Every child is born wholistic and integrated. They are born curious, with a scientific and an artistic mind to enable them to make sense of the world and to live in harmony. They are born with trust in life, contentment and a sense of completeness. They are the manifestation of spirituality.
They are also born with universal mind which ensures the possibility of right conduct.
But this potential will only flower if there are conditions conducive for this to happen. In that sense the human child is the most vulnerable and helpless being and is totally dependent on the external world.
This wholistic, natural and universal mind is destroyed when the external world draws out the ego centric being. The ‘being- in- the world’ is drawn out to become ‘being- of- the world’.
Damages of schooling
All experiences are transformational. We are born with the biological tools to understand the world directly and any mediation would mislead the child. Experiencing is the way in which we be in the world. Schooling distorts the integrity of experience. Schooling happens when any kind of imposition of knowledge happens. Schooling is done through psychological conditioning like conscious memorization and conscious reasoning. This happens when the child is taken out of experiencing their real context and introduced to non-contextual, codified, non-dialogic and artificial ‘knowledge’. The child’s experience henceforth gets distorted and fragmented and gets transformed in to fragmented, de contextualized rational being.
In that sense providing toy to children is the first act of schooling. The modern adults are schooled to believe that children like bright colours and hence the total environment for children are created with bright objects, dress, paint etc. Any belief can be classified under schooling. Teaching is not a biological phenomenon.
Schooling has created imbalance between our biological and psychological needs and responses.
The biological process involved in making sense of the world is destroyed and is replaced by psychological conditioning. Firsthand authentic experiencing of the world is replaced by words and images through books, teacher and now by internet. This numbs and distorts the senses which are the tools that help us to experience the world. The wholistic being is fragmented and hence the body has no role in knowing. The school caters only to the mind. The mind body split is bought about in this process.
This also creates imbalance between biological and psychological needs.
The cognitive damage is brought about by removing the real context of what is to be learnt and also removing the processes involved in learning. By engaging with codified and readymade ‘knowledge’ the knower begins to use conscious fragmented reasoning. This not only makes him a believer in ‘knowledge’, it also removes the natural processes like observation, sensing, feeling, engagement, exploration, abstraction, intuition, insight, categorization, codification and understanding . The engagement with ‘knowledge’ truly creates the superstitious mind, a mind that has replaced religion with science.
This constant practice of engaging with ‘knowledge’ as a product removes the organic process of coming to know and rewires the cognitive process to deal with certainty and then uses conscious memory to store information and conscious reasoning to add to the stock. Knowledge becomes a quantity and our language also has far number of nouns than verbs even though the real world is a world in process, in verb.
Language is being used as the source of knowledge instead of as a tool for communication. This restructures the cognitive system. The absence of engaging with the real world forces one to recreate an imaginary world of mere words and concepts. From three dimensional world one gets reduced to a flat, two dimensional world.
Dependence on others methods is the fall out of dependence on knowledge. This also turns us in to people who are verifying what we have learned rather than discovering and creating knowledge.
The inherent nature of the being is to be contented, to feel completeness and to trust life.
Engaging with ‘knowledge’ removes the trust in the uncertainties of life. The fear of unknown makes one want to plan, control, manipulate and predict. The engagement with the unknown makes one open, tentative, risk taking, exploratory, intuitive. This also retains the wonder or awe in our being. This also retains humility and innocence
We are born wholistic and natural learning is a choice less process and learning happens without fragmenting and categorizing the world. Knowing happens by being in the experience. Conscious reasoning and conscious attempt to understand the phenomenon of the world based on non contextual and codified knowledge fragments our wholistic beingness . The collective mind reduces itself to the ego mind so also the nature mind gets reduced. The collective and the nature mind follows the value system of Nature based on biology or the evolutionary needs of life itself. Thus cooperation, collaboration, sharing, caring is the natural way of the being. Self centric activities and individualism is the outcome of this reduction. Selfishness brings in ownership, greediness, competition etc
The rational engagement corrupts the beingness in the world. It distances the knower from experience. It introduces the psychological time as we move from being in the experience to learning from experience.
