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Jiddu Krishnamurti on Education
Question: What is the significance of history in the
education of the young?
The history of mankind is the history of tribal wars,
feudal and colonial wars, the wars of the kings and nations; and it is
all still going on; the tribal mind has become national and
sophisticated - but it is still the tribal mind. The history of man
includes its culture; it is the story of the human being who has gone
through all kinds of suffering, through various diseases, through wars,
through religious beliefs and dogmas, persecution, inquisition, torture
in the name of god, in the name of peace, in the name of ideals.
How can the educator help the student to understand the story of himself, which is the story of the past, of which he is the result? That is the problem. If you are the educator and I am the young student, how would you help me to understand the whole nature and structure of myself - myself being the whole of humanity, my brain the result of many million years? it is all in me, the violence, the competition, the aggressiveness, the brutality, the cruelty, the fear, the pleasure and occasional joy and that slight perfume of love.
How will you help me to understand all this? it means that the educator must also understand himself and so help me, the student, to understand myself. So it is a communication between the teacher and myself; and in that process of communication he is understanding himself and helping me to understand myself.
It is not that the teacher or the educator must first
understand himself and then teach - that would take the rest of his
life, perhaps - but that in the relationship between the educator and
the person to be educated, there is a relationship of mutual
investigation. Can this be done with the young child, or with the young
student? in what manner would you set about it? That is the question.
Also, are we prepared to help the child and ourselves to have integrity? The word `integrity' also means to be whole and to say what you mean and not say one thing and do something else. Integrity implies honesty. Can we be honest if we have illusions and romantic and speculative ideals and strong beliefs? We may be honest to a belief but that does not imply integrity.
As it is, we bring children into the world, spoil them
till they are two or three, and then prepare them for war. History has
not taught human beings; how many mothers must have cried, their sons
having been killed in wars, yet we are incapable of stopping this
monstrous killing of each other.