translated by Peter Collins 283)

Each discipline can be understood in terms of the others. Human beings must not be considered in isolation. They are embedded in the environment and nature. Work is embedded in play and so on. Prceived in terms of the metaphor of 'embeddedness' opposites and dualisms disappear. Supposedly illogical paradoxes can be resolved when considered in the framework of this emerging worldview.

 The goal of the educational process is effective learning. The orienting center of any effective educational policy is child interest. Learning is a natural function of the healthy mind. The organ of the 'mind' is the organ of learning - the brain. Education for human self-development and self-fulfillment is ba

sed on the natural wholistic functioning of the human brain. learning and thinking are valuable assets for citizens of a free and democratic society.

 

 

 

 

theme: aim of education  is to cultivate creative intelligence( which combines reason of understanding with wisdom of kindness... compassion) require for adaptation to the environment i.e. ‘adaptability’.

 

Annotation  Jiddu Krishnamurti. Education and the Significance of Life.

 THE AIM OF EDUCATION  IS TO CULTIVATE PERSONALITY INTEGRATION WHICH IS REQUIRED FOR PERSONAL FREEDOM AND ADAPTABILITY 

The aim of education is to cultivate completeness …wholeness of the mind which is totally FREE from fears and conflicts.

Cognition of the whole mind (INTUITION) can discover the truth which is needed to make proper evaluation of the environment  to produce creative and adaptive behavior

 The aim of education is to produce integrated individuals… individuals…  who are free of fear… able to solve life’s problems…is to cultivate integration of personality cultivate integration of the personality … to develop integrated human beings… creative human beings… human beings who are creatively intelligent… enabling the person to deal with life as a whole …Integration of personality leads to intelligent thinking ..being able to meet life as a whole… that is to solve life’s problems… so ADAPTABILITY

… integrated understanding of the significance of life which will enable the individual to with the ever increasing complexities of  life… The aim of education is for the integration of the human mind which is intelligent and free. Education in the true sense is helping the individual to be mature and free… to flower, to bloom, to blossom… in love and goodness… to become fully ‘human’.

 EDUCATION FOR FREEDOM IS EDUCATION FOR PEACE Peace is possible only between individuals who are free of fear. Fear comes to an end with  self-awareness or ‘self-knowledge’. Self-knowledge is knowledge…understanding of human nature…if we understand the living reality the ‘what is’ then we are free of it… free of conflict… free of fear. This is ‘freedom’.  To be free we must be aware of who we are we must stop struggling to become something which we are not.

 We should understand the individual directly rather than looking through the screen of what we think they should be. The concern is not that we want to transform the individual into something else but that we want to help the individual understand himself.

IMPORTANCE OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE  The right kind of education… Education should cultivate the capacity for self-awareness… or ‘self-knowledge’. Ignorance is lack of understanding of oneself… so lack of self-knowledge. The ignorant person is not necessarily the unlearned… The supposedly learned person can be ignorant … Education as the cultivation of techniques should not separate from education as cultivation of the intelligence of self-knowledge.

Only possible with LOVE. Only love can bring about understanding of the other. Where there is love there is instantaneous communication… communion with the other…. on the same level and at the same time This is peace

 

Holistic perception of life results from integration of knowledge.

 

Aim of education is to foster the understanding of the ‘what is’ of the true reality… of the living reality or ‘truth’.

 

It is consideration for the truth of  ‘what is’ that awakens intelligence.

 

Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential – the ‘what is’ the ‘truth’. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is the function of education.

 

Cultivation of creative intelligence leads to fullness of integrated life and action and so the integration of thought and action

 

Saying that something creates its own technique… its own style… If one has something to say the very saying of it  creates its own style. Style without inward experiencing is superficial.

