Searching for the Heart of Education

I recently happened to read a book called “Killing Monsters: Why children need fantasy, superheroes and make-believe violence” by Gerard Jones. The book is about what goes on in children’s minds when they watch violent cartoons, or play violent games (live action and video games).

There has been a widespread public sentiment against violence in children’s media in the US since the 1960s, based on the fear that exposure to a lot of violence in the media during childhood could desensitize children, and potentially make them violent persons later in life. There have been many studies which have attempted to find a link between exposure to violence in the media during childhood and violent behaviour later in life, but they have all been inconclusive.

Most caring parents and adults find it abhorrent that their child is so engrossed with something that they find distasteful and fear that their children may get desensitized. Nevertheless, have we stopped to ask why our children are so glued to cartoons and games embodying so much violence? What are they taking away from it? How are they looking at it and making sense of it?

Gerard Jones says that most of the time the children are not passive consumers of the media, but are actively engaged in weaving their own fantasies around the content that they are engaging with. This, he says, is a way for the children to make sense of the world they live in, and a safe place for them to explore and understand what they find intriguing and disturbing in it. So the violence that they are being exposed to in the media may indeed be benefiting them. There are no studies which have conclusively shown it either way.

Jones says it is important that the adults, repelled by the literal meaning of the content in the games or books their children play or read, do not impose their anxieties onto the children. He says that most of the time, children know the difference between their fantasies and the reality, and imposing our anxieties on them would mean taking away this safe haven, and blurring the boundary between fantasy and reality, making them doubtful of their own control over their emotions.

Why do children need to fantasize? Right from birth, a child has to struggle to learn about the world she finds herself in, to learn to stand, to walk, to run. And all these involve innumerable failures. Every day of her life, she has to come face to face with her own inability. What keeps her motivated to persevere in this extremely difficult and potentially demoralising process of learning? She needs a sense of triumph, a sense of being in control, of being powerful.

This struck a chord deep within me. I could feel this child within me, with the insecurity of feeling unequipped to face the world. Especially since middle-adolescence, probably because around this time the fantasy worlds of my previous years disappeared, due to my evolving outlook of the world and life. I still feel completely unequipped to face the world today.

I had always thought that the purpose of education should be to prepare a child for understanding the world she finds herself in and enable her to act in it. But can there really be such a state of being prepared to meet something as complex and unpredictable as life? Can we be educated enough to act coherently and intelligently always?

And this is where the book struck a chord within me. Perhaps it’s not just children, who need fantasies to live with their incapability. Even adults have to face the fact of their inadequacy every day of their lives. And even they need a fantasy world to help them feel as if they are in control, and get on with their lives.

Whereas children’s fantasy worlds seem to be dynamic and ever changing just like them, the fantasy world of adults seem to be static and stagnant- it is embodied in the notion of settling down in life, getting a job, marriage, building a family and so on. Most children lose the colourful worlds of their fantasy as they grow into adults, and it gets set into the world of security that helps them meet the challenge of life and feel in control.

But can education help them meet the challenge of life differently? Can it help children to grow to be able to live with their incapability and not be intimidated by the world in the wake of their incapability? Can it help children realize that it is alright to be incapable, and that there is no one in this world who is actually in control outside their fantasy worlds?

Governments and corporations and advertisements and the media will tell you that they are in control and if you want to be in control, all you have to do is to follow them. But doesn’t anyone who has looked at the world a little more closely know that that is just fantasy? Wouldn’t you say that the world is just tumbling through time and space somehow, if you look at the massive inequality and ecological destruction and violence in the world?

Why do I need to live in a fantasy world to be secure? Can I feel secure in my incapability and continue to learn and do what I can without needing to feel in control?

Can education help a child do that?

22 thoughts on “Searching for the Heart of Education

  1. Education can. But we need to do it differently than we do today. We need to inspire passion and creativity so that they believe they can overcome obstacles and move forward. What we do now with grades and testing it to teach children that they are in an academic/economic/social caste based on a rather narrow set of factors without giving them the tools to find another way – and therefore teach resiliency.

    Thanks for sharing – We all feel a little incapable from time to time.

  2. Is it not absurd to aspire to feel secure in one’s incapability? Perhaps you meant to talk about overcoming the need to feel secure. With the need for security comes the need for the domesticity of a home and hearth. And that can be sustained only by tagging on to a fantasy that reasonably connect to some aspect of the collectively shared reality.

