A world-class education - what exactly does that mean? Let us look at education as a process in which the products produced are scholarly human beings. This scholarly human beings of course must have learnt the skills and gain experience into a heightened sense of thinking and analyzing. But what about the 'human being' part? On our long roads to produce scholars, have we forgotten to develop human beings? This article may be useful to educators or those involved in forming education systems.
- Recognition. The difficult part when it comes to academicians and educators is that with knowledge comes pride. It is a constant battle we all face, but in order for us to improve further from where we stand, we must be willing to admit that we have room to improve and thus cultivate a posture of learning. Therefore, we have to recognize that we are missing a key ingredient in education - spirituality. It is inherent in every human being and I am not referring to religion (we shall leave that out for now) but rather to this side of us that recognizes the nobility of humankind. With a spiritual education, the moral compass is set and righteousness pursued.
- Understanding. So how do we incorporate a new aspect of education into a system which is meant for every individual out there regardless of religion, class, creed or race? A strong understanding of this aspect of education is very vital. A few questions we may ask ourselves -
- What is the use of incorporating spirituality in our education system?
- What does the end result of spiritual education look like?
- Can it be applied to every human being regardless of their differences?
This would be my set of answers -
- To develop the reasoning of doing the right thing and translating that into an attitude of servitude to humankind.
- Scholarly human beings should manifest the authority of excellence whilst cultivating unity in thought over academic ambition and competition.
- When the nobility and potentialities of each human being are recognized and encouraged, without exclusion, each can endeavour to reach excellence in mind, thought and heart.
Your answers may be more insightful and universal than mine.
- Humble Patience & Prayer. I think there are many other educators out there who have leaps and bounds of experience more than me in formulating education systems and organizations. However, I think this aspect deserves some new methods and additional assistance. For instance, we all know that to incorporate something new, it takes time and thus we must be patient as we face the obstacles. But not every obstacle is just worth overcoming, each obstacle is a challenge and a test we face to perfect the system even more and thus we can derive learnings from each of it. Therefore, as we are patient, we must be humble to learn more and do the necessary alterations as we see fit without our pride present. Another powerful tool for us is prayer and how can we educate about spirituality without prayer? In what form or manner we do it in, I think what is essential and universal is that, only with prayer can come divine assistance from the Almighty (regardless of what your name is for God). I personally and strongly believe that since spiritual education is on the right track of developing human beings as a whole, your efforts and endeavours into incorporating it will be much assisted and blessed.
This article is not so much a technical 'how to' for educators but rather an introduction into how we should start incorporating spiritual education into our education systems. It will be part of the answer of solving all the world's problems today. I leave you with a quotation on the greatness of education. "Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom."