Education

At present (1954) we educate people only up to the point where they can earn a living and marry; then education ceases altogether, as though a complete mental outfit had been acquired.  The solution of all the remaining complicated problems of life is left to the discretion – and ignorance – of the individual.  Innumerable ill-advised and unhappy marriages, innumerable professional disappointments, are due solely to this lack of adult education.  Vast numbers of men and women thus spend their entire lives in complete ignorance of the most important things.  Many childish vices are believed to be ineradicable, largely because they are often found in adults whose education is supposed to be finished, and who are therefore thought to be long past the educable period.  There was never a greater mistake.  TDoP 57

Adult Education

The adult is educable, and can respond gratefully to the art of individual education; but naturally his education cannot be conducted along the lines suitable to the cild.  He has lost the extraordinary plasticity of the child’s mind, and has acquired a will of his own, personal conviction, and a more or less definite consciousness of himself, so that he is far less amenable to systematic influence.  To this must be added the fact that the child, in his psychic development, passes through the ancestral stages and is only educated up to the modern level of culture and consciousness.  The adult, however, stands firmly on this level and feels himself to be the upholder of contemporary culture.  He therefore has little inclination to submit to a teacher like a child.  As a matter of fact, it is important that he should not submit, otherwise he might easily slip back into a childish state of dependence.  TDoP 58   Con’t’d

  The educational method, then, that will best meet the needs of the adult must be indirect rather than direct; that is to say, it must put him in possession of such psychological knowledge as will permit him to educate himself.  Such an effort could not and should not be expected from a child, but we can expect it from an adult, especially if he is a teacher.  The teacher must not be a merely passive upholder of culture; he must actively promote that culture through his own self-education.  His culture must never remain at a standstill, otherwise he will start correcting in the children those faults which he has neglected in himself.  TDoP 58