Art: the basis of


Art: The Basis of Education



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Art: The Basis of Education


There is another path, a path that I consider to be for everybody; the path of art and creativity. There is nothing new about it. It had been realized in India centuries ago. Plato also wrote about it. It does not demand repression of feelings or desires. Its dynamics offer guidance to our feelings and wishes through creativity, and the power to submit our desires to the world of goodness and beauty. To put it briefly I shall paraphrase the first line of a song by Rabindranath Tagore: When I see the universe through music (song), it is only then that I know it, I understand it'. 'That is the way of art and creativity.
While discussing Indian philosophy Ananda K. Coomaraswamy wrote in The Dance of Shiva: "...later Hindu view... treats the practice of art as a form of yoga, and identifies aesthetic emotion with that felt when the self perceives the Self..."13 Coomaraswamy quotes from VisuddhiMarga: "Living beings, on account of their love and devotion to the sensations excited by forms and the other objects of sense, give honour to painters, musicians, perfumers, cooks, elixir-prescribing physicians, and other like persons, who furnish us with objects of sense."14
Relating to the identity between art and yoga Coomaraswamy says: "...the important part once played in Indian thought by the concept of Art as Yoga... It will be remembered that the purpose of Yoga is mental concentration, carried so far as the overlooking of all distinctions between the subject and the object of contemplation; a means of achieving harmony or unity of consciousness. "15
If art is accepted as yoga, as Ananda K. Coomaraswamy suggests, there is no reason why it should not be helpful in planning the whole system of education with the objective of building healthy and happy personalities and therefore a healthy and caring society. Art, having played its creative role in the pre-adolescence stage of the individual, should also become an integral part of education of the adolescent. Art has the capacity to help the individual to overcome his restlessness and cure his or her mental problems, as well as make one a socially creative person. With the aid of additional skills such as language, intellectual understanding and analytical power, art, as the basis of education, should become the foundation on which to build a sound educational system—a system that will nurture the spirit of equality, compassion and wisdom, and above all, genuine freedom and beautiful living. The path of art seems to be the only way to provide that potential to education, especially in today's world.
I am not pleading for art education to be given its due place in educational planning. I am saying that Art should become the very basis of education. As long as education does not look after the development of the whole personality of the individual as a well fulfilled person and one who is able to identify with the spirit of nature, human life will remain full of tensions, hatred, disunity and violence.
Art has not yet received its due place even in the primary stages of education. Very few schools have art activities in their primary sections, and they are promptly removed from the syllabus as soon as the child is eleven. In other words, art is not considered necessary beyond the very early stage of adolescence. Herbert Read is strongly of the opinion that art must remain an essential part of education at all its stages.
"As we have seen, it is usually assumed that profound change occurs in the average child at about the age of 11, which change involves the desuetude of aesthetic modes of expression. Admittedly, a profound change of a psychological nature does take place at this age. From our point of view it may perhaps best be described as the discovery of logical thought—the mental revolution so vividly described by Bergson, Claparede and Piaget. The child acquires the power of breaking up or dissociating his first unitary perceptions, and logical thought begins with this capacity to isolate and compare component details. From this comparative or correlating activity... proceeds the abstract thought or concept, and it must undoubtedly be true that the change thus introduced into the mental processes of the child has profound effect on his modes of expression. But to assume that visual or plastic (imagist) modes of expression are thereby eliminated is to beg the question. They may show a tendency to disappear; but it is perhaps this very tendency that our educational Methods should oppose, preserving not only the function of imagination, but even more necessarily the essential unity of perception: not only the continuously vitalizing interchange of mind and the concrete events of the natural world, but also the continuous nourishment of the individual psyche from the deeper levels of the mind.
"If we have no a priori notions of what art should be, if we realize that art is as various as human nature, then it is certain that a mode of aesthetic expression can be retained by every individual beyond the age of 11 and throughout and beyond the adolescent period in general, if we are prepared to sacrifice to some extent that exclusive devotion to the learning of logical modes of thought which characterizes our present system of education. The art of the child declines after the age of 11, because it is attacked from every direction, not merely squeezed out of the curriculum, but squeezed out of the mind by the logical activities which we call arithmetic and geometry, physics and chemistry, history and geography, and even literature as it is taught. The price we pay for this distortion of the adolescent mind is mounting up—a civilization of hideous objects and misshapen human beings, of sick minds and unhappy households, of divided societies armed with weapons of mass destruction. We feed these processes of dissolution with our knowledge and science, with our inventions and discoveries, and our education system tries to keep pace with the holocaust; but the creative activities which could heal the mind and make beautiful our environment, unite man with nature and nation with nation. These we dismiss as idle, irrelevant and inane."16


