Tuesday, December 09, 2008

What is Education For?

This is one of those timeless pieces. Although it was written by David Orr in 1990, it is a valuable perspective - as valuable today as it ever was and ever will be. I had my 12 and 10-year olds read it and discuss it in the wake of what happened recently in Mumbai, and in the light of daily commentary on global warming and climate change.

I think high school children - old enough to debate global issues, participate in Model UNs and what not - should deliberate on the message in this speech. Although it was made as a commencement address to students graduating from college, I think kids should leave school - not college - with this message, so that it can shape what they study and do with their lives - and more importantly, how they do it.

One does not have to necessarily agree with everything David Orr says in this essay. It is enough that every citizen of this earth give this question deep and quality thought. When I look back on my studies in education at Harvard I feel that the paper on "What is the purpose of schooling?" was one of the defining moments of that academic sojourn. It was at once the most difficult and the most fulfilling exercise. I would give this question higher billing, and go a step further to contend that deliberation on this question could well be a critical part of human development, and must in some form or fashion, be part of every academic program - not just one on education.


Anantharaman Mani said...

I agree these messages should be spread at school level.

I'm a project guide for one of the school in Chennai.
Here is the details about it.

~ Ananth


I also agree! I think you have a great website! I love your layout for your blog. Happy New Year and I wish you the best and look forward to reading along.

Vashi said...

बधाई एक और सभी

एक मुबारक, Meaningful, रचनात्मक, उद्देश्यपूर्ण, प्रेरक, समृद्ध और प्रगतिशील नया साल

जो कुछ भी सुंदर, जो खुशी, जो बुद्धि, जो Meaningful, मई वो सब हो तुम्हारा है, क्या है

आज, कल और हमेशा

जीवन हासिल उत्कृष्टता आभारी हैं! जीवन बहुत बढ़िया है!

हम साथ प्रदान की गई है के बीच "यह बहुत ही सबसे बेहतर जीवन देने के लिए है कि चीजों की."

हम अच्छा करने के लिए आभार, जीवन के साथ हमारे कि Bestows बहुमूल्य लम्हें के साथ किया है, प्रत्येक दिवस, पल पल की.

सराहना जीवन से, हम उत्कृष्टता हासिल करने हैं, हम वास्तव में बहुत अच्छा गुण है कि हम साथ संपन्न किया गया है Reciprocating हैं और यूनिवर्सल रचनात्मक प्रगति और सार्थक लाभ हमारे कमाल यूनिवर्स और इसके कमाल लोगों के लिए इन का उपयोग.

"प्रत्येक क्षण बनाओ" गणना, हर पल "मामला"! गणना और बात, और कुछ नहीं पसंद है!

जांचना बहुमूल्य लम्हें, वे सही मायने में "", वे सही मायने में "मामला", हर पल गिन encapsulates और तुलना परे "खजाने का पता चलता है"!

हमेशा एक "अंतर", एक "आला", तो "अंतर", और "आला" यह अविश्वसनीय मामलों उत्कीर्ण करने के लिए प्रयास!

हर "सोच में उत्कृष्टता के साथ भरें अपने वर्ल्ड 'और' प्रयास 'यूनिवर्सल Meaningful लाभ और रचनात्मक प्रगति के लिए

मुझे लगा या विलेख कि "में एक दृढ़ विश्वास, सार्थक प्राथमिकताओं, जिम्मेदारी और विश्वास हर इंस्टांस में, साथ Pursue अपने उद्देश्यों"
Vashi राम चंडी

Wishing One and All

A Happy, Meaningful, Constructive, Purposeful, Inspiring, Prosperous and Progressive New Year

Whatever is Beautiful,Whatever is Happiness,Whatever is Wisdom,Whatever is Meaningful,May all that be Yours,

Today, Tomorrow and Always

Appreciate Life, Achieve Excellence! Life is Excellent!

We have been Provided with amongst "The Very Finest Of Things That Life Has To Offer".

We have to Appreciate with Gratitude, the Precious Moments that Life Bestows us With, Each Day, Moment by Moment.

By Appreciating Life, We are Achieving Excellence; We are truly Reciprocating the Excellent Virtues that we have been Endowed with, and Utilizing these for The Universal Constructive Progress and Meaningful Benefit of our Wonderful Universe and its Wonderful People.

Make each moment "Count", each moment "Matter"! Count & Matter, like nothing else!

Calibrate The Precious Moments, they truly "Count", they truly "Matter", each Moment encapsulates and reflects "Treasures Beyond Compare" !

Always endeavor to make a "Difference", carve a "Niche", the "Difference"; the "Niche" that incredibly matters!

Fill your World with Excellence in each "Thought" and "Endeavor" for Universal Meaningful Benefit and Constructive Progress

Pursue your objectives with a steadfast Belief, meaningful priorities, responsibility and Confidence at each and every Instance, whether in "Thought or Deed"

Best Wishes,
Vashi Ram Chandi

iCNBCinvestor said...

I too agree.
This is a basic question that may define the life of many a students if they find its answer with utter honesty and sincerety by quizzing themselves!!

Go on maam and we hope to read more such articles from your side.

mumbaihotelz said...

Certainly...This message has to go to the root level. I mean to say it has to be a compulsory subject for the school children. Especially people of delhi, mumbai has to be very careful about this it is very important i want to put this article on my mumbai city website http://www.its-mumbai.com.I need your permission