 It is the intelligence of the educator which is even more important than their knowledge of methods and techniques. Education for personality integration depends on intelligence and affection on the part of the educator. The intelligent educator gives thought, care and affection to the creation of right environment and the development of  understanding so that with maturity the individual  will be able to deal intelligently with the human problems confronting him/her. In order to do this educators must understand themselves instead of relying on systems of  ideologies  and beliefs.  Educators must be concerned with things as they are. The right way to educate is based on understanding the child as he is… without  imposing an ideal of what the educator thinks he should be  ‘attribute

Discussion of education always involves speculation about 'human nature' and 'human values'.... it doesn't have to. The speculative nature of education accounts for the confusion in the debate about the priorities of education....no more reason for confusion

Whitehead 1967 Aims of Education. New York: Free Press

A major purpose of education is to cultivate open-mindedness and intelligence. Defined in terms of the aptitude for acquiring knowledge, intelligence depends upon an alert curiosity. The cultivation of intelligence depends on freedom to exercise curiosity.

"The primary aim of education is to enable the child to be resourceful in the solution of the problems connected with his own needs. Of secondary importance is the acquisition of the skills and knowledge necessary for playing a useful role in human society." ("L' education et l'instruction ont pour but de rendre l'enfant apte a se suffire d'abord, a remplir un role utile dans l'organization humaine ensuite." (Decroly l905 Organization des Ecoles et Institutions pour les Arrieres Pedagogiques et Medicaux, Soc. prot. de l'Enfance Anormale, Bruxelles, Ch.Bulens, p.5 )

 "For the child, what is the aim of education?.. the child as a member of society, not as distinct from 'society'.

"If the school... problems." (Clay Warren, "Andragogy and N.F.S. Grundtvig: A Critical Link," Adult Education Quarterly, 39:4, Summer 1989, 216)

 The definition of human nature is directly related to the age-old question "what is the aim of education?" (C. Rogers Freedom To Learn)

 The question "what is the aim of education" is commonly interpreted in the narrow sense of "what should students know in the future?" See Walsh "Beyond ego: transpersonal dimensions in psychology". The question "what is the aim of education?" or "what should students know in the future? is asked within the framework of a prevailing paradigm or worldview.

In the framework of the Cartesian-Newtonian worldview, educational aims have been formulated in terms of 'outcome' and 'process.' For practical purposes, the outcome of education and the process of education have been viewed as separate topics. The outcome of education has been defined in terms of content and the acquisition of information. The process of education has been defined in terms of teaching methods and learning strategies. Within the context of the new paradigm, the formulation of educational aims does not necessitate the separate consideration of outcome and process. 'Content' as information is considered in terms of its significance. The content of one field is regarded in terms of its relationship to other fields. 'Process' as method is considered in terms of making associations and extending relationships. In a theoretical study of the learning process, 'content' and 'process' are considered simultaneously. Within the framework of the new paradigm, content and process are interrelated. Educational aims are formulated in terms of the interrelationship between the objective content and a subjective process. The aim of education for students is defined in terms of their need to apply what they learn to an understanding of themselves and their world.

Schools must not isolate children from life experience. In designing a curriculum for transdisciplinary studies, look for relationships and patterns in different subjects and organize the subject matter according to unifying themes. Seeing relationships and patterns results in the meaningful integration of the different subject areas.

 

There is general agreement that education should be concerned with preparing the individual in both thought and action for a future station in life. According to great thinkers of the past, the aim of education should be the individual's development as a good person and as a good citizen. Education is for the individual's moral and intellectual development. So-called 'liberal' education is for the development of the individual's 'humanity'. Originally meant as education for free men as opposed to education for slaves. 'liberal' education was meant as an end in itself, and not as a means for enslavement. Today, liberal education still means education for freedom. Education for the individual's moral and intellectual development is an end in itself and not a means for enslavement. The purpose of education is the self-development and self-fulfillment of the individual's human potential for knowledge and for virtue. The purpose of education is the natural development of the individual's 'humanity'. To avoid confusion and meaningless discussion, questions about the aims of education have to be raised in specific contexts. Discussion about education is meaningful in the context in which the questions are asked. Without a context, questions about education make little sense. Without a context, the answers to those questions make little sense. As a unifying theme, education can be discussed in many different contexts. (editor-in-chief Maynard Hutchins The Great Books)