Adolescence and Creativity





Admittedly a profound change of

psychological nature does take place at this stage... But to assume that visual or plastic modes of expression are thereby eliminated is to beg the question. They may show a tendency to disappear; but it is perhaps this very tendency that our educational methods should oppose; preserving not only the function of imagination, but even more recently the essential unity of perception…1
While discussing the vast possibilities of artistic expression as an important means of developing the full personality of the child, and exploring the principle that creative activities should be the foundation on which educational programmes should be structured, it is necessary to look into the question: How can the education of adolescents be designed on that principle?
It would be wrong to subscribe to the belief held by many educational experts that with the arrival of adolescence the child's artistic creativity starts disappearing. Educational planning has to be such that it will endeavour to develop the personality of the child in a holistic manner and will not put undue emphasis on the nurturing of only intellectual pursuits. It must not ignore the development of those virtues that help the individual, in making his environment beautiful and healthy.
Art education should continue with the same spirit as it did during the pre-adolescence period; its rhythm should not be disrupted. In other words, it should not make the teacher and the student feel that art education has been shelved or has changed its emphasis and objectives. There should not be a brake or drastic change in art education between childhood and adolescence; the change over has to be smooth, without conflicting attitudes and messages. No doubt, with growing maturity one's values change; values connected with art also change and/or become elaborate. The form art education takes, obviously, will be different and according to the situation its technical aspect will become more complex; new material and techniques will have to be added to it.
The stage of adolescence, as that of childhood, is an inseparable and inevitable part of one's growth to maturity. Although children do seem to change their interests and emphasis towards different subjects and activities, the aim of education should be to treat these changes as an essential part of a fuller development. It is a hard task. Nevertheless, education arid educators have to make sure that the child's feeling of inability to produce and perform in a manner that is expected by the "uneducated" adult world does not discourage, inhibit or prevent them from doing their art work spontaneously. That is the period when they need the greatest support.
It is not our purpose here to discuss what the overall system of education should be after adolescence. However, it is essential to look into the issues and problems related to education as a whole and art activities during and adolescence.
There are schools with some provision for art education, but their syllabus for teaching art is generally so one-sided that instead of helping the growth of creativity and the aesthetic sense of children, it either kills or corrupts these elements. Barring a few exceptions, even in good schools, the objectives of art education are geared only to its technical aspects, such as correct perspective drawing for architectural and engineering purposes, which, no doubt, is important. For instance, it helps in improving visual memory, good observation and skills required for gaining dexterity and precision in subjects and professions such as engineering, carpentry, biology, botany, etc.
Art treated in the above mentioned manner is no different from all the other intellect-oriented subjects. Our experience is that art education, which deals with the personality as a whole and aims at developing a. fulfilled and aesthetically healthy individual, almost automatically imparts the knowledge and skills required for the above mentioned subjects. In cases where it does not do so, it makes it easier to acquire them with very little extra effort. We have learnt that from the classical ideals of India and from what people like Plato and Tagore have said essential for a civilized and creative society.
There is a question raised about the current practice founded during the colonial period, of having two periods or a double period every week for drawing. Evidently, it does not make any sense in the context of art when it is treated as the basis of education for creative living. It makes sense only if art classes are considered important for their practical use. My own experience is that many children today opt for drawing as an easy subject to pass examinations. It hardly has any element of creativity. Art cannot play its required role in a system based on the present day approach to education and its ideals. I have no doubt that without bringing about basic changes in our education system and its practice, even with the best of intentions the desired results cannot be achieved.
Whatever is taught should aim at enhancing the spirit and skills of creativity. However, there may be pupils who develop an aptitude for some intellectual subjects after reaching a certain stage of their educational growth, which is natural, and depends on their interests —intellectual, creative, etc. The choice, though, would generally have to be made during the last stage of adolescence, more likely after it is over.
Our present concern is not to deal with the issues involved in the question of human types and their needs, but to reiterate the need for deciding on the principle: the medium of education should be such that it will enrich the heart and soul of the individual with the knowledge and sensitivity necessary to become a creative person as well as a creative member of the community. There has to be an integrated approach between the creative activities as the basis of education and the intellectual growth of the individual. To make it clear, I shall mention some activities such as productive handicraft, painting, sculpture, dance, music, literature, etc. Good educational planning should not try to carve out two different paths, one for realizing truth and beauty and the other for intellectual growth and business acumen, something that is invariably happening today, resulting in the total indifference to the first path.
The gist of what has been said above is that the issue is not so much of reforming the programme of education as that of revolutionizing the approach to education in its totality. It is also not a question of putting changed emphasis on various subjects to be taught. It is more of the relationship between the subjects taught and the personality of each child. To put it in some kind of practical form: Each subject taught should either be a creative activity or one that helps in the pursuit of creativity, resulting in the integrated growth of the mind and the body, the hand and the heart.
It is a common notion among many educators that whatever a child does should take the form of play. I would rather reverse the approach and insist that even play, or call it sports, should be treated as creative activity. They should not be considered activities for only entertainment or exercise for physical improvement. Their greatest contribution to human beings is in giving a social sense, healthy personality and good character. Unfortunately, even sports are rapidly becoming only a source of entertainment, competition and wealth.
The same, though, applies to the idea of introducing handicraft in the school as an "extracurricular activity". The crucial question in this respect that comes to mind is: Why do we think that children need entertainment in the form of sports, or handicraft? Is it because all the other things they do are drudgery, both mental and physical, which need to be compensated by providing "entertainment", relaxation or for that matter, less serious activities? All this is the result of an unintegrated thinking on the part of the experts in the field of education.
Once again, the same argument applies to the notion of dividing art into two separate parts. One in the pursuit of beauty and the other for making useful things. In schools there is a general tendency to have two different categories of art classes. Handicraft such as needle work, carpentry, etc. and fine arts, such as painting and sculpture, music and dance, etc. Unfortunately, this division has affected the perspective of life at all levels. Craft is considered a second-rate subject and only those who are "not talented enough" are given handicrafts; children who are talented can take painting and "fine arts". The

