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Education in the New Age - Chapter III - The Present Transition Period
Education is a process whereby the child is equipped with the information which will enable him to act as a good citizen and perform the functions of a wise parent. It should take into consideration his inherent tendencies, his racial and national attributes, and then endeavor to add to these that knowledge which will lead him to work constructively in his particular world setting and prove himself a useful citizen. The general trend of his education will be more psychological than in the past and the information thus gained will be geared to his peculiar situation. All children have certain assets and should be taught how to use them; these they share with the whole of humanity, irrespective of race or nationality. Educators will, therefore, lay em phasis in the future upon:
  1. A developing mental control of the emotional nature.
  2. Vision or the capacity to see beyond what is, to what might be.
  3. Inherited, factual knowledge upon which it will be possible to superimpose the wisdom of the future.
  4. Capacity wisely to handle relationships and to recognize and assume responsibility.
  5. The power to use the mind in two ways:
    1. As the "common sense" (using this word in its old connotation), analyzing and synthesizing the information conveyed by the five senses.
    2. As a searchlight, penetrating into the world of ideas and of abstract truth.

Knowledge comes from two directions. It is the result of the intelligent use of the five senses and it is also developed from the attempt to seize upon and understand ideas. Both of these are implemented by curiosity and investigation. [82]

Education should be of three kinds and all three are necessary to bring humanity to a needed point of development.

It is, first of all, a process of acquiring facts - past and present - and of then learning to infer and gather from this mass of information, gradually accumulated, that which can be of practical use in any given situation. This process involves the fundamentals of our present educational systems.

It is, secondly, a process of learning wisdom as an outgrowth of knowledge and of grasping understandingly the meaning which lies behind the outer imparted facts. It is the power to apply knowledge in such a manner that sane living and an understanding point of view, plus an intelligent technique of conduct, are the natural results. This also involves training for specialized activities, based upon innate tendencies, talents or genius.

It is, finally, a process whereby unity or a sense of synthesis is cultivated. Young people in the future will be taught to think of themselves in relation to the group, to the family unit and to the nation in which their destiny has put them. They will also be taught to think in terms of world relationship and of their nation in relation to other nations. This covers training for citizenship, for parenthood, and for world understanding; it is basically psychological and should convey an understanding of humanity. When this type of training is given, we shall develop men and women who are both civilized and cultured and who will also possess the capacity to move forward (as life unfolds) into that world of meaning which underlies the world of outer phenomena and who will begin to view human happenings in terms of the deeper spiritual and universal values.

Education should be the process whereby youth is taught to reason from cause to effect, to know the reason why certain actions are bound inevitably to produce certain results and why (given a certain emotional and mental equipment, plus an ascertained psychological rating) definite life trends [83] can be determined and certain professions and life careers provide the right setting for development and a useful and profitable field of experience. Some attempts along this line have been undertaken by certain colleges and schools in an effort to ascertain the psychological aptitudes of a boy or a girl for certain vocations but the whole effort is still amateurish in nature. When made more scientific it opens the door for training in the sciences; it gives significance and meaning to history, biography and learning and thus avoids the bare importation of facts and the crude process of memory training which has been distinctive of past methods.

The new education will consider a child with due reference to his heredity, his social position, his national conditioning, his environment and his individual mental and emotional equipment and will seek to throw the entire world of effort open to him, pointing out that apparent barriers to progress are only spurs to renewed endeavor and thus seeking to "lead him out" (the true meaning of the word "education") from any limiting condition and train him to think in terms of constructive world citizenship. Growth and still more growth will be emphasized.

The educator of the future will approach the problem of youth from the angle of the instinctual reaction of the children, their intellectual capacity and their intuitional potentiality. In infancy and in the earlier school grades, the development of right instinctual reactions will be watched and cultivated; in the later grades, in what is equivalent to the high schools or the secondary schools, the intellectual unfoldment and control of the mental processes will be emphasized, whilst in the colleges and universities the unfoldment of the intuition, the importance of ideals and ideas and the development of abstract thinking and perception will be fostered; this latter phase will be soundly based upon the previous sound intellectual foundation. These three factors - instinct, intellect and intuition - provide the keynotes for the three scholastic institutions through which every [84] young person will pass and through which, today, many thousands do pass.

In the future, education will make a far wider use of psychology than heretofore. A trend in this direction is definitely to be seen. The nature - physical, vital, emotional and mental - of the boy or girl will be carefully investigated and his incoherent life purposes directed along right lines; he will be taught to recognize himself as the one who acts, who feels and who thinks. Thus the responsibility of the central "I," or the occupant of the body will be taught. This will alter the entire present attitude of the youth of the world to their surroundings and foster, from the earliest days, the recognition of a part to be played and a responsibility to be assumed and that education is a method of preparation for that useful and interesting future.

It, therefore, becomes increasingly apparent that the coming education could be defined in a new and broader sense as the Science of Right Human Relations and of Social Organization. This gives a comparatively new purpose to any curriculum imparted and yet indicates that nothing hitherto included need be excluded, only a better motivation will be obvious and a nationalistic, selfish presentation avoided. If history is, for instance, presented on the basis of the conditioning ideas which have led humanity onward and not on the basis of aggressive wars and international or national thievery, then education will concern itself with the right perception and use of ideas, of their transformation into working ideals and their application as the will-to-good, the will-to-truth and the will-to-beauty. Thus a much needed alteration of humanity's aims from our present competitive and materialistic objectives into those that will more fully express the Golden Rule will come about and right relations between individuals, groups, parties, nations and throughout the entire international world will be established.

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