Relevance of Sri Aurobindo`s thoughts to Teacher educators

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Introduction

The spectrum of human life is intricate and fascinating. It poses forward various challenges and extends enormous opportunities for individuals to develop and progress. The process of developing good human beings and constructing a better society principally is with parents and teacher educators. It also determines the dimensions of individual development and social progress.

The role of the teacher educator is important since they have to make every effort to understand the future learners from within and without. The duty of the teacher educator is to equip oneself with various dimensions of knowledge so as to become helpful facilitator of knowledge.

Many teachers are incapable to grasp the spirit of education and relate its probable relevance to the process of man making. Teacher educators are hardly trained to recognize the capacities present in the child. This largely affects the teaching and learning process, and causes harm to the learners in direct or indirect ways.

The need of the hour is to train the teacher educators from a holistic perspective. This will progressively help them to respect the unique capacities present in each child as reflected by Sri Aurobindo.

Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on education have a philosophical base, spiritual framework and pragmatic approach. His thoughts reflect upon the learner’s world - from within and without. They direct teacher educators to develop a significant viewpoint towards the pupils. This is necessary to promote lifelong learning and bring about transformation in the pupils.

In the present article- an attempt is made to reflect in brief on Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on education and extend its meaningful dimensions to teacher educators.

II

Relevance of Sri Aurobindo’s Thoughts on Education to Teacher Educators

Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on education should be extended to teacher educators in India as well as in other countries. This will enable teachers to change their attitude towards oneself and towards the pupils. Some of these thoughts on education as interpreted by teacher educators and as understood by Sri Aurobindo are mentioned below:

1. Teacher as a helper and a guide
Teacher educators generally tend to dominate over students. They try to impose thoughts on young learners. Pupils are hardly given any freedom to express their thoughts.

Sri Aurobindo suggests teachers not to be taskmasters but to be helpers or guide to the child. The prime duty of the teacher is to show the pupil how to acquire knowledge for himself.

2. Mind to be consulted in its own growth
Teachers and parents often guide children on different aspects of life. But some parents and teachers try to impose their interests, ideas on the child. This hardly benefits the child. It affects the child’s development in several ways.

Sri Aurobindo tries to direct teacher educators to recognize the unique capacities present in every child. This approach will help them to inspire and encourage the pupils.

3. From ‘what is’ to ‘what ought’ to be
Many teacher educators reflect more upon ‘what is’ and ignore ‘what ought to be’ with reference to the pupils. But this is not appropriate.

Sri Aurobindo considers free and natural growth to be the condition of genuine development. ‘It is God’s arrangement that they should belong to a particular nation, age, society, that they should be children of the past, possessors of the present, creators of the future.’1

4. Nurturing human emotions through education
Children should be trained to express and respect emotions in a favorable way. This will enable the pupils to develop healthy interpersonal relationships and adjust in the society in a favorable way. But little or no effort is taken to orient the pupils about the value and worth of human emotions. This most of the times leads to violence, indifference, frustration and aggressive behavior amongst the young learners.

Sri Aurobindo focuses also upon the education of the heart apart from the education of the mind. He considers the education of the heart as a necessary aspect of life. The education of the heart is beneficial to the teachers as well as to the pupils. This can bring about meaningful transformation amongst the learners.

III

Teacher Educators: Lessons to learn

1. Training to Teacher Educators
Training and introspection can help the teacher educators to change their perspective towards teaching and learning. This can also benefit pupils in the longer run.

2. Introspection, relaxation and contemplation
Teacher educators should be trained to introspect, relax and contemplate daily. This will help the teacher educators to be objective, empathetic, kind and humane towards the children.

3. Orientation about the capacities of the body, mind, sense organs
Teacher educators can be oriented about the important aspects of the body, capacities of the mind, the sacredness of the sense organs etc. This awareness can help the teacher educator to develop innovative teaching skills, develop good rapport with the students and with oneself as well.

IV

Conclusion

Sri Aurobindo’s thoughts on education are relevant in the modern age. Efforts should be taken to spread these thoughts to different parts of India and the world. Implementation of these thoughts can surely bring about some remarkable changes in different parts of India. This will help to promote peace within and without.

Reference
1. Sri Aurobindo and The Mother: Sri Aurobindo and The Mother on Education, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, 1955, p.21.

The author is Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Mumbai.

Readers who have any queries or request for conducting guest lectures or workshops on the above mentioned theme can write to the Author directly.

Also read
1. Education in words of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother
2. Education in the vision of Swami Vivekananda
3. Humanities and Social Sciences in Indian Universities
4. Vedic concept of Education