reason behind this approach is the stratification of society or is it the other way round, i.e. the division of arts into two levels has also caused the social structure to be ridden with hierarchical stratification!


Children, when still young, do not quite feel the discriminatory character of society, but those entering their adolescence and living in a stratified society, particularly those who belong to the "lower strata", cannot reconcile to the discrimination they face in their day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, schools are gradually becoming factories of discrimination and further stratification. In India, for example, on the one hand there are the Doon schools for the rich, and on the other municipal schools, where children are treated as an unavoidable nuisance. To reinforce this division, educational planning plays a divisive role. The strongest roots of this kind of division are nurtured at p re-adolescence and adolescence stages of the individual.
My contention is that educational planning on the lines suggested and elaborated in this book may come to the rescue of society in the 20th century. Art education of the right kind is the key to a new perspective.
The Teacher and the

Educational Atmosphere



...teacher must be the

humblest and most modest

person, who sees one of God's

miracles, but not the pupil,

in a child.1

Even if the principles of an educational system are sound and solid, they will never yield the right results if they are not applied honestly and in a systematic manner. And that depends more on the teacher than on anyone or anything else. If teachers do not comprehend their task well and have no understanding of childhood, the principles, however profound, will have no meaning. Moreover, the quality of their work does not depend so much on the training they receive in the training colleges, as it does on their personality and the attitude towards children. It has often been experienced that some individuals can be excellent teachers even without being trained in the best training colleges. What then, are, the elements that make a good teacher?