 Consider the question 'what is the purpose of education?' Without a context the question is meaningless. Meaningful discussion requires a context.  To avoid confusion and meaningless discussion, questions about education have to be raised in specific contexts. Discussion about education is meaningful in the context in which the questions are asked. Without a context, questions about education answers to those questions make little sense. As a unifying theme, education can be discussed in many different contexts.  The question can be answered in many different ways depending on the many possible contexts.  Consider the question "what is the purpose of education in the context of state and government?" If the good of the state and the good of the government are more important than the individual's happiness, then the purpose of education is to serve the state and not the individual. Consider the question "what is the purpose of education in the context of the individual's happiness?"

The question on the purpose of education becomes directly related to philosophical speculation about the nature of humanity and the nature of virtue.

The so-called 'science of education' becomes directly related to the 'science of man' and the 'science of ethics'. Education is for the natural and innate striving towards the development and fulfillment of the individual's human potential, the natural outcomes of the brain-based thinking processes of 'homo sapiens', the biological organism. Education for human self-development and self-fulfillment... the ultimate purpose of education is the happiness of the individual and the welfare of the society.

According to great thinkers of the past, the aim of education should be the individual's development as a good person and as a good citizen. Education is for the individual's moral and intellectual development. So-called 'liberal' education is for the development of the individual's 'humanity'. Originally meant as education for free men as opposed to education for slaves. 'liberal' education was meant as an end in itself, and not as a means for enslavement. Today, liberal education still means education for freedom. Education for the individual's moral and intellectual development is an end in itself and not a means for enslavement. The purpose of education is the self-development and self-fulfillment of the individual's human potential for knowledge and for virtue. The purpose of education is the natural development of the individual's 'humanity'.

AMERICAN CULTURE The question 'what is the aim of education?' has been asked in the context of what is 'best for democracy' (Dewey) or best for 'society'. What is the aim of education fo society? 'The society' is perceived as an entity separate from the individuals who make it up.  The word 'society' is only a word refers to the group of individuals of a community who share a given set of constructs, values and techniques which together are referred to as a 'paradigm'. (Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) The formulation of 'aims of education' within the paradigm of what is 'good for the society' is bound to be misleading. Attempts to formulate 'aims of education' within the context of a paradigm which is inappropriate must ultimately fail. Attempts to formulate 'aims of education' for the 'society' without regard or respect for the needs of those individuals who make it up must ultimately fail. Progress can be made in the 'science of education' if old questions are asked within the context of a new paradigm. In the context of the old paradigm - what is good for society - the implication of the question is that the aims of education should be formulated in terms of what 'society' needs most.

To be effective, teaching methods must imply a "profound trust in the human organism to develop his own potentiality" (Carl Rogers). The educational process for the child means the instinctive development of his individuality and so must allow for the complete emotional and psychic as well as intellectual maturation into an adult personality with self-determination, self-respect, and self discipline. The educational process becomes effective when a child enjoys learning for learning's sake. He can enjoy learning in the framework of creation which comes from his own powers of imagination and natural curiosity in the world around him. The teacher is a resource and provider of resources. And the educator, whether in the administrative or instructional capacities of school or government, has the very great responsibility of leading students to use their own minds- to learn to think.

 The full maturation of the inherent potential in the 'productive' character... and the 'science of education'.

 

For almost a century, the answer for qualtity education has been available. In education, intellectual education is not enough. Education is for both intellectual and emotional development. Education for maturity as well as knowledge is the only protection against abusive manipulation of the public mind. (Erich Fromm Preface to Summerhill) The question which faces schools is this: How to improve the quality of education for children so as to insure their complete intellectual and emotional development? Education for complete development means that it must be geared to the child's psychic needs and capacities. Sound psychic development is adversely affected by fear of external punishment, external discipline and the overemphasis of forced learning. Fear creates hostility and prevents proper emotional development. Fear of an inhumane environment prevents the proper development of children into mature responsible adults. A humane environment which is supportive of their intrinsic needs is conducive to their development into mature individuals with self-discipline, selfconfidence and self-responsibility.

