What is Krishnamurti Education ?
by Prof. P. Krishna
Rector, Rajghat Education Centre, Krishnamurti Foundation India, Varanasi221001, India Several persons, both in India and abroad, have expressed an interest in starting a`Krishnamurti School ' in their town. Since Krishnaji did not specify any particulartechnique of education, the question arises, " What are the essentials of aKrishnamurti School ?" It is not easy to answer that question and one needs toinquire deeply into this. Through this article I wish to share a few thoughts withthose who feel interested in education. To me, a Krishnamurti school representsan experiment in right living, without anyone dictating to anyone else what thatmeans and without accepting any formula, any prescription, any authority thatmust be followed unquestioningly. It means to live rightly, not just accept theanswer from someone else and try to practise it or repeat it. Unless we learn tolive rightly, we can not teach the children to live rightly; therefore it is our firstand highest responsibility to find out what it means to live rightly. One can learn if one begins with saying, "I do not know but I am going to find out." Then one canlearn along with the student - not merely hand down words by way of teaching.So that is the first thing - not to have one's mind filled with conclusions, withanswers, with certainties and not to attach too great an importance to one's ownopinion, one's own view-point. To doubt it, question it and be willing to learn atall times; never to be so sure that one cannot even listen to another or consider adifferent point of view. That is being receptive and not just tolerant.Our life has four broad aspects to it - the physical, intellectual emotional andspiritual. Right living demands excellence in all aspects, and a healthydevelopment of all of them. We must therefore create an environment in theschool which makes this possible for the child without over emphasising any oneaspect. Since such education is intended to cover all aspects of life and not onlythe intellectual, it is desirable to have a residential school, in which the teachersand students live and work together and have a wider interaction with each other.Right physical development requires care of the body cleanliness, exercise, rightkind of food, adequate sleep and occasionally medicine. We must teach thechildren to bathe everyday, put on neat and clean clothes, keep their hair andnails clean, take regular exercise and not overeat. The body must be kept agileand alert like a race-horse so that there is no dearth of physical energy. Gamesand sports must be an integral part of school life. Highly spiced food, tobacco,alcohol and other things injurious to both physical and mental health musttherefore be avoided. We must live in our body like a guest, carefully look after it,not ignore or ill treat it and at the same time not be too attached to it.Intellectual excellence requires cultivating right reading habits, creating aninterest in the academic subjects, insisting on high language ability, goodexpression, a knowledge of current affairs, a love of Science, MathematicsLiterature, Art and Poetry. Doing well at the examinations must be a by-productof the intellectual development of the child and not an end in itself. We mustexpose the child to all types of intellectual scientific and literary pursuits and helphim to discover where his own interests and talents lie. A good library and thedesire to use it are essential for intellectual development. Debates, discussions,essay writing, extension lectures should be regular features of school life.The emotional development of the child requires the greatest attention. The childmust live in an atmosphere of care and affection so that he feels secure and is freefrom fear. Fear is the greatest enemy of all intelligence and creativity. The childmust feel free to tell us his problems and anxieties without fear of being scoldedor punished, like he would in a good home. Right conduct and order must beenforced without the use of fear or punishment and this is the greatest challengefor the educators and the parents. If we do have to take recourse to fear andpunishment, it represents our failure, not an achievement. The child must behelped to understand his feelings of fear, envy, greed, jealousy, anger, insult and
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