慶應SFC 1997年 環境情報学部 英語 大問2 全文(正答済み)

 Just before he died, Aldous Huxley was on the brink of an enormous breakthrough, on the verge of creating a great synthesis between science, religion, and art. Many of his ideas are illustrated in his last novel, Island. Although Island is not very significant as a work of art, it is very exciting as an essay on what man is capable of becoming. The most revolutionary ideas in it are those pertaining to education, for the educational system in Huxley’s utopia is aimed at radically different goals from the educational system of our own society.

 In our own society we see two sharply different approaches to education. On the one hand, there are those who are devoted to passing on the knowledge that children need in order to live in our industrialized society. They are not especially imaginative or creative, nor do they often question why they are teaching the things they teach. Their chief concern is with efficiency, that is, with implanting the greatest number of facts into the greatest possible number of children, with a minimum of time, expense, and effort. On the other hand, there is a minority of humanistically oriented educators who have as their goal the creation of better human beings, or in psychological terms, self-actualization and self-transcendence.

 Classroom learning often has as its unspoken goal the reward of pleasing the teacher. Children in the usual classroom learn very quickly that creativity is punished, while repeating a memorized response is rewarded, and concentrate on what the teacher wants them to say, rather than understanding the problem. Since classroom learning focuses on behavior rather than on thought, the child learns exactly how to behave while keeping his thoughts his own.

 Thought, in fact, is often inimical to extrinsic learning. The effects of propaganda, indoctrination, and operant conditioning all disappear with insight. Take advertising, for example. The simplest medicine for it is the truth. You may worry about subliminal advertising and motivational research, but all you need are the data which prove that a particular brand of toothpaste stinks, and you’ll be able to resist all the advertising in the world. As another example of the destructive effect of truth upon extrinsic learning, a psychology class played a joke on their professor by secretly conditioning him while he was delivering a lecture on conditioning. The professor, without realizing it, learned to nod (i.e., acquired the habit of nodding more and more, and by the end of the lecture he was nodding continually. As soon as the class told the professor what he was doing, however, he stopped nodding, and of course after that no amount of smiling on the part of the class could make him nod again. Truth made the learning disappear. Extending this point, we ought to ask ourselves how much classroom learning is actually supported by ignorance, and would be destroyed by insight.

 The difference between the intrinsic and the extrinsic aspects of a college education is illustrated by the following story about Upton Sinclair. When Sinclair was a young man, he found that he was unable to raise the tuition money needed to attend college. Upon careful reading of the college catalogue, however, he found that if a student failed a course, he received no credit for the course, but was obliged to take another course in its place. The college did not charge the student for the second course, reasoning that he had already paid once for his credit. Sinclair took advantage of this policy and got a free education by deliberately failing all his courses.

 The phrase “earning a degree” summarizes the evils of extrinsically oriented education. The student automatically gets his degree after investing a certain number of hours at the university, referred to as credits. All the knowledge taught in the university has its “cash value” in credits, with little or no distinction made between various subjects taught at the university. Since only the final degree is considered to have any real value, leaving college before the completion of one’s senior year is considered to be a waste of time by society and a minor tragedy by parents. You have all heard of the mother bemoaning her daughter’s foolishness in leaving school to get married during her senior year since the girl’s education had been “wasted.” The learning value of spending three years at the university has been completely forgotten.

 In the ideal college, there would be no credits, no degrees, and no required courses. A person would learn what he wanted to learn. A friend and I attempted to put this ideal into action by starting a series of seminars called “Freshman Seminars — Introduction to the Intellectual Life.” We announced that the course would have no required reading or writing and give no credits, and that whatever was discussed would be of the student’s own choosing. We also stated who we were a professor of psychology and a practicing psychiatrist, expecting that the description of the seminar and of our own interests would indicate to the student who should come and who should not. The students who came to this seminar came for their own volition and were at least partially responsible for its successes and failures. The exact opposite holds true for the classical schoolroom — it is compulsory; people have been forced into it one way or another.

 In the ideal college, intrinsic education would be available to anyone who wanted it-since anyone can improve and learn. The college would be ubiquitous — that is, not restricted to particular buildings at particular times, and the teachers would be any human beings who had something that they wanted to share with others. The college would be life-long, for learning can take place all through life.

 The ideal college would be a kind of educational retreat in which you could try to find yourself; find out what you like and want, what you are and are not good at. People would take various subjects, attend various seminars, not quite sure of where they were going, but moving toward the discovery of vocation, and once they found it, they could then make good use of technological education. The chief goals of the ideal college, in other words, would be the discovery of identity, and with it, the discovery of vocation.

 What do we mean by the discovery of identity? We mean finding out what your real desires and characteristics are, and being able to live in a way that expresses them. You learn to be authentic, to be honest in the sense of allowing your behavior and your speech to be the true and spontaneous expressions of your inner feelings. Most of us have learned to avoid authenticity. You may be in the middle of a fight, and your guts are writhing with anger, but if the phone rings, you pick it up and sweetly say hello. Authenticity is the reduction of phoniness toward the zero point.

 Some people seem to know what they want, and they seem to know equally clearly what they don’t want. Their inner preferences tell them that one color doesn’t go with another, and that they don’t want wool clothing because it makes them itch, or that they dislike superficial sexual relations. In contrast, other people seem to be empty, out of touch with their own inner signals. They eat, defecate, and go to sleep by the clock’s cues, rather than by the cues of their own bodies. They use external criteria for everything from choosing their food (“it’s good for you” and clothing (“it’s in style” to questions of values and ethics (“my daddy told me to”.

 Another goal which our schools and teachers should be pursuing is the discovery of vocation, of one’s fate and destiny. Part of learning who you are, part of being able to hear your inner voice, is discovering what it is that you want to do with your life. Finding one’s identity is almost synonymous with finding one’s career, revealing the altar on which one will sacrifice oneself. Finding one’s lifework is a little like finding one’s mate. One custom is for young people to “play the field,” to have lots of contacts with people, a love affair or two, and perhaps a serious trial marriage before getting married. In this way they discover what they like and don’t like in members of the opposite sex. As they become more and more conscious of their own needs and desires, those people who know themselves well enough eventually just find and recognize one another. Sometimes very similar things happen when you find your career, your lifework. It feels right and suddenly you find that twenty-four hours a day aren’t long enough, and you begin lamenting the shortness of human life.

 Schools should be helping people to look within themselves, and from this self-knowledge derive a set of values. Yet values are not taught in our schools today. This may be a holdover from the religious wars in which the church and the state were made separate and the rulers decided that the discussion of values would be the church’s concern, while the secular schools would concern themselves with other problems. Perhaps it is just as well that our schools, with their grievous lack of a real philosophy and of suitably trained teachers, do not teach values.




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