All education can be reduced to self-education. Academic qualifications and classroom knowledge are temporary, and the ability to educate yourself is an indispensable lifelong wealth.
What is education? What is education for? What is the most important principle in education? Countless excellent minds at all times, at home and abroad, have thought a lot about it and made a lot of remarks. But in the end, we can find that the most pertinent and wonderful words about education judgments often come from the mouths of philosophers.
As an educator and educator, if he does not have the wisdom to understand human nature, his words will easily be limited to the summary of experience, or stick to the details of psychology, and then appear superficial, trivial and mediocre.
Now I've listed the six educational ideals I admire the most, which I might call the six mantras of education.
They do have the character of proverbs: they point directly to the essence of things, as simple as oracles and as simple as common sense. It is a pity that people get lost in the illusion of things, prefer to believe all kinds of difficult and complex fallacies, and forget simple common sense. However, the still simple heart will surely feel how these proverbs are attuned to the ills of today's education, and how much our education needs to return to common sense, to the most basic truth of education as education.
1Education is growth, growth is purpose, there is no purpose other than growth
This argument was put forward by Rousseau and further elaborated by Dewey. Education is growth succinctly expresses the original meaning of education, which is to make everyone's nature and innate ability grow healthily, rather than pouring external things into a container.
When we understand the truth that education is growth, we also know what education should do.
Intellectual education is to develop curiosity and the ability to think rationally, not to instill knowledge;
Moral education is to encourage noble spiritual pursuits, not to instill norms;
Aesthetic education is to cultivate a flexible and rich soul, not to instill skills.
Growth is the purpose, and there is no purpose other than growth, which is especially opposed to measuring education with a narrow utilitarian scale. In terms of the state of society as a whole, as Russell pointed out, a society of men and women of superior nature would certainly be much better than the opposite.
Even if people seem to admit that education is growth, they must set an external purpose for growth, such as adapting to society, seeking a career, and making achievements in the future. value like. Is growth in itself worthless? Isn't a person whose nature develops healthily both excellent and happy?
Regulating growth with utilitarian goals will inevitably result in suppressing growth, but in fact it still denies that education is growth.
2Children are not adults who have not yet grown up, childhood has its own intrinsic value
If the external utilitarian purpose is used to regulate education and ignore the value of growth itself, one of the most direct negative effects is to deny the intrinsic value of childhood. This sees the child as a future being, an immature adult who seems worthless until he reaches adulthood. The goal of education then becomes to prepare children for future adult life. This absurd misconception has been around for a long time and is widespread.
The very idea of growing up is utterly stupid, as if children were not human before they grew up! Montessori first clearly criticized this concept, and established his theory of children's education on the basis of determining the value of children's personality. Dewey also pointed out that childhood life has its inherent quality and meaning, and it should not be regarded as an immature stage in life, only to let it pass quickly.
Each stage of life has its own irreplaceable value, especially childhood. Childhood is the most important stage of physical and mental growth, and it should also be the happiest time in life. The greatest merit that education can achieve is to give children a happy and meaningful childhood, so as to create a happy and meaningful life for them. The basics.
However, today's common situation is that the entire adult world has imposed its own small utilitarian goals on children, driving them to fight on the utilitarian battlefield. In fact, in a society a few years from now, the consequences of the barbaric deprivation of childhood values will manifest themselves in horrific ways.
3The purpose of education is to free students from the slavery of reality, not to adapt to reality
This is Cicero's famous quote. The opposite is true today—education is all about doing one thing, shaping students with the goal of adapting to reality. When people live in society, it is of course necessary to adapt to reality, but this should not be the main purpose of education.
Montaigne said: Learning is not to adapt to the outside world, but to enrich oneself. Confucius also maintained that learning is for oneself and not for others. Philosophers throughout the ages have emphasized that learning is to develop one's inner spiritual abilities, thereby gaining freedom in the face of external reality.
Of course, this is just an inner freedom. However, it is with this inner freedom, this independent personality and independent thinking ability, those excellent souls and minds have played a great role in changing the reality of human society. Education should create the conditions for the promotion of inner freedom and the production of excellent souls and minds. If you just adapt to reality, just train your child like an animal.
4The most important educational principle is not to cherish time, but to waste it
This statement came from Rousseau, and to many of us today it sounds like absurdity. If education is growth, then the mission of education should be to provide the best environment for growth. What is the best environment? The first is free time and the second is a good teacher.
In Greek, the word school means leisure. According to the Greeks, students must have ample time for experience and contemplation in order to develop their mental abilities freely. Rousseau defended his shocking argument that time is more costly than wasted, and that children who have been educated wrong are farther from wisdom than children who have not been educated.
Many parents and teachers today are afraid that their children will be wasting their time, forcing them to do endless homework and not giving them a little time to play, thinking that they have fulfilled their responsibilities as parents and teachers. Rousseau asks you: What is wasted? Is happiness nothing? Is it nothing to jump and run all day?
When it comes to college, free time is even more important. In my opinion, there can be no good teachers, but no free time. After all, all education is self-education, and all learning is self-study. Even more so in terms of the growth of mental abilities. I agree with John Henry that bright students with a basic education might as well have no teachers or exams in college and let them roam freely in the library. I sigh with Bernard Shaw: bookshelves all over the world are full of spiritual delicacies, yet students are forced to nibble on unnutritious and boring textbooks.
5Forget everything learned in the classroom, the rest is education
I first saw this quote in Einstein's article, a wisecrack he quoted unnamed. Then I discovered that it was probably born out of a passage by Whitehead, to the effect that the textbooks and lecture notes, and the details to memorize for the exam, were left with value.
The details of knowledge are easy to forget, and easy to find in books when they are needed. Therefore, focusing on remembering the details of knowledge is laborious and worthless. Suppose you forget all these things you learned in class, and if it turns out that there is nothing left, it means that you have been educated in vain.
In Whitehead's words, what should be left to be called education is the principle that permeates your mind and body completely:
a habit of intellectual activity
A lifestyle full of learning and imagination
In Einstein's words, it is the general ability to think and judge independently. According to my understanding, in layman's terms, a person has since become an incorrigible thinker and scholar. No matter what career he pursues in the future, he can no longer change his habits and hobbies of learning, thinking and research. University educated.
6University should be a place where masters gather, so that young people can grow up under the influence of masters
The true meaning of education is not to impart knowledge, but to cultivate the habit of intellectual activities, the ability to think independently, etc. Obviously, these intellectual qualities cannot be imparted like knowledge. Call it the nurture of a master. The masters are in two places, one is on the shelf of the library, and the other is in the university, which should be the place where the living masters gather.
As Whitehead said: The raison d'être of the university is to have a group of scholars who imaginatively explore knowledge, subject students to its intellectual development, and build a bridge between mature wisdom and a passion for life, otherwise the university It doesn't have to exist.
Today's universities compete to advertise the so-called world-class universities, and have also drawn up all kinds of hard indicators. In fact, the matter is very simple: the hardest indicator is teachers. A university has a group of first-class scholars with noble hearts and intelligent minds, and it is a first-class university. Otherwise, no matter how large the school building, no matter how grand the building is, and no matter how advanced the equipment is, it will all be in vain.