The third volume of the Journal goes out to readers a few months earlier this time. The explorations into classroom practice are vibrant as always. They cover a variety of areas - the magic of story telling, the richness of projects, the potential of a school library that is alive all the time, the questions that teaching for 'attention' raise and so on. The Journal is more interactive this time with several responses to questions that were raised in the last issue.
There is much to ponder over in all this and in the philosophical questions raised in the initial essays. There are some that journey into the inner landscapes of Krishnamurit's education philosophy and others that address contemporary issues in the light of the teachings. The first essay unravels the crucial issue of education and nationalism. Although the context is Indian, there are pointers that have universal applications. Referring to Krishnamurit's critique on nationalism Radhika Herzberger points to how he 'believed that both nationalism and organized religion are basically divisive because the sense of identity they foster is exclusive' and suggests that new policy goals for education give priority to sustaining the earth rather than the nation.
The same thread can be seen in the reflections on teaching Geography to 12-year-olds, which suggests a movement of learning from the local to the global:- 'In Geogrpahy as in life, one could 'begin near in order to go far' - to enlarge one's understanding of phenomena on earth and arrive at a nuanced, sympathetic vision of our planet.'
Once again the concern for conserving the earth is reinforced in the last section that carries a message, loud and clear, that we live in dangerous times and yet our curriculum does not seem to take cognizance of the challenges they pose. This has given to teacher initiatives in several directions, one of these being a commitment to a new vision of the world. a world in which we are not in control of nature but are rooted in it. They are convinced that there is an urgent need to reorient the content of school education to reflect basic ecological principles. The Earth Concerns section of the Journal is devoted to a recent workshop at which the first steps were taken by a group of concerned teachers from like-minded schools in the country. We hope their efforts will gather momentum and be supported by the School Boards so that this new vision can become a reality. Tomorrow might be too late.
One new feature in this issue is titled Innovations in Education. The intention is to bring to our reader significant movements in education in any part of the world so that our community of educators grows in appreciation of some extraordinary work being done by several committed people n different lands and contexts. We would be happy if readers would write in to inform us of such ventures.
In the ultimate analysis, it is people that matter; and here and there you find spring in the air and with it a renewal of life.