Total Pageviews

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A note of dissent : Development Goals and Final report from the Second World Conference on Arts Education

"The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever pretensions of politicians, pedagogues other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else."

The above quotation is from a speech delivered by top of the class student Erica Goldson during the graduation ceremony at Coxsackie-Athens High School on June 25, 2010.
See the link

After I returned from Seoul I did post my response to many presenters. let once again raise some issues. 
The main issue that has been bothering me is the cloning of human beings though modern education. All cultural diversity is being killed and replaced by one world view.
The problem with power is that it not only corrupts the mind butt also make one blind.

As a person from India and having some what come out of the western conditioning I feel what is happening is a re colonization of non western world though the various projects- the UN, the academia, the corporate world etc.
I think a deeper enquiry/ meeting/ soul searching is required to understand and do something about it.
I consider myself a victim of modern education in general and having gone through design education at the post graduate level aesthetic education in particular.

I say this because it killed my cultural rooted ness, originality and authenticity. All of us in the non western world are being taught the western art, design and architecture and the respective histories and various movements etc.
The result is that we have a homogenized world being made today. I see this all the time in India. It is a real tragedy.
We once had several forms of architecture, artifacts and art forms and all are being destroyed by choosing the western idiom. All modern living spaces look alike.
I would request  UNESCO and the rest of the members to re think the issues raised and set up a research team to understand the whole issue all over again.
How is culture formed? How did traditional cultures create diversity?
And why is modernity creating homogenization?  How do we deal with the harm we have already done and is being carried out. Can we set up new ways doing this with out killing the originality in children?
The most important aspect missing is the understanding regarding biological basis for cognition and aesthetic sense. Why did nature create us with the propensity for beauty. (art is an intellectual construct but beauty is a biological phenomenon).

I think the real issue is to explore the wholistic way of being in the world again by re integrating art, science and language', ‘re integrating work, play and learn’, ‘re integrating intuition and reasoning’, ‘re integrating the mind and body’, ‘re integrating the feminine and masculine’ , ‘becoming PRESENT to the moment’. This is the condition in which children are born but we the so called educated end by fragmenting everything.

Schooling causes several damages. It turns us in to second hand people as we keep learning about what others have thought and did. We are all born original but schooling makes us second hand. All our senses are crippled as we never use them to make sense of the world.
Boredom is an experience typical to 'modern' human beings, again caused by schooling as it forces us to do things we do not like to do and on top of it do things against our biological or natural propensities. I suspect boredom has its roots in making us sit immobile from childhood quite against our will. Schools makes us in to rigid, mechanical and second hand  beings, ready to serve or to order as we learn 'authority' at schools. Authority of teacher, authority ofknowledge.

Let me cut short my mail. Hope we can continue this dialogue.
I am attaching the abstract of the paper i presented and link to the presentation is


No comments:

Post a Comment