    Living with incapability is a glum thought. A better way would be to learn to live with one’s capabilities. And this most people manage to do. We find MF Hussain not getting worried about his lack of political skills. Same way Umman Chandy is in all probability not worried about his lack of ability to paint.

    In this world the total abdication of the need to remain in control is either too high an ideal or too base a trait that bothers the rest of the world. Whether it is the former or latter will depend on the spiritual level of the person. The digambara sadhus are venerated persons welcome in any household. But an ordinary person streaking on the road is promptly arrested as a serous offfense to our sensitivities.

    Education has two parts. The first is that imparted under the auspices of socieity. The second is the education that one imparts to oneself. The first deals with objective reality and the second with subjective reality.

    The education one imparts to a child is part of the first part of education that equips him to deal with the objective realities. Here we are equipping them with the essential capability for the validation and processing of inputs in ways that make sense. If you deviate from this theme and try to stress on the subjective realities you may end up producing cynics incapable of meaningful involvement in this world.

    I think we should not try to belittle the relevance and importance of objective reality. We cannot work towards peace and ecological balance by creating imbeciles with blunted sensitivities. For the second part of education all that we can do at this stage is to keeps the windows for their acquiring it open. It is sufficient if we refrain from making them fanatics.

    This recognition of world as a fantasy that has existence only in one’s mind is not a new idea. Our ancient scriptures tells us to ‘master the fantasy to find a secure anchoring to overcome the fear of death before taking the plunge for realization of subjective reality to go above the concept of mortality altogether. It also cautions that one who indulge himself in subjective reality alone can end up in bottomless pits of darkness.

    Balammama

    1. Is it not absurd to aspire to feel secure in one’s incapability? Perhaps you meant to talk about overcoming the need to feel secure.

      I think there is a subtle difference between overcoming the need to feel secure and being secure in one’s incapability (which I hope is more than a play of words!), and I did mean the latter. As I look at it, for learning you need a safe ground to experiment and fall and get up and start all over again. When you’ve fallen down, you can’t ignore the fact of your incapability if you want to learn. If you feel secure in it, you just go ahead and try again. If you don’t, you start weaving fantasies to tell yourself that it’s not your incapability, but the ground that’s uneven. Not that one is morally or spiritually superior to the other, but just that the latter is a hindrance to learning.

      And I’ve sometimes noticed within me that it is a very deeply imbibed trait that can be at least partially attributed to the kind of things valued in the educational environment. I see it at an intellectual level, but I can still see it operating when I’m in action.

      With the need for security comes the need for the domesticity of a home and hearth. And that can be sustained only by tagging on to a fantasy that reasonably connect to some aspect of the collectively shared reality.

      I think I’m not calling the acts of getting a job, or building a family or pursuing an adventure as fantasy, but that aspect which I talked about earlier, the need to make yourself believe that you are in control, which leads you to relate with all these aspects of reality in a way that is fantastic. I think you do all these things in a different way if you’re not feeling the need to be in control.

      Living with incapability is a glum thought. A better way would be to learn to live with one’s capabilities. We find MF Hussain not getting worried about his lack of political skills. Same way Umman Chandy is in all probability not worried about his lack of ability to paint.

      That’s what the culture all around us drills into us all the time. We do have a lot of capability and we should celebrate it and use it well, but why do we need to sweep our glaring incapability under the mat? There does seem to be an excessive emphasis on doing things right and well in the culture all around us, which can seriously affect one’s ability to live with mistakes and failures and learn.

      What if M F Hussain and Umman Chandy don’t acknowledge their limitations in the realm of painting and politics respectively and think only about their abilities? How will they learn? Again I don’t mean to say that it is morally/spiritually superior to be accepting your inability and smallness, but just that it’s more conducive to learning, which can lead to more intelligent action in the objective reality.

      In this world the total abdication of the need to remain in control is either too high an ideal or too base a trait that bothers the rest of the world.

      Total abdication of the need to remain in control may be even a fallacy!

      The education one imparts to a child is part of the first part of education that equips him to deal with the objective realities. Here we are equipping them with the essential capability for the validation and processing of inputs in ways that make sense. If you deviate from this theme and try to stress on the subjective realities you may end up producing cynics incapable of meaningful involvement in this world.

      Can we really separate education into independent components like that? Couldn’t it be that the manner in which the child is dealing with the objective realities influence and shape his subjective reality? I agree that we should not belittle the importance of objective reality, but relate with it in a way that nurtures one’s learning.