 Experimentation in freedom in education: Summerhill of A.S. Neill Student-centered teaching

"During the eighteenth century, the ideas of freedom, democracy and self-determination were proclaimed by progressive thinkers; and by the first half of the 1900s these ideas came to fruition in the field of education. The basic principles of such selfdetermination was the replacement of authority by freedom, to teach the child without the use of force by appealing to his curiosity and spontaneous needs, and thuus to get him interested in the world around him. This attitude marked the beginning of progressive education and was an important step in human development." (Erich Fromm Preface to Summerhill)

The aim of education: education for the balanced growth of individuality in conjunction with professionalism. Education for balanced growth is education which fosters creative intelligence and sensitivity -  'aesthetic growth'

"The aims of education are to foster the individual's inner freedom and proper growth and development". (Erich Fromm Preface to Summerhill: annotation based on pages 47-66)

 Their historical origins stem from the rejection of the idea that people deserve a better life because they are better 'educated'. Their version of American 'nationalism' is based on ideals of 'democracy' and 'equality' as 'equal opportunity for all.' Their traditional aversion to elitisim and aristocracy accounts for their characteristic suspicion for so-called 'serious education'. Understanding the power of education to change existing power arrangements, they have avoided discussion of the wider issues of educational philosophy.

 "American schools have served to promote the American cultural belief systems and values throughout their history. The country's 'founding fathers' believed that the success of the republic was dependent on intellectual self-reliance and the self-education of the citizenry. To this end they promoted open debate through free speech and a free press". (Ronald Gross, 1991. Peak Learning: Skills for Today and Tomorrow. Los Angeles: Tarcher)

references:

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi The Science of Being and the Art of Living

 Jiddu Krishnamurti. Education and the Significance of Life.

quotation references:

 "The future happiness of the human race depends on just one thing - international cooperation. This means the whole-hearted cooperation of all men and women of goodwill, regardless of race or creed, regardless of flag or political affiliation." Hendrik Willem Van Loon 'Observations on the Mystery of Print and the Work of Johann Gutenberg.' Book Manufactureres' Institute, Inc. 1937

"In a class society, the power elite necessarily determine what education will be, and therefore its objectives. The objectives will certainly not be opposed to their interests. As we have already said, it would be supremely naive to imagine that the elite would in any way promote or accept an education which stimulated the oppressed to discover the raison d'etre of the social structure. The most that could be expected is that the elite might permit talk of such education, and occasional experiments which could be immediately suppressed should the status quo be threatened." (Freire, P. Education, Liberation and the Church. Study Encounter SE/38,9,I, 1973 World Council of Churches p.8)


