Education as a human transformation and personality development

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    Hello, Habr!

    With this post I am starting a series of articles on education. I took a long time to select a portal for publication, but Habr couldn’t find anything better: many mass media are already so bogged down in politics and trolling that their editors are forced to turn off the commenting function. Since I believe that the main thing in the written culture is not the content itself, but its discussion, I came to Habr.


    I must say right away that many of the points that we will touch upon are quite esoteric, and it will not always be possible to confirm them with studies and statistics. Judge for yourself - is it possible to accurately measure the level of education or success of a person? If you are in a hurry to answer “yes” - please wait for the article in which we will discuss the blurring of typical state education standards.

    Anyway, a broad-mindedness and the availability of humanitarian knowledge will only benefit the engineer: not only is the profession of an engineer in itself creative, he must also understand not only “how to do it”, but also “why do it” . And this “why”, if you get to the bottom of it, comes down to one thing: “so that the soul rejoices.” And here without esotericism in any way.

    In any case, I will try to look for the scientific justifications of my arguments and I will be glad to your comments with links to suitable studies.

    What is education?

    In the first article, let's start with the basics. As usual, we go to Wikipedia for definitions .

    The first definition too explicitly ties education to the state and its qualifications. But where does the state? Which of the two and a half hundred states should be equal? More recently, women and blacks had limited access to education, moreover, at the state level, countries that are quite decent in appearance. How to take this into account? In general, there are more questions than answers.

    The second definition also smacks of manipulation: “obtaining and improving knowledge and skills, even if they are contrary to the truth, but established as a mandatory norm by written and unwritten laws and norms of society”. It looks like education is the education of obedient robots.

    Finally, the gleam is visible in the definitions of “human appropriation of values” and “formation of the mind, character and physical abilities”. These formulations, at least, are free from administrative and social conventions.

    And what do ancient books say about education, for example, the Bible, the Vedas or Buddhist scriptures?

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    Education is knowing oneself, knowing God and striving for him, i.e. the development of the body, mind and spirit. The Bible says: “And I will give them a heart. To know Me, that I am the Lord. " In the Bhagavad-gita: “Stop depending on all manifestations of duality, get rid of the desire to acquire or preserve something in this world and comprehend your true“ I ”... When you, having understood your true“ I ”, will constantly remain in a spiritual trance, you will gain divine consciousness. ”

    Education should be practical. In the Pali Canon (one of the main Buddhist scriptures) even the rules of behavior in daily life situations are described in detail. For example, how, what and with whom it is worth talking: “due to how a person behaves in a discussion, you can find out if he is suitable for conversation or not. If they ask him, and he: humiliates the one who asked the question, puts pressure on him, taunts him, clings to minor errors, then in this case, this person is not suitable for conversation. " If these rules were respected today, discussions would become much more constructive, and trolls would disappear as a class.

    Education is a lifelong continuous process.The Bible: “When delving into yourself and teaching, do this constantly; in doing so, you will save yourself and those who listen to you. ” The Gita constantly speaks of maintaining a stable mind: it is understood that a person not only once learns the truth, but maintains this state, is engaged in cognition all his life.

    Wisdom is responsibility. The fourth chapter of the Bhagavad-gita describes in detail what knowledge is useful to share. The Bible writes of this as follows: “And the Lord said to Moses: Go up to me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, and the law and the commandments, which I wrote to teach them. " In short: since you have gained wisdom, it is your duty to teach others good things.

    In the end, I allow myself to formulate a brief definition of the word "education": it is a continuous process of cognition of the world, accompanied by the development of the body, mind and spirit. And the task of the educational environment is to educate adult individuals who live in harmony with themselves and the world, are engaged in creativity and are ready to take responsibility for their creations.

    In the second part of the article I want to raise the question of how far from the essence of education the modern educational system has gone.

    Modern Education: Back to the Future

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    What do schools, universities and postgraduate courses do for adult education? Virtually nothing, I’ll answer as a person who studied at a decent school in the center of Moscow, received an engineering degree in Baumanka, defended his Ph.D. in mathematical methods in economics and took a couple of dozen advanced training courses.

    More information about the classification of internally adults and externally adults can be found in Pavel Luksha . Abraham Maslow , famous for his pyramid of values, also spoke out on this subject .

    In my opinion, the minimum required list of properties of an adult personality is as follows:
    • independence;
    • acceptance of responsibility for oneself and one's actions;
    • the presence of intangible assets and goals;
    • ability to solve creative problems in the conditions of limited resources (project activity);
    • systemic thinking;
    • caring for others.

    Yes, I’m now reminded of brilliant scientists, eccentric artists or politicians who might not care about other people or be irresponsible, but at the same time go down in history and live an interesting life. But I allow myself to consider this a statistical error. How many of these guys do you name? Most likely, 20-30 people in the whole history.