  3. Incorporate the following correction in my comment.

    Read ” I think we should not try to belittle the relevance and importance of objective reality” in place of ” I think we should try to……….”

    AVG

  4. Imagine a little bird trying to learn the art of flying. Flying is the core of its very existence and it feels the innate need to master the skill. It tumbles down, get up and try again and again till it finally masters the art. He travels from incapability to capability. The basic motive force for the movement comes from the insecurity he feels in his incapability…or its dream about a yet to be discovered capability. The important thing is to move in directions where one can meaningfully develop his capabilities. Freedom to discover these directions is perhaps more relevant than the freedom to fail. The security comes from the attachment to the sense of direction and not the incapability. Weaving fantasies to cover up incapability is definitely an aberration. But such aberrations are generally the result of the lack of direction.

    The need for control is implicit in any movement involving power. The difference is the way you look at the controls. If you feel the need to remain in control you are power hungry. If you exercise control because you feel you have the responsibility to maintain order you may be contributing to the general homeostasis in the universe. Don’t wish away power and control just because of their potential for being misused.

    When you reach the plateau that follows the golden period when you have all the freedom to experiment with yourself one settles down to limit the learning process to directions where one has identified his basic capabilities. Thrashing around in all fields without discretion is unproductive for anyone. Culture can be oppressive if viewed in the wrong way. We should learn to see it as a nurturing mother if we have to discover meaningful directions.

    Yes, in this world the total abdication of the need to remain in control is a fallacy.

    Of course the manner in which one deals with objective realities will influence and shape subjective reality. That is why we should stress on the purity of the approach to objective realities.

    1. The basic motive force for the movement comes from the insecurity he feels in his incapability…or its dream about a yet to be discovered capability. The important thing is to move in directions where one can meaningfully develop his capabilities.

      Yes, I agree with this. As I said earlier, “feeling secure in one’s incapability” may be just a play of words, but what I meant to communicate through this term was that you need to be able to acknowledge your incapability and live with it and study it and work towards building your capacities, and not be so worked up about it that you brush it under the mat.

      Freedom to discover these directions is perhaps more relevant than the freedom to fail.

      I think both are equally important. Perhaps the latter is more important, because without having studied one’s failure, one may be looking in the wrong directions.

      The security comes from the attachment to the sense of direction and not the incapability.

      That may be a self delusion, if one has not studied one’s incapability closely enough.

      Culture can be oppressive if viewed in the wrong way. We should learn to see it as a nurturing mother if we have to discover meaningful directions.

      I’ve felt that the influences of culture go far deeper than our views of it. Often, at an intellectual level I see that this is how I should look at it, but I see myself doing exactly the opposite in practice.

  5. Failure is the consequence of wrong action. Analysis of failures helps in honing the techniques, course corrections and making basic decision about whether to go ahead with the journey or not. If you depend on the analysis of your failures for finding direction perhaps you are turning away from the inner spirit. Once you do that you will reduce yourself to a status where your journeys are determined by second hand means.

    The security that comes from firm attachment to a sense of direction is not a self delusion. Essentially one feels secure when he has the courage to deal with triumphs and tribulations and go forward in spite of repeated failures. Then failure becomes consequential only to the extent of being a tool for refining techniques and modifying strategies. A standalone freedom to fail is more likely to romanticize a sense of loss and depression in the long run. Actually you should be thinking more in terms of the freedom from being affected by failures. This freedom comes from the correct perception of the overall scheme, the detachment to analyze the failure with reference to this scheme, and the ability to apply the results of the analysis. However many times it fall a bird will continue with its attempts to fly till it learns the skill.

    You are right in feeling that the influences of culture go far deeper than our views of it. What we usually see and share is only distorted versions of the externals of culture, much of which is irrelevant unless transformed to the domain where you live and operate. Turning yourself around to perceive and own the deeper nuances of culture that enable you fly like ‘Jonathan Seagull’ ought to be a very important stream in the curriculum you are setting for your higher education.

    1. I’ve not been talking about any stand alone freedom to fail. I think all I’ve been meaning to say is that “freedom to fail” is one of the important components that help in learning. I don’t mean to undermine the importance of other factors. But I would say that without the “freedom to fail”, learning can be distorted.

      Actually you should be thinking more in terms of the freedom from being affected by failures. This freedom comes from the correct perception of the overall scheme, the detachment to analyze the failure with reference to this scheme, and the ability to apply the results of the analysis.

