This book examines education and the aim of life through the ages; how the conception of progress is the primary driving force in the modern world; and how this limited understanding of “progress” has failed to satisfy the deepest aspirations of humanity, bringing modern civilisation to its present crisis and highlighting the limitations of today’s education to meet this crisis. The author presents the free progress system at the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education and explains how the views of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on integral education can prepare the children of today to consciously and luminously participate in the evolutionary destiny of the future.
The Purpose of Education
The aim of education is always twofold: there is a collective aspect and there is an individual aspect.
From the collectivity point of view, education is expected to turn the individual into a good citizen, i.e., into a person who has harmonious relations with the other members of the community, who is useful to the society and who fulfils with zeal his obligations as a citizen.
On the other hand, it may be expected that education will give to the individual a strong and healthy body, help him in building up his character and attaining self-mastery, and supply him with good opportunities of discovering and developing harmoniously his natural abilities.
It is evident that both expectations are justified and we should take them into account while aiming at their reconciliation. We can achieve this only by a correct understanding of the relation between the individual and the society We shall see later that the individual and the society can grow together and help each other in their growth. Sri Aurobindo has indeed shown how such a harmonization is possible, although it has never yet been really achieved – and it may be very long before the human race can attain to it.
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