When someone learns something, it is not because that person has been taught, but because the person has learnt it himself or herself. In the case of art, it is all the more so, as art is not something that can really be taught; it comes from within oneself. In the main, there are no principles or formulas which can be crammed. There is no know-how which can be stored in one's memory. Nor can it be taught by any teacher, institution or even an artist.
Indeed, there is no such concept as teaching in Indian culture. In a speech delivered to a large gathering of teachers and educationists at an all-India conference, Vinoba Bhave said: "Discovery regarding this word (teach) shows the Indian classical mentality. In none of the fourteen languages in which the Indian Constitution has been written the word teach exists; but there is a word for learn. There is no equivalent of the English verb, to teach in Sanskrit or any of the other Indian languages. In the English language, one is to learn and the other is to teach. Both are independent verbs." Vinoba Bhave continues: "It is the egocentricity of the teacher that he thinks that he can teach. As long as we cherish this pride, we will never be able to understand the essence of education.2
Nevertheless, we do want to discuss the task of the teacher, and that, too, of the art teacher. According to Shri Aurobindo, the first principle of true teaching is that nothing can be taught. However, Shri Aurobindo describes his concept of a teacher as follows: "The teacher is not an instructor or task-master, he is a helper and a guide. His business is to suggest and not to impose..."3 It is easy to teach, but the task of the teacher, the kind whom we have in mind, is difficult. To illustrate how easy or difficult is the task of teaching, I shall give the example of the mother. There is a type of mother who does not allow her child to go near any danger. If the stove is on, she will not let the child enter the kitchen. I have seen many a mother imprison her child in a cage, called playpen, while working in the kitchen. Having put the child "out of danger", she is no more worried about the child's safety.
There is another mother, who does not put the child in a cage or keep him tied up in a corner, but allows him ample freedom of movement. Nonetheless, she keeps a constant eye on the child. She even allows the child to come near the fire but sees that the child does not start playing with it and does not go too near it. She does not stop the child from experiencing the heat coming from the stove, but takes care that the child is not harmed.
The work of the second mother is very difficult, because she is not as free to cook as the first mother. It is not possible for her to forget the child even for a moment. There are two basic factors that govern her perspective. First: she should not keep the child imprisoned even for a short period, and should not prevent him from experiencing freedom. Second: The child should always be open to new experiences, but be protected from every kind of danger. The point is that children should not be prevented from gradually developing an understanding of danger. The child has to learn what is danger and where it is likely be. In other words, this mother has to be a good teacher to be able to let her child have some experience even of fire in an atmosphere of freedom.
In many respects, the task of the teacher is similar to that of the second type of mother. We do not consider that person to be a good teacher who goes to the class, reads a poem or does some arithmetic and makes the children cram it all by heart. The work he or she does, has nothing to do with the personality of the child. It is routine work and has no relevance to the educational development of children. When such a teacher enters the classroom, children feel that here is someone who has come to burden them. Such a teacher cannot make learning a pleasant experience.
On the other hand, a good teacher is one who is unassuming and whose presence gives a feeling of assurance to the children. They feel that their teacher has a great deal to give to them, and they can go to him or her without any fear or inhibition. Such teachers do not teach, give lectures or preach. Nonetheless, their students get much help from them in the process of learning. I have seen teachers who are careful in making sure that children

do not become too conscious about their identity as teachers, and of the contribution they make to the learning process of the children. So much so, if asked what their teacher has taught them, some children may even say: "He/she does not teach us anything!" And yet they might be very attached to him or her, sometimes even healthily dependent.