      Perhaps, but could it be that it’s a freedom we are born with, but the education system and the larger culture systematically peels away?

  6. >> Whereas children’s fantasy worlds seem to be dynamic and ever changing just like them, the fantasy world of adults seem to be static and stagnant- it is embodied in the notion of settling down in life, getting a job, marriage, building a family and so on.

    Speaking of fantasy worlds, I remember very clearly that till high school, I used to read books / novels so passionately that invariably I used to end up imagining myself to be one of the characters in the book while reading it. And over time that “skill” got lost somewhere along the way, and I was thinking how & why. Related to that line of thought, I was reading this essay – http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html. What struck me about the essay was that it feels so profoundly real rather than just being philosophical – if I look around, I see a highly fragmented world where a person (child or adult) has like an umpteen number of “things to achieve”. If its a child, then the child has some homework, some science project, some football coaching, some artificially-arranged-socialising, some TV to watch, some computer games to play, ipod/pad/phone etc.. etc.. So like the essay mentions, I think we are ever so fast losing that “creative idleness” which is so essential for the “real” sustenance of a society.

    When I listen to the amazingly rich traditional Indian music, I wonder in these present conditions if we will ever produce musicians who can have creations matching the massive scale of a Ravi Shankar or a Chaurasia or a Shiv Kumar Sharma – I dont think any budding / talented musician-child can afford to spend that “idle time” required for such stunning creativity in todays world !! And like bertrand russel mentions about universities in his essay, where universities are supposed to be that place where the student has all the “idle time” to do great things – I think anyone will agree that its not the case today. Universities are more and more dictated to do just what the industry wants since thats where the money comes from.

    So I think we need to teach kids a little lesser and not more 🙂 – whatever gives them that “idle time”. Every freaking toy that a kid touches these days is loaded with some “educational” motive or the other – touch a button and it starts screaming ABCD, place ur hands and it shows you the map of the world. I fail to understand why parents fall for such traps which are nothing but pure marketing fads by these stupid toy companies. What happened to those simple toys like some sand and a mug of water which doesnt talk to the kid and attempt to teach it anything forcefully !

    And as mentioned in the essay : “Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.” Isnt it so true that the more “busy” you are, the less “good natured” you tend to be !

    But the tough question is how can this be achieved – will the parent have that courage of conviction to say that my kid doesn’t need to be taught ABCD by some stupid toy, or my kid doesn’t need admission in that pathetic school that expects a toddler to be reading charles darwin ? I haven’t seen even a single parent yet with that courage – the fear is always “if I dont buy that toy maybe my kid misses out on being as smart as his or her peers” ! A fear very profitably and intentionally cultivated over many years through media.

    Love,
    Gopu.

    1. So I think we need to teach kids a little lesser and not more 🙂 – whatever gives them that “idle time”.

      I think there are many layers to this. Let me try to enumerate a few of them below, with the risk of over simplifying.

      1. Reduce the volume of information they have to memorise for tests.
      2. Make the content relevant to their lives.
      3. Create avenues for open-ended exploration in the subject, taking away the emphasis from correct answers, to asking questions.
      4. Give children ownership of their learning- let them choose questions to solve, projects to do, set their deadlines and so on.
      (2-4, I think, can be done partially even within the existing system quite easily)
      5. Make schools democratic- let children have a say in decisions that matter to them- rules of the school, what should be there in the curriculum, and so on.

      I think every school in the world should work towards being democratic. There have been very interesting experiments in this direction http://www.sudval.org/ Then children will get the education they deserve. The system we have inherited is an outdated relic of industrial revolution.

      It’s possible to be in this mess and work towards getting out of it nevertheless, if you can live and work with paradoxes – http://oldsow.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/paradoxes-of-our-work/ (an article by Kirsten Olson, an Amercian education reformer.)

      I think a widespread awakening of parents can happen if the benefits of a holistic education can be shown tangibly to them. It also depends on what they are looking for as benefits. But I think most parents do have a sincere concern for their children’s well being to be open enough to look at what schools are doing if given the opportunity. Currently they have only one route to go down.

  7. Let me pick up three dogmas in your comment. 1. Democracy is good in all contexts. 2. Industrial Revolution is bad. 3. After a certain period of time any system becomes an outdated relic. Are you truly justified in taking these as valid premises?