    As a person who has been searching for people and creating teams since 2007, I can say that I have been trying for all these seven years to search for people, primarily those who have the qualities of an adult. If a person is independent, responsible, creative and systemic - he will be able to learn the basics of Ruby or Photoshop in a few weeks, and in a year or two become a specialist of a decent level (if he really loves his job).

    The converse, unfortunately, does not work. No one is interested in programming languages ​​who do not have at least responsibility and independence, as a member of the project team. And you can only upgrade your mental skills in a few weeks in hypnosis or lifespring mode. And even then, as a result of backstage conversations with the organizers of such trainings, it became clear that the conversion to transformation there, at best, is 1-2%. The remaining 98-99% of those who came and go the same way (statistics on several thousand people).

    If you have ever been engaged in hiring - you will understand what it is about. In different companies, such coveted people are called differently: invigorated, pioneers, enthusiasts. The list of terms is long, but the essence is the same - everyone needs people who can be entrusted with solving complex problems with a high degree of uncertainty. For the rest, robots will be used in a few years.

    As another confirmation of my words, I will give in the picture below the result of a study by a friend named Richard St. John
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    I recommend watching the video from the TED conference .

    Richard has conducted over 500 interviews with cool guys over 10 years, including, for example, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Sergey Brin. I think this is a fairly solid sample.

    So, 8 qualities that are highly likely to lead to success (according to Richard St. John):
    1. passion for your favorite business;
    2. hard regular work;
    3. focus on goals;
    4. overcoming oneself;
    5. generating ideas and solving creative problems;
    6. continuous improvement of their skills;
    7. service to others;
    8. resistance to environmental resistance.

    Do you want a team of people with such skills? I really want to!

    And what habits does the classical education system create? In the best case, you will be taught to work hard at school, and at the university you will be given some creative tasks and instill resistance to an aggressive environment using the example of bureaucracy. None of the educational institutions told me: "Yura, you have to do what you love." Nowhere have I been taught goal-setting and time management. I am already silent about the generation of ideas, overcoming myself and serving others.

    Recently, an international study from OECD on the potential of school students to solve problems fell into the hands of. Its results are in tabular form and in the form of a picture . It is funny that among the tasks that determine the skills of solving problems, there is the problem of determining the average speed of traveling by bicycle with a known length of the path and the time it takes. The real problem, you can’t say anything.

    In schools, doublets are pulled up to triples, they do not pay attention to triples, and there is a deliberately warm attitude towards good students and excellent students. Estimates for the next year can be predicted with a probability of about 90%. What are the skills improvements? What overcoming? What is the responsibility? At the university, the teachers are completely relaxed: if you want, go, do not want to, do not go, most students begin to prepare term papers in May and December. Really interesting course projects, which broke the applause, I remember from the whole stream just a couple of.

    From the very beginning, the education system lays hostility to itself and a fundamentally dangerous position: what are the things that you can take on, but then you can really not do it. First, this position is inculcated on the example of training, and then it automatically spreads to other projects.

    You will say: "yes, we are just lazy people." But more than 600 students and several hundred more hired employees passed through me. According to my observations, for most people the main problem is the lack of faith in the fact that you can provide yourself financially with your favorite thing and receive joy from life. People are afraid of risk, afraid of doing something wrong. It’s not even scary that a person is afraid to surrender to his true desires. The scary thing is that he is scared to think about what he really wants. Somehow this is not accepted, we must work and not be distracted.

    In the Bhagavad-gita it is written: “fight in the name of battle and do not think about happiness and sorrow, loss and gain, victory and defeat. By doing so, you will never bring sin upon you. ” In the language of programmers, this is called the “state of the stream”: when you practically leave the body and turn into a stream of code, without thinking about what you need to leave at 18:00 or make money on a new gadget. In the meantime, at school we are taught to perceive the evaluations of an external teacher as a measure of success. We are taught not to think about the meaning of what we are doing, but simply to do it because it is necessary.

    As a result, we get generations of people who work, not create. Work in Russian does not just come from the word "slave." Those who go about their business go to the office not because they have to go there, but because it is convenient there to do what they love. That is why instead of the word “work” as applied to living beings, I try to use the words “work” or “create”. This is a psychological subtlety that changes the attitude towards work. Work takes energy, and labor ennobles a person.

    And what to do?

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    Start with yourself. Realize what you generally want from life for your own happiness. Form goals, tangible and intangible. Focus on achieving them. Give some of the money or time to help other people. If you have children or access to broadcasting to a wide audience, discuss these important issues with them, think about a value system, remove the taboo on discussing desires and emotional outbursts.

    If you can’t do it yourself, find a mentor who guides you through growth crises. In the next article, we’ll just talk about mentoring and moving to a new level. Then we will cover topics about placebo diplomas and the role of parties in educational institutions.

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