The absence of concrete experience in the engagement with knowledge fragments and distorts the psychological integrity. Thus emotion and sensitivity are removed and distorted. The experience itself is distorted as what you engage with is not the real world but description of the world. The medium itself turns out to be the message. Thus smell of the book, the print, layout, clarity in writing, the posture of sitting, amount of light, the mood of the teacher, and what is written etc becomes the content of experience.
Boredom, anger, impatience etc are effects of schooling.
The mind body split has also had its impact on the physical appearance. Rational beings tend to look more manly.
Like everything else all biological needs are transformed in to psychological needs. Beauty, which is fundamentally a biological aspect of our being also
authentic and orinal nature is destroyed, being totally present is lost, being in nature is destroyed. The wholistic nature if fragmented.
Cooperation and sharing is replaced with competition and greed, self-reliance is replaced by dependence on methods and authority where anything termed as scientific is blindly accepted.
Western mind is preoccupied with the idea that the external world is chaotic and needs to be controlled. The external world is impeffect and needs correction. The external world is uncivilzed and needs to be civilized. They are up in arm aganst nature and is on the verge of eliminating
Western preoccupation with rationality
Dependence on knowledge, codified as text has made us in to rational beings
Modern education with its genesis in the western world view is against culture and nature. It has distorted and eliminated almost all other ways of knowing and being. Through education our authentic experience is replaced with static and frozen images of ‘knowledge’. Knowledge precedes knowing! We have become people who are verifying rather than discovering. What is evident is the homogenizing and dehumanizing impact as all cultural diversity is being destroyed.
What’s wrong is the underlying assumptions on which modern schools were set up. Schools, knowledge and teachers came in to being as a result of wanting to ‘teach’ children and seldom the question was asked how children learn! How to teach children would put emphasis on pedagogy, knowledge, expert etc and how children learn would emphasis on creating conditions for knowing to happen.
As a result the present schools are creating uncreative, fragmented, anthropocentric, egoistic and selfish individuals who are spiritually, cognitively and culturally damaged. Schools have destroyed knowing as a process by imparting knowledge as a product. This when done for 15 to 20 years completely rewires our brain and gets accustomed to store and process information given by experts or got from books rather than creating knowledge. All we do in schools is to memorize information and analyze information. The ability to deal with unknown is absent. Even the quality of learning is killed as we become closed, rigid, and mechanical and pride and arrogance will not let us even doubt our mediocrity.
Reasoning, recollection, verification, planning, knowledge lies in the realm of the known, the past but creativity, invention, discovery, spontaneity, intuition, insight, knowing lies in the threshold of the unknown, the present.
Non contextual and word/ language dependent schooling further alienates the knower from their true nature, dis regarding the role and experience of the knower, creating the mind body divide.
The genesis of present schooling in India is based on the conception of Macaulay which was meant to produce Indian in colour but British in culture. The modern Indians have continued and perfected this even after the British left some 60 years ago. This has resulted in change in our world view, created dependence on western universities and also created deep rooted inferiority complex.
Destruction of other ways of knowing and other cultures has been another impact of modern schooling and its hegemonic knowledge system.cultural diversity is replaced by institutional diversity.
At Kolwan village
The specific context of the school being in the rural set up demands certain kind of interventions to address certain fall outs. The villages are situated very near to a big city and education becomes the passport for choosing the city life and kicking the rural life along with their non-literate parents and all the embedded wisdom knowledge and skills. The impact of schools in rural set up has been to increase migration to urban areas. An education that can make children respect rural life along with acquiring the wisdom knowledge of community would minimize migration to some extent.
The children who go to regular schools become second hand imitators and copy cats as children never participate in the creation of knowledge. They learn to compete, learn for the sake of passing or for pleasing the teacher, parent etc and never for the joy of learning. For a rural child the damage is even severe as they begin to disregard the knowledge of the community and psychologically distances from their ‘illiterate’ parents hardly knowing that this illiterate parents knew the true knowledge to support life.
Biology of learning
biological beings learn. They learn as per their biological needs and also from the context of their lives.