    I think no philosopher has ever endorsed democracy as good in an evolutionary context. It is just a political gimmick to contain mob behavior. May be it provides a stable platform for evolution to go on. Education is addressed to individuals and the issues are more related to evolution rather than management of power. I doubt if democracy can play a central role here. There are three categories of students. Ambitious, passive and hopeless. Ambition is not a bad word. Even the drive of a spiritual leader to reach pinnacles of renunciation is ambition. Don’t you think that democracy in this case will pave way for the domination of the passive and hopeless? The balancing influence in this context should be from PTAs and not students.

    What was there before the Industrial Revolution? I am presently reading a historical novel, Caribbean by James A Michner. I would recommend to you to read that. There are some bad points attached to Industrial Revolution. But then all revolutions are like that. Unlike evolution revolution is a rash process that require a lot of post corrections. The real problem with the present school system is not that schools are not liberal enough. It is the overwhelming presence of the Mills attending to the needs of the Competitive examinations that makes the culture of school itself redundant to some extent.

    A holistic system can be effective only in a clean environment. The composition by a maestro cannot be appreciatedt in the neighborhood of a saw mill. So you have to work on cleaning up the environment in parallel. The flow of time is a relentless process. To fit in we have to work on all fronts together and at each stage ensure the connection of the system with the currently prevailing environment. We should remember that in the perpetual job of straightening the bent tail of this dog called World we are tuning our own sense of belonging.

    In the ultimate analysis God appears in front of a hungry man in the form of Bread. In other words “Annam Vai Tat”. If the environment is that of rat race the General Education system should be aimed at producing good rats. The job of breaking away from the evils of the current environment belongs to a motivated few who exist at a higher plane. That should not be mixed up with General Education.

    The Chase is after all to Belong and Be Happy.

    1. I do not really understand your division of students into ambitious, passive and hopeless. Do you mean politically ambitious? It is true that not all children speak out in the same manner, and it can result in domination of certain views, and there I think adult intervention may be important, but within an egalitarian framework.

      I think democracy in education is necessary because right now there is an inappropriate amount of power with the adults running the education system, resulting in sets of school rules that are arbitrary, and curricula that contain arbitrary material. I’m not saying that rules and the curricula don’t have any logical thinking behind them, but when the sole discretionary power is that of adults who are often unquestioned, the logic can be flawed.

      I do not contradict what you are saying about education being an individual’s evolution, but there is a structure with power to be managed, and children currently don’t have a say in the decisions which affect them.

      Of course, it is important to have more sensible adults who are making the decisions, and it will go a long way in making the system more sensible. But the real issues of children will most likely remain largely unaddressed unless they also have an active say in the decisions that affect their lives. That is not to say that they should be making the decisions by themselves, nor is it to say that achieving democracy in schools is an end in itself. There may be several other factors that should be in place for it to work. There may also be other routes to ensuring the well being of children. To study those is the work of education reformers.

      1. [A]nd it has received its classical poetical form in Wordsworth’s famous Ode, Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. In this poem, Wordsworth depicts the child as “trailing clouds of glory” from its original habitat — “God, who is our home.” He also assures us that “Heaven lies about us in our infancy,” and that as we grow up this “heavenliness,” this “purity” gradually departs until “at length the Man perceives it die away, and fade into the light of common day!” The whole of the fifth stanza of this Ode, in fact, is worth reading for the light it sheds on Wordsworth’s own psychology and sex-phobia; and there is probably a no more monumental record of the Anglo-Saxon misunderstanding of childhood than these nineteen lines of English verse.

        How refreshing it is, therefore, after reading the Intimations of Immortality, to come across Robert Browning’s much more profound interpretation of the same phenomenon — childhood, and to see how very much more realistically he understood it.

        Addressing Luitolfo in A Soul’s Tragedy, Ogniben says: “There I will tell everybody; and you only do right to believe you must get better as you get older. All men do so; they are worst in childhood, improve in manhood, and get ready in old age for another world. Youth, with its beauty and grace, would seem bestowed on us for some such reason as to make us partly endurable till we have time for really becoming so of ourselves, without their aid, when they leave us. The sweetest child we all smile on for his pleasant want of the whole world to break up, or suck in his mouth, seeing no other good in it — would be rudely handled by that world’s inhabitants if he retained those angelic infantile desires when he had grown six feet high, black and bearded.”

        http://www.anthonymludovici.com/mi_09.htm
        The Degeneracy of Modern Man — The Degeneration of Mind and Character.

        I suggest reading Richard Mitchell’s Less Than Words Can Say (the book is about language in general). Note that what you are saying is quite modern. You can bet that Leonardo di Vinci didn’t have a say in running his school.

