It all started with a feeling that the legacy that Krishnamurti had left us in the form of his vision of education was something precious that had to be conserved, explored and shared. I felt drawn to the work of the teachers who were trying to give expression to their understanding of this vision in myriad ways, in the classroom and outside. Could there be a forum for sharing their joys as also their struggles, with their fellow teachers? Long back Krishnamurti had wished that we worked on a journal bringing the schools together. This is what impelled us to launch an in-house journal, and that was what the Journal of the Krishnamurti Schools was in the beginning. As teachers responded to our invitation to write and wrote authentically of their perceptions and how they were translating them into action there was a recognition that the educational philosophy we hold is dimensionally different, and not just a‘better way of doing things’. That is when we made efforts to widen the circle of our readership, reaching out beyond our schools. Since its inception, the journal has been an opportunity for teachers to step back, reflect upon and share their work. In the previous issues, you will find articles that deal with philosophical themes and classroom practices. Importantly, the journal has offered reflections on the ‘middle ground’ – between philosophy and action. It has enabled teachers to explore the implications for new curricula. As well, the journal has consciously brought in writings on nature and care of the earth as part of our responsibility.
This issue is dedicated to the teacher.
Teaching is something wonderful. The teacher’s life is however demandingand hard – particularly in the present context.
In today’s world the teacher has a tremendous responsibility. For instance, how should she represent the reality of the world to the child ? Here she would need to walk the fine line between ‘protection’ and ‘exposure’ – safeguarding the child’s innocence without keeping him in a state of ignorance. A delicate task.
Again the teacher needs to respond intelligently to questions of divisiveness in politics and religion or to social injustice and this is not an easy task. These issues would need to be opened up to dispassionate scrutiny and critical enquiry, taking care that her own personal predilections and beliefs do not influence the child.
Failure and success are a part of children’s life. How can the teacher help them understand the place of academic success and failure in the vastness of life ? This requires of the teacher a balanced view. She can then address children’s hurts and fears with understanding and warmth. In the process the teacherwill see the importance of understanding her own hurts and fears.
Responsibility to meet the pressures of contemporary society intelligently is asked of the teacher. It calls for an awake, and subtle mind and heart. But there is an even greater responsibility that devolves upon an educator. In an article in the same issue of the journal Krishnamurti is quoted as pointing to it as ‘making new human beings’. At first glance one might gloss over this as mere rhetoric, impossible to be even held in the mind. But a serious educator, one who has taken to teaching as a calling, might want to reflect upon those words and explore what it means to be ‘a new human being’ or to have ‘a new mind’. Perhaps what is old must be recognized and put aside : the processes of thought that have fallen into a mechanical groove, the hurts, fears and anxieties – the whole spectrum of what happens within. Once the educator captuiresthe depth and the vastness of this journey, she begins to look at the meaning of education a new – as a religion and new doors open up. ‘Religion’ herewould have the most universal, non-dogmatic connotation. Understanding the ways of the self assumes a greater significance. All that you teach then is attention to the many happenings within, attention to one’s relationship with people and so on. And when this attentive, observing mind applies itself to the learning of knowledge and skills, learning is effortless and much more interesting. It fosters the spirit of enquiry.
So to keep that flame of attention alive is the educator’s highest responsibility.
The intention of the Journal has been and is to tend that fire.
The tenth issue of the Journal of Krishnamurti schools is special. For this issue we had invited several thinkers and educators who value our work to write and we take this opportunity to express our gratitude to them.