This journal is now six years and six issues old. Started as an in-house publication of the Krishnamurti schools, it has begun to reach out to a wider readership: to parents, teachers, educational administrators and other individuals or institutions interested in the educational issues of our times. As this volume of the journal takes shape, we return to the questions: What are our intentions with the journal? What kinds of writings do we seek out? What could our writers share that would be of value to others, and what might our readers take from the journal?
We are clearly concerned with a vision of education that draws sustenance from the penetrating observations and insights of Krishnamurti regarding the human condition, the state of the world and the essential place of the religious dimension in life. It is not a closely argued ‘philosophy’ or an ‘educational blue-print’ that we are working with, but rather a vital approach to living and learning whose educational consequences need to be worked through in thought and practice. For it to be vital, education must have relevance in our daily living, and also nourish the quality of our relationship to our social and natural environment.
Education is thus an endeavour that demands exploration and experimentation, an attempt at clear thinking and creative action. The journal provides a forum for sharing perceptions and dilemmas that arise; frameworks and principles that emerge; innovative curricula and worthwhile experiences that happen in the classroom and outside. All this, we hope, enriches our individual readers - by informing, raising questions, stimulating fresh thinking and suggesting ideas for creative practice. It is also our hope that we can together build long-term perspectives, and a collective understanding of the subtle and complex issues involved in nurturing young minds. This has become increasingly urgent in a world beset with contradictory forces and daunting problems.
This volume of the journal has several articles that underscore these many concerns.
Violence is a human predilection that has recently shot into prominence and frequently occupies our television screens. To understand its roots and learn to live a responsible life has become a crucial educational issue. And so has the need to counter the divisiveness that is bred in the name of ‘religion’ and ‘God’. Articles in this issue provide authentic perspectives on the issues of violence and responsibility. There are clear suggestions – at two different levels – for approaching ‘religion’ and ‘God’ in an open-minded manner, such that essential qualities of the religious urge can be perceived and the sacred dimension touched by young minds.
Relating deeply with the Earth, an adventurous exploration of nature, an awakening of the senses – these concerns have always found place in the journal, for they are integral to the development of a sane, healthy mind. This volume is no exception.
Many observers of contemporary society – educationists, social thinkers and media critics – have drawn attention to the ‘virtual worlds’ constructed by a commercially driven media, that increasingly draws in the minds of the young and old. The educational stakes arising from the media environment and possible responses of schools are discussed in the section titled Media and Education, which is based on a workshop conducted at The School, KFI, Chennai.
The journal has its share of reflective writings on ongoing educational issues – ranging from excellence, competition and learning in relationship to the implications of discovery learning and intellectual understanding. There are also pieces dealing with the psychology of the child and experiments with curriculum. Taken together these represent multiple perspectives on an unfolding vision of the learning process, which invites further debate and discussion.
And so we hope that you will find in these articles, perceptions and points of view that you can relate with, feel provoked to respond to, and at least a few that will compel you to try something new in your own educational context.