I have spent years in Education, be it a student or an educator; sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night because I am having thoughts that disturb my sleep on how we learn, how we gather information, and how we maintain those information in our minds; I mean how not forget it, seriously I didn’t have an answer. I am not speaking here about our ability to speak, or write or hear and think, I am talking about the books that we had learnt from, the equations, the maps, the scientific formula and so on. Apart from water being CO2, I don’t think without searching I can recall the contents of other chemicals. Poetry is another example, we have learnt a fair amount of poetry in school, do I remember all of it? Maybe the novels that we had to read did stick to our minds (not all the novels but a fair amount of it) but the history, geography, physics, chemistry, mathematics etc, are not somethings that we will bring to the fore of our brains while speaking with other. These subjects are just forgotten.
If you think about it, spending 20 years in classrooms, and coming out of it with a degree without a basis for Sunday discussions with your group of friends is a little bit sad. We need to make a change.
I was listing to some YouTube videos while exercising, and I came across some lectures of a philosopher from Cambridge university called Allain De Botton. Some of the points below have been depicted from his talks about Religion and Art.
Education provides us skills necessary to make us a place in the business world; It provides us technical and business skills and it makes us better human beings and grew up as good citizens
Education provides us guidance, consolation, morality, music books, work of the future.
Education provides us with Moral framework and ethical guidance, how to live, how to create systems and how to establish ethical guidance.
However, if we take religion as a field, we will find that the teachings of it sticks to our minds, why? Because Religion calls us “children” meaning that us as individuals need help, so the religious bodies deliver lectures and provide us sermons (that can change lives, or provide us with urgency to bring something to the fore)
Religion delivers its sermons or its methods in ways to circumvent few of our problems. For example, our minds are forgetful, we have weakness of will. So, we need to strengthen the well to make the knowledge effective, to make it stick, and to make that we need to repeat things all the time (the philosopher provided prayers as an example, we repeat it every day and it becomes part of us)
Religion is also careful with time, so we put the events on a diary, and we speak about inner self and important ideas.
Religion has a structure, every day we have prayers, some reading from a holy book, reciting of some songs. We have social events that have psychological effects on the people.
Thus, for educators who want their ideas to stick in the minds of the audience/students they need to be public speakers like the priests; the easiest way is to send lecturers to learn from the religious leaders.
Lets, take art for example, religions have exploited the art to put us under its effect since time memorial; art in religion shows us what is good and what is bad, you see the faces of those depicted, Satan is scary, but Christ is a dreamer! art in religion is veneration of mystery and removal. Religions use art as a propaganda (all religions have some sort of art built into its structures, whether in statues or in the buildings themselves). If you look at Rembrandt’s paintings, you see courage, and you can see love in other paintings, you can see the good, bad and ugly in art, and most of it has religious connotations. Thus, the thinkers and the artists had joined together to convey the idea. Religion uses art as therapy, as a balancing agent, used for learning (didactic), and most importantly as a propaganda.
The aesthetic realm is not superficial, its very important and our minds repost to sensory materials; if you want to change the world you will need to be organised, because major religions are organised, also corporations are organised, they have a look and feel, you would know a can of coke from a 100 meters difference. In the same way universities must be organised, not just having a few universities scattered around the world who rarely talk to each other; we also need to have all the disciplines at the universities collaborate. And because religions are too complex, wise, rich and nuanced, we need to take inspiration and learning from it. Communities and hobbies are intertwined in religion, and that is why its staying in the minds of the people.
Religions provide guidance, consolations, morality, not just knowledge; religions have cullenders, as each day we have something going on; so a sermon wants to change your life and the lecture wants to provide you with information.
Religions also repeats information day in and day out, we have chores to do from morning to night, and then the weekend has churches, Friday prayers, celebrations, mourning deaths and so on.
The idea here is that we go to schools for twelve years, and then we spend time at universities, then we start our jobs and lives, we would only remember few things from those 20 years spent at schools or universities; who can remember all the geography that we learnt in school, or the hundred hours of grammar, or the calculus or the physics? Take me for example, I learnt economics for four years, I do have an idea of what it is, and I do have a structure of it, but do I remember it similar to how I would remember to pray daily?
Its time that we make the knowledge that we gained in schools and universities stick, we need an education system that is flawless, that is applicable, that is a mixture between talks be a lecturer and a live demonstration, we need field trips to organisations to see how they had applied the accounting systems, or the formulae that we learnt for making sugar or something in that context.
Otherwise, we may need to keep all the books and notebooks of those 20 years stored in a library at our homes and we re-read them all daily, as our teachers didn’t have a great idea of how we will remember it all.