In an earlier post, and in the GBSS Hostel book I associated Mr. John Morris, (my Primary School Headmaster) with the Latin word ‘educare’. Mr. Morris would tell his Scholarship Class that ‘education’ had little, if anything to do with ‘teaching’, but was derived from the Latin verb ‘educare’, which means ‘to draw out’. His job, Mr. Morris would tell us, was to draw out of us not only what we consciously knew, but also that which we knew, but did not know that we did. And the more these views were shared around, the more education takes place. You see, Mr. Morris considered himself and educator, especially with his Scholarship Class.
I have often mulled on that last part – that which we know but did not know that we knew. I have often wondered at little children making insightful comments, surprising the adults into some response like ‘this child is an “old soul”. In using Mr. Morris’ approach in a school environment I have sen it work wonders in drawing out students, and having them educate themselves with each other’s’ views (I didn’t know that; I disagree; I learnt a lot). I venture that a good educator could bring a group of primary school students, never before formally exposed to, say, Economics, and soon have a (useful, at their level) discussion and exchange going. In my own family, I tried most times to lead my children into themselves answering their own questions, ‘from within’. Of course, an individual, by thinking about what he/she reads or hears, can draw out from within what is there consistent with or repugnant to what is being heard and read, and so prepare himself for the exchange when that time comes.
So where does all that come from? Drawing something out implies that it is ‘in there, somewhere’, and perhaps has been there over a long time. Is this the case with what happens in an ‘educare-type session? We are told that our past fashioned our present; things we do now are merely the reflected result of things we thought and did in the past. Interesting? We are also told that our current existence may be one of thousands of years (lives); that we are on a journey of improvement of our souls, and as we go from one existence to another we accumulate experience and knowledge. Well, if this is so, and if the past-present connection is true, can it be that we carry over knowledge from one existence to another, expressions of which at an early age impress adults to regard children as “old souls”?
Someone may ask – “well, how come we do not carry all old knowledge with us; would this not be a good thing?” Well, not necessarily – for one, a different existence may take place with different conditions (remember it’s a journey). And imagine the baggage one would be carrying over multiple lives? It may well be that because the human brain, while mighty, can be overwhelmed, some of our memory codes are wiped clean, and some are abridged and buried somewhere within us. I like the thought of a need to clear out what is in practice ‘a limited personal space’, to allow for the new experiences to be absorbed. Some of the past stuff learnt (database), I surmise, remains within us, waiting for an educator to work with us to draw it out, hopefully for shared benefit.
How this is done or by whom, is of course, not the question here; and to me does not matter if we cannot change it. Sounds cute? Just remember the little boy who acted strangely “from small…..” Maybe we need to pay more attention to ‘educare’ in our teaching and parenting. Good Luck, and
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!