In 2012, Youth Time International Movement organized Education of My Dream project in order to conduct an international dialogue on “What is the ideal system of education?”. Representatives of steering committees from different countries have organized local events and discussed their concerns regarding education with their friends, and then recorded their conclusions.
“I have a dream…” Martin Luther King
These are the words that Martin Luther King used in his famous speech against discrimination of African Americans. He gave his life for his dream, but in the end the dream came true. Being a human I have dozens, hundreds, thousands of various dreams, some of them are quite possible, the others are not so feasible…
In this essay I want to talk only about one of my dreams. I want to talk about the “education of my dream”. I dream of education that would make my life much more interesting, education that would become my guiding light in the world of darkness. For me, it is really hard to imagine the “education of my dream” and write about it. In order to make the topic of the essay clearer, I am intended to analyze every single word in the phrase “education of my dream”. So I will start with the word “education”
“Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance.” Will Duran
The word “education”….What does this word mean to me? Education is one of the things that make the human the dominant form of life on the planet Earth. Education was created by human, but after many years it turned into “an independent form of life”. This “independent form of life” is the main guiding light for the human race in the today’s world of darkness. Education gives the human race the chance to overcome the obstacles that appear on its way in today’s world. If the education did not exist there would be no humans living in the 21st century, everything that we possess would not even exist if there was no education. At the same time, education is often misused as a simple tool which serves humans and makes their lives a little bit easier. In fact, education should be approached as a reservoir or a generator of the spiritual values that are necessary for the human to live a full-fledged life.
According to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the two highest steps of the human development – are esteem’s needs and self-actualization. These two steps are leaving behind the other three steps – biological and physical, safety, belongingness and love needs. These first three steps can be achieved even without spending any time on the education. But it is clear that the highest steps in the hierarchy – esteem’s needs and self-actualization can only be achieved by the means of education. A person who desires to reach self – actualization should approach education as the source of the wisdom. For many people who lived on the earth and who reached the step of the self-actualization, education was the main aspect of their life; they were not able to imagine a single day of their lives without learning something new. The desire to know everything was the stimulus of their lives. From a simple exchange of the information that was needed for the human survival, education turned into a stimulus for life, into a spiritual exchange process between different people living on the Earth.
“Dreams are like stars… You may not touch them, but if you follow them they will lead you to your destiny” Unknown
Now I want to switch gears to the word “dream”. When I hear the word “dream”, I think of something that is desired, but at the moment it is not possible due to various reasons. From the other hand, a dream could be something unbelievable that can never be done but still, is being kept deep in the one’s soul awaiting its time, when some magic force would make it come true. People dream. And it is a right thing to do. Because without dreams, our lives would be really faded and monotone. Dreams are the aspects of our lives that fill our lives with hope for the better. Dreams, perhaps, are the only reasons why we live. A person without any dreams cannot live a full-fledged life because he would not have a higher reason to live for. The more dreams one has, the longer he lives, the brighter and miscellaneous his life is.
So what kind of education do I actually dream of? In one of the museums of Vatican there is a fresco by Rafael named “The Athens School” depicting the two of the great Greek philosophers of the ancient times – Pluto and Aristotle. This fresco depicts their approaches to the education. Pluto is portrayed with his finger pointing in the sky and Aristotle is pointing on the ground. The idea of this fresco corresponds to the difference between their attitudes towards education. Aristotle tried to find the answers in the reality surround him unlike Plato who always tried to reach perfection. In my opinion the two approaches in fact are not so different. I think that education is an endless process and desire for the perfection is somewhat like the desire to know everything in the world. Of course there is nothing perfect, but the desire for the perfection and the ambition for the perfection are something that should be honored and respected. I also think that these two approaches are actually two parts of something bigger. Desire for the perfection is not possible without self – education, and self-education is fully based on the observation of the processes that take place around you and finding answers for the questions in the reality surrounding us.
In my opinion education is one of the few things in my life that never can be completed at all. Education is an endless road towards perfection. The more I live the more I realize how ignorant I was before. Despite the fact that I live in the 21st century – the age of the new technologies when the education is introduced in a new format, I still think that we should return to the form of education that was used in the past. I completely appreciate new opportunities for learning via new technologies and innovations, but I think that education is more useful in the form that was used before the age of new technologies.
Libraries all over the world are becoming more and more abandoned because everyone is reading books on the internet. But if you think about the actual purposes of the libraries, you will understand that the library is not only the place to keep the books in, it is a place where you can meet interesting people who can teach you something new. From the other hand, when you go to the library to get a book, in the process of finding it you are actually exploring more and more interesting books. In the library you can actually touch the books, written a long time ago, you can touch history. For more than two thousand years educated people have been writing books on different topics, they were eager to share their wisdom with others, but very often they have been ignored.
In my dreams I want to have access to all of the books in the world written in the history of mankind. I regret that I have no chances to talk to the great scientists and philosophers who lived before me, but I realize this “communication” is possible when I read their books. Educated people that left this world are actually really close they are in the closest library. I dream of the times when people would spend more and more time in the libraries,reading books and exchanging wisdom. I dream of the times when the libraries would turn into temples where the sacred process of the exchanging wisdom and information would take place. Education of my dream is self-education and continuous communication with educated people surrounding me.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not remember that what you have now was once among the things you only hoped for.” Epicurus
We should not forget these words. Sometime ago people who were trying change the education for better and they could only dream about the opportunities that we have. We should not forget the real purpose of education. Education is the light, the light that should be followed throughout the life. If you want you live a full-fledged life you have to spend time on self-education. The answers for all the questions that one might have are already answered in various books. The only thing that has to be realized is the fact that in order to educate ourselves we need to be less ignorant…