Universal Principles of Education: Part II By Prof. Dr. Kudret Bulbul

Article

In one of our articles a few weeks ago we had mentioned that as a Global phenomenon a good education as well as a bad education is contagious. Education in other countries closely affects our lives therefore we had pointed out necessity of universal principles on education for the human family. After briefly touching upon situation of the World from the standpoint of education we had discussed an education philosophy that individuals must be educated on two foremost principles. Providing them with the awareness of justice and they should look at everything with a positive thinking rather than a negative thinking.
Lets resume from the point where we had left.
An education that educates individuals with moral principles
The people who make a social life possible are expected to behave within the bounds of moral principles and abide by these moral principles. The individuals having these principles make the life livable. These are our suppositions that they will not steal from others, will not attack others, will not misbehave others and will not tell a lie to others. Lets suppose we got out of our home in a morning in the absence of all these virtues. Will it be possible for us to get out of our home at the first place? How can we proceed if we are not sure whether the first person we come across will not attack us? What if we suspect that the people on the street will always rob everything we have on us? What if everyone misbehaves? What if people are looking to achieve things without working rather than feeling the pain of earning?
The examples can be multiplied. Is a social life possible in such a wild atmosphere?
It must be one of the foremost objectives of education to raise individuals with general moral principles necessary for a social and cultural framework. It is not that difficult to determine these general principles. More or less a general acceptance exists for these principles in different cultures.
* An education that teaches to work and says that two consecutive days of a person should not be similar to each other
Universal Principles of Education: Part II By Prof. Dr. Kudret BulbulThe following principles deal more with the content and method of education. The first three above mentioned principles (an education based on justice, positive thinking and ethics) are necessary fundamental values on which all kind of education should be built at all levels. The education which is not based on these values and does not embed these values might have grave consequences and dangers for the mankind. The World wars that dragged mankind into catastrophes, terrorist attacks, continually raised security walls and all kind of inventions aimed to wipe off others rather than keeping them alive are the Works of people with quality education rather than uneducated people. All of these things cannot be executed with less education but only a specialized education can create victimizations, make people shed tears and inflict pains and sufferings. These are the values that can protect human family in education field just as it protects it in many other fields. “I seek protection of Allah Almighty from the useless knlwledge” is the most valuable saying of Prophet Muhammed peace be upon Him that points to a moral stand in this regard. Please pay attention, this is a position in which it has been pointed out that not only a harmful but also a useless knowledge should be avoided…
If we return to the principles again, working and running after new objectives everyday is one of the most useful efforts for ourselves, our environment and the mankind. A parasitic and lazy lifestyle that depends on the others for survival decays societies. In this framework, education must teach that all trades as sacred, it should encourage working in all professions and teach that working is a value in itself.
* No to same education for everyone but a diversified and pluralistic education according to potential of people
Alongwith a modern and centrist state a mass monotype education method for everyone has been devised and universalized. This prevalent education method made important contributions to make education accessible for everyone. Besides, this method removed differences and resulted in equalization of people in a monotype. Whereas each human being is a different soul and a different world.
How beautifully Sheikh Galip stated:
Ho?ça bak zât?na kim zübde-i âlemsin sen
Merdüm-i dîde-i ekvân olan âdemsin sen
It means (take a good care of yourself because you are the essence of the World / you the human being are the dearest of the Universe).
Education must be there to explore potential of each individual and to gain individual and social benefits from this explored potential rather than teaching everyone the same thing.
Universal Principles of Education: Part II By Prof. Dr. Kudret Bulbul* An education interwined with life
In the traditional education method individuals mostly used to acquire their education in person through teacher-pupil relation and on hand training. Today education and education institutions have been professionalized. It can be observed that as a result of this professionalization education institutions have been partly disconnected of life and education being provided has mostly remained theoretical. There are many objections to this situation as it has been mentioned in the words of Einstein “what is left after forgetting everything learned by a person in the school is education”. If the objective of education is to prepare a person for life, education should not be given only on the school benches. Education institutions and education itself must be interwined with the persons and institutions they will be joining after the completion of their education like civil society, private sector, academy and bureaucracy.
* A thinking, interrogative and exploring rather than a memorizer education
Fundamentally education is an effort towards future rather than the past or present. Definitely the existing and accumulation of the past will also be taught. However all of these must be for a better understanding of the future and to produce new things. Otherwise they should not be there to live in the past. An education targeting memorizing and repeating the existing things rather than thinking and interrogating will not carry us to the future. People can explore their potential only by thinking, questioning and interrogating. Education must prepare ground for a person to explore oneself.
As another principle, an education coordinated and controlled by a civil society and private sector rather than an education provided by public institutions and state centered can also be mentioned. Or this situation of the education method can be separately discussed. Lets discuss it in another article.
Undoubtedly we can add more to these principles. However it seems difficult to give more within the limits of an article. The interested may look into my works titled “What Kind of a Youth in the Global Age”.
Definitely it is extremely important to be well educated and academically equipped. There is no guarantee where an education system lacking above mentioned principles would take a person or a society. We can produce many Frankensteins through education if these principles are not taught during the education process. The people who shoot their classmates, poison food, drop injectors into meals and drag mankind into catastrophes are not ignorant. Mostly there are well equipped people without any principles who do not feel it necessary to use their education for the benefit of mankind.
What we teach in education is important however it is more important to understand why we teach what we teach. n

Prof. Dr. Kudret BÜLBÜL, Dean Faculty of Political Sciences at  Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University