What is the secret of the success of such a teacher? Firstly, a good teacher makes every effort to create an atmosphere of learning. The atmosphere of learning is the best teacher and it should inspire. Secondly, a good teacher understands the child, knows the real needs of childhood and of each child in the class. A good teacher will treat every child as an individual personality and will respect him or her as such. It is by knowing the child that one learns child psychology and can dwell deep into it. Books can and often help, but they are not absolutely essential. They are useful to those who seek knowledge from their own experience.
The third and perhaps the most important factor is that of the student-teacher relationship. It is a relationship that goes far beyond the formal classroom relationship. It is a relationship of one chaitan4with another chaitan4  one who is enlightened with the other who is on the way to enlightenment. There is no technical formality of any kind in this relationship. The teacher and the pupil are two human beings, and their relationship implies a healthy encounter between two individuals.
As we have seen creative activities encourage a holistic growth of the personality of the child and that the processes involved help in developing a attitude for truth. Despite these positive factors related to creative activities it should be said, with emphasis, that creative activities alone are not sufficient for providing the kind of teacher-pupil relationship needed for the inner fulfilment of those concerned. It is a relationship of give and take, and which has nothing to do with selfishness or superficial attachment. It is related to the spirit of togetherness mutual care.
Teacher and pupil relationship concern both sides. The teacher is not the only party that gives all the time; both have to constantly nurture the spirit of exchange. Rabindranath Tagore wrote: "The teacher's heart continues to receive every moment of his life, and that is why he continuously gives himself totally. He finds the proof of his truth and honesty in the process of giving and from the joy he receives from it."5
Imparting art experience becomes more successful and lively if the teacher treats the students as artists and not simply as "students". If, on the other hand, he relates with his students as fellow artists, he will find the relationship even more fruitful. It is these dynamics that will eventually create in the pupil the attitudes which will make him an active member of the community. To sum up this point: education will reach its wholeness only if it can ply the dual role of, having a constructive content and the kind of relationship mentioned above.
The relationship of the teacher and the taught is also a ladder between the child and its natural and social environment. The first step of the ladder, related to the social environment, is the parents, specially the mother. The mother-child relationship, however, is emotionally so overwhelming that the growth of objectivity in the child sometimes becomes difficult. Therefore, I believe that drawing a parallel between the mother and the teacher is not educationally sound, for each one's relationship with the child is of a totally different kind. The teacher can more easily establish a relationship which is of creative detachment and objectivity, yet based on friendship and respect between him and the pupil. The bridge between the child and the environment thus constructed with the help of the teacher is a bit similar to that provided by the priest in a temple.
Human beings are twice-born. The first birth takes place from the mother's womb. The second takes place through the process of enlightenment, spiritual training and/or through creative activities. Just as a midwife is needed at the time of the first birth, the midwife at the second birth is the teacher. But let us not ignore the fact that a bad midwife can destroy the life of the newcomer in the world.
The relationship of the child and the teacher can be compared to that of two companions who set out to explore a new land, sharing each other's experiences, helping each other in every kind of situation. It is not quite like the ordinary teacher child relation, because they both learn together. They are two different individuals who learn with and from each other. In the case of art education this kind of relationship is essential, particularly because art activity is a kind of exploratory pursuit which is always a new experience for both, the teacher as well as the student. In all kinds of exploratory work, mutual consultation becomes inevitable.
What are the qualities required in a good teacher? A good teacher has to have a sense of discretion—choosing the right against the wrong, good thought and deed against bad thought and deed, good aesthetic sense, correct social behaviour and sense of service. Unless the teacher has a good sense of selection, the pupils will never be able to know what is right or wrong, desirable or undesirable, social or anti-social, beautiful or ugly, in cheap taste, dignified, or otherwise.