        Link

      2. But the real issues of children will most likely remain largely unaddressed unless they also have an active say in the decisions that affect their lives.

        Children would just vote to read comics all the time!

        Forty students lorded over by one teacher, when the un-Creator created everyone equal! (you know, irrespective of sex, race, age, intelligence, etc.) End to tyranny, lets have democracy!

        And what in heaven is “active say”? You have been reading too much leftist stuff! In Marxist stuff, you would be the bourgeois working on your own downfall, which, by the way, proves (to blockheads) the historical inevitability of the rule of the proletariat, er, Children.

        Btw, Leonardo da Vinci. (And there were probably no schools then, but guilds and interns.)

  8. http://www.sudval.org/ looks interesting. Every week I go to two schools here to teach something – one is 5 year olds and the other is 11 year olds. Both are public (govt) schools in similar conditions. And I see the ocean of difference in excitement, attention and interest between these two age groups. The 5 yr olds are all ears with an expresion of “come teach me something”, the 11 yr olds are just bored and tired and have that expression of “just leave me alone, dont bore me” :). So 6 years is all it takes to wipe out all the excitement and interest ! I am extremely eager to see a school that has 11 yr olds as excited as 5 yr olds.

    But I wonder without a big “shakeup” whether these small grass-roots movements can achieve the scale of change thats required. For not-so-well-to-do parents, there is obviously no means to put much thoughts on such matters, they will just go with what is usual. If a well-to-do parent goes to work and the topic of discussion is their kids’ education, if he/she says that “I am sending my kid to some un-usual school”, the first response will be “are you crazy, do you want to play with your kids’ future ?” and thats sufficient to scare them enough :).

    Love,
    Gopu.

    1. Yeah. I think for large scale social change, “alternative” ideas need to be assimilated into the “mainstream”. In whatever way that might be possible.

      Btw, what do you teach 5 year olds?! 🙂

  9. About my division of students – By ambitious I didn’t mean just political ambition. I meant under this category students with definite set goals and working consciously towards the achievement of these goals. At premium institutions at university level perhaps we could say that this category will dominate. Everywhere else, what to speak of at the school level, the realistic picture is that apples of questionable quality overwhelms those to whom the society look forward for its healthy continuance.

    Power sharing ought not to be a theme in the process of education. As a matter of fact only when a student approaches the system with a spirit of self surrender he can hope to get the full benefit of education. Essentially what is the theme of education? Whatever be the field whether it is art, science or humanities we are taking someone from a childlike state to adulthood. Can a child define what is adulthood before entering it or reasonably near it? If the adults governing education are corrupted the solution should be sought in means for reducing the possibilities of such corruption. If you try to balance this problem by introducing the element of student power all that will happen will be a progressive deterioration of standards everywhere.

    We don’t have a say in things in most of the systems to which we connect while we live. When we get into train we don’t grudge that we are not allowed to have a say the railway system. What we are bothered is about system integrity, and not our involvement. The same should be true for the education system as well. Can we meddle with system integrity by giving overt stress on student involvement?

    ‘But the real issues of children……unless they also have an active say’. You want to strike away from conventions. Then why get stuck on such stereotyped sentences. While being grammatically well rounded does it really mean anything. Childhood is a very transient phase in life and there cannot be real issues exclusive to children. By promoting divisive thinking one can get noted but then he will not be serving the interest of society. The consciousness about student power is a contribution of politicians who wanted to exploit them. Aren’t we finding live examples of this everywhere?

    1. I find myself disagreeing largely with your outlook of education. Your categorisation of children, emphasis on “spirit of self surrender”, separation of the “motivated few who exist at a higher plane” from general education, and so on.

      I admit that the statement needs further examination as to what is meant by “real issues” and how an egalitarian set up might be able to address them, and what might be the problems with it. I don’t think I’m informed well enough to elaborate on that at this point, though. I would like to educate myself in that regard. Right now, I’m speaking more from an amorphous sense of the issues in schooling from my experiences over the last year and a half, and also my own experience of growing up.

      I don’t think there is any point going on and on about this, to be honest.

  10. OK. Quits it is.
    I dream of the day
    When ideas stop being feathers
    To tickle oneself and each other,
    Or hard implements to spar
    With oneself and the others,
    And become
    The threads that connect my spirit
    With the others out there.
    That day of ‘becoming’
    I reckon to be mine.

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