Monday, 28 March 2011

What's education got to do with it?

If you ever get a chance to do a workshop with Caroline Myss then grab it with both hands.  She is one of those people who say it how they see it which is quite refreshing in spirituality circles where one can be smothered by too much niceness.  Her mind is razor sharp and she does not suffer fools gladly.  It has given me plenty to think about.  I want to share one of those jewels with you.

Caroline is someone who is very fond of History which means she is able to show the links between events and how History repeats herself.  I was struck by her observation about Plato, an old favourite of mine when at University, which was on education.  What was recognised back in Greek times was that the key to a good education was to educate the imagination first.  Think about that.  Where does your mind go when you are relaxing.  Does it dream about wonderful futures or does it create Bosch-like nightmares about what might happen?  We can harness our fears by developing our imaginations.

If that sounds too fantastical then take a look at Sir Ken Robinson's TED talk in which he argues that education kills our creativity.  He shows how the focus on literacy and numeracy in the education system is equivalent to working on children from the neck up.  We educate them out of creativity when what we need to be doing is educating the whole person.  That means placing much more emphasis on movement and dance.  The picture he paints shows why children of four or five go into the education system full of curiosity and often as not come out the other end frustrated and bored.

All these reasons point to why so few people today feel fulfilled and why so few are unable to think outside of the current Newtonian paradigm that for the moment continues to hold sway.  If you are a parent and any of this resonates with you, what can you do to ensure that your children develop a rich and vivid imagination, a tool that we need to solve the challenges that we have created on earth?

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