Sri Aurobindo; A Great Educationist
A seer of modern India, Sri Aurobindo’s (1872–1950) own life is a metaphor for the transformation that he believed human beings were capable of. Educated in England from a tender age, he gave up a promising administrative career for nationalist politics, abandoning that as well and retiring to a life of spiritual contemplation and work. Sri Aurobindo’s concept of education reflected this aspiration for change and growth. ‘Integral Education’, combining the Physical, Vital, Mental, and Psychic dimensions of the being, is Aurobindo’s philosophy of education, expressed through three basic principles:
1. Nothing can be taught: the teacher is a facilitator,
not a possessor of knowledge. Learning is a self-starting
and self-propelling process.
2. The mind has to be consulted in its growth: the child cannot be hammered into a desired shape; his nurture has to follow his nature.
3. Work from the near to the far: education must proceed from direct experience to the higher abstract.
Propounded at the turn of the last century, they reflect an ideal that is increasingly relevant in today’s world, but which clearly, was always true, for all times and all places.