Nontraditional and innovative education The meaning of the words 'tradition' and 'innovation' in the context of education depend on definition. Use of the loosely defined terms 'nontraditional' and 'innovative' education requires clarification of specific circumstances and criteria. Used in the context of education, the word 'traditional' is associated with a school or institutional environment and its associated use of classrooms, scheduled activities, teacher-student relationships etc. The word 'nontraditional' is used to refer to the absence or the modification of any of these learning structures. Depending on the outcome of their implementation, any variations within 'traditional' programs and institutions might be called 'nontraditional.' Used in the context of education, any variation or modification of a known learning or teaching mode can be described as 'innovative.' The word 'innovation' can refer to change in curriculum, teaching methodology, strategies of learning, or pedagogy and philosophy of education. Depending on the qualifying conditions, an innovation is 'logical' if it seems reasonable, 'analagous' if it is similar to something which has worked somewhere else, or 'empirical' if it has been shown to work in an experimental situation. The recent trend from 'traditional' to 'nontraditional' curricula in American higher education is attributed to the so-called 'diversity revolution' which is the subject of considerable debate. In his article "Academic Jeremiad: The Neoconservative View of American Higher Education" Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 23, no.3 May/June 1991: 30-41) Edward Jayne laments the continuous deterioration of educational standards in the United States during the last two decades. The reduced quality of education which is evident at all levels - primary, secondary, college and postgraduate - can be attributed to a number of factors: the breakup of families, the impact of television, the reduction of government funding, misguided textbook reform, emphasis on cultivating self-esteem, faculty appointment on the basis of 'diversity quotas,' and so on. The emphasis on diversity has generated an abundance of proposals for 'innovation,' especially with regards to the formulation of curricula in colleges and universities. This is notably apparent in the choice of texts for study in the humanities, particularly English, considered to be at the 'cutting edge' of the diversity revolution. Advocates of the diversity revolution have challenged the intrinsic value of literature, designating the college level selection of texts as 'traditionalist canon.' Authors such as Emerson, Hawthorne and Faulkner have been called 'patriarchal' and 'Eurocentric.' Literary excellence has been substituted by 'diversity' as the qualifying criterion for a 'nontraditionalist' canon. Regardless of merit, 'classical' works are substituted for works by 'minority' and 'women authors.' Current trends in literary criticism have reinforced the efforts to impose a 'nontraditionalist' canon of literary works. Their inherent uncertainties are explained by applying a new type of theoretical analysis called 'textual indeterminacy.' Literary interpretation is reduced to the jargon of literary criticism. Aesthetic quality and style are neglected. Authors of recent books, the so-called academic 'neoconservatives,' are attributing the decline of academic standards to the 'nontraditional' priorities of the 'diversity revolution.' According to Jayne, the ongoing debate between advocates of the 'traditional' and 'nontraditional' policies of higher education suggests that it is necessary to promote the healthy integration of both 'traditional' and 'nontraditional' curricula.
'Nontraditional' and 'innovative' education in American higher education cannot always be defined on the basis of 'innovation' in the form a 'new currriculum.' In the article "Why Robert Burns Was Right About Best Laid Plans" or "What's Wrong with the Curriculum the Way It Is?", Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 23, no. 3 (May/June 1991): 43-48 Frank Heppner gives an account of the irrational process of curriculum change and the absurdity of 'innovation' for innovation's sake. Theoretically, the formulation of a new curriculum should be a rational process. However, the process is often politically motivated. Except for the 'renegades' and 'mavericks' who might be concerned with the educational needs of students and the quality of education, most people are more concerned with their own survival and become involved with power struggles within the department. Collectively, the faculty members in a department become more concerned with the survival and power of the department as a whole. In spite of the overt prioritization of the quality of education, there might be a basic disregard for the educational needs of the students. If there are factions within the department, then the process of curricular review tends to magnify their differences. In the ensuing struggles for survival and power, rhetoric becomes more important than logic. As a result, the collective intelligence of the department is much lower than the average intelligence of its members. A disproportionate amount of faculty time is spent on insignificant discussion of the issues. Important and relevant concerns are outweighed by personal and political wrangling. Valid suggestions and proposals are often ignored in spite of the fact that they are the outcomes of great financial investment. Under such conditions the 'rational' process of curricular review becomes irrational, generating 'innovations' which are no more effective than the previous strategies or policies which they had replaced. If faculty interests have priority, even covertly, without regard to the educational needs of students, then any 'innovation' befomes meaningless, regardless of the time and money spent to find and implement changes to the curriculum. At yet additional expense in time and money, the process of so-called 'rational curricular review' will again become irrational and the process will only repeat itself. Far more effective than 'innovation' for its own sake is a faculty of motivated teachers interested in the students' needs for their own learning and development. 'Rational curricular review' and meaningful 'innovation' is only possible when priority is given to the quality of education.

