Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Knowledge vs. Contemporary (Institutional) Education

After meeting the Sufi saint, and on provocations of thoughtful friends, I reflected.

Knowledge, I have learned, is not a chocolate cake you eat. Knowledge is not out there to be taken in - stuffing oneself so badly that eyes begin watering. That is a fairly recent position on education in the history of humankind.

True education is about bringing out what's within. It used to be the theory of education until, I have a private feeling, the notion ran afoul of intellectualisation. Intellectualisation isn't even word - and that's why the whole thing is so... stupid I'll dare say. The Intellectualising mindset is set to find the Big Intellectual Truth in the hope that it would complicate life even further.

Today, education is about stuffing information in, making fair connections within that information so as to create an intricate semantic web, and throw that net on any unsuspecting fool who hasn't read all the tomes and articles that the Intellectual has.

"Within" is now a storehouse of data, interconnected with fearful sounding bridges of technicalities that usually go by the name of "something-ism".* Basically, contemporary education is based on the premise that the more one reads (and memorizes and regurgitates-on-demand) the more... intellectual they are.

Education has become systematic, cut into shapes and patterns, institutionalized. On a side note, Prophecy, I give you a personal advice to retain your sanity:

That word means exactly what it says: Institution - the regimentation of the Mind into small cubic squares, filled with other people's dogmatic notions - to be transmitted without thought or accommodation of change in time, space, situations.

Then don't wonder, Prophecy, why I consider the most colorless period of my life the time I spent in the Institution of Business Administration. If only I were as adept at understanding the meanings of words back then! By their own admission, they "brought all students to an equal level".... by keeping the thinking ones lying flat on the ground waiting for the unwilling to step up and over.

Ah. Well. I am still bitter, eh? Have to take that out of my mental system.

I will.

* [Tip: A good time to do eye exercise is to roll the eyes when an "-ism" is suggested as the end-all and be-all for humanity and the Universe. Quick & dirty truth: all "-isms" eventually die. Most already have. The person who's pushing an arcane ISM down your throat just finished reading a book on it and just has to bring that up in conversation and writing. Stay put, and the -ismism will come to pass.]

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