At this time of year, when school is again a center of activity for so many, it's appropriate to think about what education should do, how to improve it, and especially what it is in the highest sense. Underlying such questions are some vital spiritual issues. For instance: What is the true source of intelligence and creativity? Who are we, really? Contributing editorshares some of her insights.
A Second-grader was having trouble, so the school set up regular sessions with its learning specialist. Sometimes these meetings went well; other times the boy's behavior was a problem. No one could figure out what made the difference. At one session when he was troubled, the teacher said simply and lovingly, "Maybe I should leave until you are ready to work." Her patience, expressing the school's respect for each child, gave him space for self-reflection. With a flash of insight, he said, "I don't like surprises." That session went well. The learning specialist realized that the other good sessions had been on days when the parents had reminded him of the coming meetings, or she herself had dropped by his classroom earlier in the day. There were no more problems after this bit of self knowledge was brought forth, and even the need for early reminders fell away.
Educational systems that enable learners of all ages to bring forth not only self-knowledge but fresh, new ideas are being sought and put into place. These build on what an individual intuitively knows, and help make acquired information memorable and valuable.