     Nontraditional' and 'innovative' education can be defined more accurately on the basis of 'innovation' in the form of new teaching methods or strategies for effective learning. Priscilla Laws gives an account of a successful innovation in educational methodology in the article entitled "Workshop Physics." Learning Introductory Physics by Doing It," Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 23, no. 1 (July/August 1991): 20-27A Priscilla Laws teacher of physics at Dickinson College,she compared the learning effectivenness of traditional methods and the innovative methodology. The 'traditional' college level introductory physics course has one implicit goal - to have students demonstrate their ability to solve problems by applying their knowledge of textbook physics. Using the traditional lecture method, the teacher is an authority who transmits information and attempts to motivate students to do further study. It is not an effective method for teaching students to think critically or gain an understanding of concepts and problem-solving techniques. The student in the formal setting of the lecture hall is a 'passive learner.'During her teaching career at the college, the author observed that the introductory physics students were unable to benefit effectively from the lecture method of teaching. There was a wide gap between the level of intellectual growth and the level of topics covered in lectures and lab activities. In l986 members of her department were awarded a research grant from the federal Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education to develop a Workshop Physics program. They first investigated the findings of science education researchers. It was the general consensus that in the teaching of 'traditional' physics courses, too much material was covered. Not enough attention was paid to helping students learn to reason inductively or to overcome misconceptions about physics. Then they interviewed students about the extent of their understanding and their learning experiences with the lecture method. The students complained that there was no connection between lectures and labs and that not enough time was spent on problem solving. They lacked the conceptual understanding which they needed to solve the text book style problems. Consequently it was necessary to design a program with the workshop format.
In l987 the new Workshop Physics program was implemented in the teaching of introductory physics courses. In contrast to the authoritarian approach of the lecture method, the 'nontraditional' and 'innovative' college introductory course was based on the discovery method and active learning. Students learned actively in the informal setting of the workshop. They were active in the construction of their own knowledge of physics and the 'learning of introductory physics by doing it' was called 'Workshop Physics.' The goals of the Workshop Physics course were to motivate students to continue their studies in physics and to have them master the skills which would enable them to continue their studies in related fields. After 250 students had completed the course with the new method, they were compared to students who had used the 'traditional' lecture method. Students from the 'Workshop Physics' course had improved their attitudes towards the study of physics; a greater percentage of these students had mastered concepts considered difficult to teach; they were considerably more comfortable working in a laboratory setting; and gains were made in their overall intellectual growth. The outcomes of the Workshop Physics course forced the following conclusion: In order to generate effective learning, teachers must transform themselves from authorities, who reveal the truth, to facilitators who design creative learning environments in which their students can develop their own critical and creative thinking. In short, the role of the teacher is to enable students to develop their own intelligence.'Nontraditional' and 'innovative' education can best be defined on the basis of a new pedagogy or philosophy of education which enhances the effectiveness of the learning process. In the article entitled "Freire and a Feminist Pedagogy of Difference, Harvard Educational Review 61, no. 4 (November 1991): 449-474"Kathleen Weiler discusses the significance of Freirean and feminist pedagogy in the development of a 'nontraditional' education. Basic to the pedagogies of both Freire and the original feminist groups is the belief in the collective sharing of experiences as the source of knowledge of what shapes people's lives. By sharing experiences they can understand the forces which control their lives. They can then initiate changes in their own situation and these can lead to changes in the society at large. In the present world system of interdependent oppressive and oppressed peoples, traditional Western political theory is being challenged. The pedagogical methods of Paulo Freire developed from his work with peasants in Brazil, Chile and Guinea-Bissau. As education was considered to be a part of the peasants' and working peoples' revolutionary struggles, Freire's pedagogy was formulated with a view to the liberation of the oppressed. In his view of the class struggle, the goal of liberation is humanization. In the utopian vision of liberation, the oppressors as well as the oppressed seek to regain their humanity. In opposition to oppression in the institutional setting and known as a 'liberatory pedagogy,' Freire's pedagogy of liberation and humanization views the teacher's role as creating a student-teacher dialogue based on their common ability to understand the world and create social change. Another form of liberatory pedagogy and an outgrowth of the psychological oppression of women in the patriarchal American society, 'feminist pedagogy' developed in opposition to oppression in the institutional setting. It is a