As has already been said, bookish knowledge of child psychology is not sufficient, or even as important as practical experience with children. For a teacher, every child on his own ought to be like a book on psychology. If a teacher of psychology continuously observes children sympathetically, he will gain ample experiences that will help him understand the intricate principles of psychology, and also guide him in his work without going into complicated scholastic studies. All the knowledge and experience a teacher requires in order to help children can be gained best by trying to understand the real needs of children.
In a previous chapter we discussed the needs of childhood, particularly in regard to art—drawing and painting. We tried to understand the nature of the child and also the way children receive pure pleasure through these activities. We have also suggested that the first task of the teacher is to build an atmosphere of activity and learning. These two elements, understanding of childhood and creating a sound atmosphere, are mutually connected.
What would be a sound atmosphere in relation to art activities? Everyone sympathetic to children must have observed that as soon as a child completes a picture, he runs to the-teacher and -wants to show him his achievements. If the teacher reacts in a manner of indifference, the child feels disappointed and, in all likelihood, discouraged. I have often seen that in spite of such a response, after a while, the child goes back to the teacher, again to try to get some kind of response. This is his need to get support, to get a pat on the back from someone who he thinks is a well wisher and a friend. Not looking at the child's picture with some interest and not making a comment shows that this teacher does not understand the child and is not capable of building an atmosphere of encouragement in the class.
Wilhelm Viola describes one of his experiences in his book Child Art. "I lately had a wonderful experience. After drawing and painting for an hour, I discussed with a dozen children from three to seven, their pictures; that means we discussed them together. I had finished when six-year-old Susan started sobbing. When I asked her why she cried, she said: 'But you have not criticized my picture.' Needless to say, I had done it, but I did not know that Susan was outside when I discussed and praised her picture." Cizek adds: "Susan was a shy child, but when she did not get 'significance' or thought she had not, she asked for it, and in the presence of a great number of adults..."6
Why was Susan so keen of hearing something about her drawing? Simply because she needed recognition, which she thought she had not got. Recognition is a need not only for children; every one of us needs it. Don't grown-up people and the so-called highly educated long for high places and positions in society? The child, however, asks for nothing more than the recognition of its presence and of the work he does.
The old fashioned teacher will tell off the child if the picture he has made does not look like the object drawn or if it is wrong from his own point of view. If he does not scold the child he will surely criticize the mistakes in the painting. According to teachers like him, the picture will be full of mistakes, unless all the rules of perspective, anatomy, etc. have been strictly followed. Such teachers are unable to appreciate pictures made by child artists, because they do not look like that of adult artists. For them these are useless efforts on the part of children. Under these conditions, children can never feel close to their teachers, let alone develop a feeling of equality with them. They will develop a sense of inferiority, eventually resulting in the destruction of the freshness of their imaginative quality. In all likelihood, they will give up painting pictures altogether.
I have only given an indication in the direction that can lead to the relationship of trust and love between the teacher and the child, which consequently can create an appropriate and friendly atmosphere for art activities. One obvious outcome of this kind of atmosphere would be the uninhibited manner in which children would be able to open up their hearts to their teacher. What more is needed for self-expression? Art too is, most importantly, a, healthy means of self-expression, in addition to providing to the children a sense of accomplishment. An atmosphere which does not encourage children to express their feelings to their teacher gives them wrong signals. Instead of talking frankly, they start saying exactly what the teacher wants to hear from them. It cultivates dishonesty and takes away all the possibilities of a healthy relationship. Where there is no trust in a relationship, there cannot be good education.

