Wednesday, December 13, 2006

gurukul

Im thinking about giving a talk at the upcoming pune barcamp about next generation education. I need to put something of a presentation by tomorrow evening.

Right now though, Im especially interested in past generation education - specifically the gurukul system, and how it might be applied today to provide modern education.

Im thinking that it takes clarity on the part of the teacher (aka. guru) about what they stand for. Since the gurukul method of teaching is much less structured than traditional classroom education, its less important to come up with a specific curriculum. Instead in the gurukul method the learning and guidance is transmitted by living together. Thru regular ongoing contact, the students are able to learn a great deal simply by observing the teacher, and the teacher can provide guidance to the students based on personal observation over time.

Because the teacher student relationship spans much more than just an hour of class time the nature of what is taught is much more holistic. The guru is basically transmitting a way of life to the students, not just a certain subject matter.

This is an important subject - how to live. By definition it touches all aspect of life. And while (also by definition) everyone knows how to live, very few people understand how to live sustainably. Communicating how to live sustainably, successfully, happily seems like a worthy endeavor. And its possible all it takes to get this going is to start with the confidence that as challenges and questions come up the information will be there to help navigate them.

This is what the guru provides, not all pervading knowledge, but the confidence to navigate the situations as they arise.

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