That "Old-time Education"
Urmas Kaldveer, Ph.D.
the old saying, "a healthy mind makes for a healthy body"? True
isn't it. Like so many of those homilies passed down to us by
previous generations, it has taken many of us a long time and
a circuitous journey to understand the wisdom in them.
don't really see where there is much difference today. The homilies
still hold up and the next generation (not all of course) is
still reluctant to fully contemplate the message and assimilate
it into a working philosophy of life. But why should they be
able to do something we could not?
to imply that a generation is not able to rise above it's predecessor,
lord knows we of the 60's generation thought we were clearly
intellectually superior. And to a degree we were, but only to
a degree. Now it's someone else's turn to shake the foundations
of the paradigm.
ancient Egyptians stated that knowledge was a great and wonderful
thing, but if it was not assimilated, it was worthless. That
word assimilation is the key.
are capable today of transmitting more information faster than
any previous time in the history of humankind. Yet we find ourselves
in a world totally out of balance. The Navajo have a word for
it, koya-an-nisqatsi. So do the Q'ero of Peru. They say it is
a time of Pacha-kuti, world turning.
word is used it is pretty clear that the present paradigm is
no longer tenable. That is an essay in itself and as tempted
as I am to launch into it, I will refrain and stay on course.
centuriesno, millenniathe human race has passed
on a good part of its wisdom through mythology, family histories
and folk tales. Formalized education is a relatively recent
innovation. In the short time that formalized education (education
designed to prepare the masses to be incorporated into the prevailing
politico/economic system) has been the first world's means of
maintaining it's desired paradigm, we have gone from interactive
classroom dynamics (life), to interactive electronic isolation.
have been a classroom teacher for 27 years. I have taught at
the middle, high school and college level. As a person devoted
to the Egyptian ideal of assimilating knowledge, I suggest that
we as a culture must do everything we can to preserve the concept
of a "healthy mind making for a healthy body." This is not happening
in our schools today. More and more of classroom time is taken
up with some form of media interaction rather than dialogue
is no argument that electronic delivery systems accelerate the
retention of facts. But this is not what education in it's most
worthy form is all about. It is about opening the doors of perception
and encouraging the joy of sharing knowledge through verbal
intercourse. It is the discussion that follows critical thinking,
based on information and then articulated in a way to encourage
the transmission of ideas.
must not let our schools become the corporate world's training
ground for a virtual reality world.
Urmas Kaldveer is an "old-time teacher/mentor". He has been
a teacher in the Ukiah area for 27 years and is currently employed
by Mendocino College as a part-time instructor. His one great
professional love is to share his thirst for knowledge; which
he believes is a life long pursuit. Whoever want's to join him
is always welcome.
August 21st at the Willits seniors Incorp., and August 23rd
at the Ukiah Senior Center, Dr. Kaldveer will be continuing
his Janus Lecture Series for Elders. Lectures begin at 10:00
am and last for 1 1/2 hours. The subject changes every eight
weeks. All members of the community, young and old are invited.
A $5.00/lecture tax deductible donation is requested.