A teacher can become a friend, a hero and the guru, who understands the nature of the child's self-expression, appreciates, it gains something out of it, and provides to the child a sense of security. The tendency of a good teacher will be not to find faults in children's work but to consider those errors as essential steps to growth.


It is this kind of approach that establishes trust between the teacher and the child. It also helps in creating a congenial climate for creative learning. Moreover, as already stated, one of the primary reasons for children going in for art activities is its potential for communication. The relationship of trust and love between the teacher and the children enhances the possibilities for children to open up their heart and express their feelings about everything they have in their conscious and unconscious mind. It is also an effective way- to give them a feeling of relief. Moreover, when the teacher can say to himself: 'like me, the child is also alert and alive', he has already discovered the way to reach the child with much to give.
In Between Man and Man, Martin Buber describes his perspective about the relationship between the teacher and the student. According to him, the teacher ought to be so alive that he can establish a person to person contact with his companion. But he should not do it for the sake of influencing them. The greatest influence he can have is by his presence, which is not due to his own choice, nor it is deliberately planned.
Rabindranath Tagore has put it as follows: "Joy emerges on its own when minds meet in a healthy spirit. That joy is the energy of creativity," and its result is "transference of knowledge. Those who are conscious of their duty, but do not experience that joy, tread on a different path. I consider the person to person relationship between the guru and shishya (disciple) the prime means of imparting knowledge."7
A sense of duty on the part of the teacher is not a sufficient requisite for being a guru, for it can neither inspire nor establish a relationship of trust and closeness in the pupil. Yes, as a conscientious teacher, he may work hard for the sake of the students, but that hard work results, at the most, in praise from students he teaches well. It does not generate any joyful energy. The generation of such creative energy can take place only when the teacher becomes a companion of his pupils rather than work mechanically. At another place Tagore says: "I have in my mind an image of a guru. He is not a machine, he is a human being, active and selfless. It is so because he is all the time preoccupied in the sadhana, the aim of which is human unity. Part of his sadhana is to activate the pupils mind into the dynamics of the stream. His companionship inspires in the life of the pupil the most valuable product of education, which is the perpetual wakefulness of the human mind.8
"The teacher whose child within has become like dead wood is not qualified to take the responsibility of children. There ought to be not only closeness but also identity and mental similitude, otherwise there cannot be any exchange between the two... The eternal child in a born teacher comes out in the open at the first call of children. From his hoarse voice comes a soft and lively smile. If the child does not recognize him as one of his own kind, but takes him to be a huge prehistoric animal, he will not be able to extend his gentle hand toward him fearlessly."9
Before going to the next chapter, I would like to quote Martin Buber, to explain further the kind of teacher-pupil relationship which I consider to be an ideal one "The relation in education is one of pure dialogue. I have referred to the child, lying with half-closed eyes waiting for his mother to speak to him. But many children do not need to wait, for they do know that they are unceasingly addressed in a dialogue which never breaks off. In face of the lonely night which threatens to invade, they lie preserved and guarded, invulnerable, clad in the silver mail of trust.
"Trust, trust in the world, because this human being exists— that is the most inward achievement of the relation in education. Because this human being exists, meaninglessness, however hard pressed you are by it, cannot be real truth. Because this human being exists, in the darkness the light lies hidden, in fear salvation, and in the callousness of one's fellow-men the great Love.
"Because this human being exists: therefore he must be really there, really facing the child, not merely there in spirit... He need possess none of the perfections which the child may dream he possesses; but he must be really there. In order to be and to remain truly present to the child he must have gathered the; child's presence into his own store as one of the bearers of his communion with the world, one of the focuses of his responsibilities for the world. Of course, he cannot be continually concerned with the child, either in thought or in deed, nor ought he to be. But if he has really gathered the child into his life then that subterranean dialogic, that steady potential presence of the one to the other is established and endures. Then there is reality between them, there is mutuality."10
Explaining his thoughts on such relationships Buber says: "We call friendship the third form of the dialogical relation, which is based on a concrete and mutual experience of inclusion. It is the true inclusion of one another by human souls.
"The educator who practises the experience of the other side and stands firm in it, experiences two things together, first that he is limited by otherness, and second that he receives grace by being bound to the other. He feels from "over there" the acceptance and the rejection of what is approaching (that, is approaching from himself, the educator) of course often only in a fugitive mood or an uncertain feeling; but this discloses the real need in the soul... In learning from time to time, what this human being needs and does not need at the moment, the educator is to an ever deeper recognition of what the human being needs in order to grow. But he is also led to the recognition of what he, the "educator", is able and what he is unable to give of what is needed—and what he can give now, and what not yet. So, the responsibility for this living should—point him to that which seems impossible and yet is somehow granted to us, to self-education. But self-education, here as everywhere, cannot take place through one's being concerned with oneself but only through one's being concerned, knowing what it means with the world. The force of the world which the child needs for the building up of his substance must be chosen by the educator from the world and drawn into himself."11


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