role of teachers

The danger of education is that our conditioned minds limit us, and unknowingly we try to push and prod the student’s mind into the same mold.  We believe that what we know is the truth, the most important thing; that our attitudes are right, our beliefs and values and practices are the only way to think and behave. And this limitation we impose on the children. With computers taking over the domain of knowledge, a cognitive equality has been established between teacher and students. Yet, in her capacity to manage anger, fear, anxiety, jealousy, sorrow – the teacher struggles in the same way as her young students. Though older, we are all still slave to our emotions. The computer has no such emotions to impose, appreciates for a task done well, allows for as many chances a student needs to succeed, is fair about scoring, does not grumble about time, and does not punish. When the student makes a spelling error, the computer simply corrects it, while the teacher would have been upset. If the student has a question, the computer will offer 10 different answers and allow the student to choose. So what will be the role of the teacher in the future? With courses going online, will teachers become irrelevant? Will they have anything to offer to students at all?

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the problem

With education systems in place since hundreds of years, I only ask this – have the problems in the world increased or decreased? If education was effective, mankind’s problems should have reduced. Since they haven’t, we can only conclude that there is something wrong with the whole plan of education. Maybe the problem comes from having trained children like they were animals in a circus. If they do as we say, we reward them; if they don’t do what we say, we punish them. Is there no difference between children and animals? And then, if these children grow up to behave like beasts, who is to blame? We compare them, teach them to compete, create in them low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy – we break them so young! Can these emotionally wounded people ever be happy or be the cause of happiness?

 

What is education?

In schools we teach – we spend so much time in gathering and organizing information, so that students can know, and this knowledge is important for them to earn their livelihood. Yet, is this what the child is learning in the classroom? Maybe 30% is information in the form of Math, Science, History. What is the other 70%? The child is learning what the teacher is. His mind is unconsciously absorbing how the teacher behaves, what she rewards and punishes, how she manages her anger, fear, anxiety, jealousy. So have we learned to manage our own anxiety, anger, fears? If not, then what are we teaching the children? I am the same as my students.
Indian sages, thousands of years ago, defined education as “that which frees”. The insight and awareness that frees you from being slave to these emotions, is true education.