pedagogy of liberation centered around three basic themes: the power of consciousness raising, the means to end existing oppression and the desire for social change. It has challenged some basic premises of the traditional institution of higher education. In the course of its historical development it has revealed the shortcomings of a 'traditional' pedagogy based on the formulation of ideals and abstract goals. As a 'nontraditional' pedagogy, it has developed in conjunction with the growth of women's studies and 'the new scholarship on women.' Adherents of feminist pedagogy have challenged existing traditional canons and disciplines in colleges and universities. They have institutionalized the new pedagogy in the form of programs and departments of women's studies. They have introduced liberating pedagogical theories and methods in the classroom. The key to an understanding of feminist pedagogy is the understanding of its origins in the consciousness-raising groups of the women's liberation movement of the late l960s and early l970s. In northeastern and western American cities, white women who had been active in the civil rights movement applied their political activism to their own situation as women in a male-dominated society. They formed consciousness-raising groups out of the need to share their experiences in collective groups without leaders. The collective sharing of experiences continues to be a fundamental tenet of the feminist pedagogy. They came together in unstructured local groups to discuss their shared experiences of work and family. Arising spontaneously among small groups of women, these consciousness-raising groups focused on political change rather than individual therapy. They were interested in getting to the roots of social problems. With a profound mistrust for the accepted authority and 'truths' about women's 'inherent nature' and 'proper place,' they turned to their own experience and the life experiences of other women. Modelled on the civil rights movement in the South, the early women's consciousness-raising groups were formed with a view to raising awareness and understanding which would prompt them to organize and take action on a mass scale. They were committed to social transformation. However as the movement expanded to include groups of women with little interest in collective change, they focused their energies on 'private' concerns and individual change. Those women who were politically committed based their activities on the assumption that education should be a means to social change. Stimulated by the new scholarship on women, they challenged traditional disciplines by promoting consciousness raising in the form of women's studies courses and programs in colleges and universities. In this institutional framework, the expression of their values and goals became established as the nontraditional 'feminist pedagogy.' This innovative feminist pedagogy has raised three important issues for education. First, there is a need to challenge the authoritarian role of the teacher. In the 'traditional' view of the bureaucratized university system, the teacher is an authority who transmits knowledge. 'Authority' and 'authoritarianism' become confused. In the 'nontraditional' view of 'feminist pedagogy,' the teacher holds authority by virtue of greater knowledge and experience. Learning with students, the teacher is a guide who constructs a pedagogy which encourages them to recognize their own powers of theoretical reasoning. Second, there is a need to validate the claim for knowledge and truth in personal experience and feeling. Women of the early consciousness raising groups were aware that their perceptions were devalued. They explored their own experiences and feelings as sources of 'true' knowledge. They claimed that people can come to an understanding of their own power to make social change if they first understand their own experiences and feelings. According to the poet Audre Lorde, feelings are the source of the knowledge of one's humanness as well as the source of poetry. The human capacity to feel is grounds for the utopian vision of a humanized society. There is an alternative to being either oppressor or oppressed and that is to be human, respecting other human beings. Furthermore, people do not have to allow their lives to be shaped by the 'truths' of the ideology which dominates society. They should look to their own personal experiences for an understanding of their condition and empower themselves to change it. Third, it is important to reject the universal category of 'woman' and recognize the differences among women. Feminist pedagogy emphasizes the importance of respect for the differences among people generally. Both Freirean pedagogy and feminist pedagogy are based on collective liberation and humanization as the basis for social justice and liberation. Truly 'innovative' methods and pedagogies of 'nontraditional' education have the effect of liberating the learner from the authoritarian role of the teacher, the curriculum and the institution. The learner needs to have the freedom to develop self-discipline, engage in self-directed learning, and achieve self-actualization. An innovative pedagogy of liberation in education can lead to a person's full humanisation and the humanisation of society. If this would be the aim of education, then it would be valuable to consider the formulation of a 'nontraditional' and 'innovative' wholistic pedagogy for the education of all children.

 "The primary aim of education is to enable the child to be resourceful in the solution of the problems connected with his own needs." Of secondary importance is the acquisition of the skills and knowledge necessary for playing a useful role in human society."  (Ovide Decroly )Organization des Ecoles et Institutions pour les Arrieres Pedagogiques et Medicaux, Soc. prot. de l'Enfance Anormale, Bruxelles, Ch.Bulens, p.5 )