Humanity has been developing its educational system for thousands of years, and it consists of two parts:
- Education (mind, intellect, brain): a child is taught his future profession, since he can’t get along in life without it.
- Upbringing (senses, heart): in absence of a process that shapes a child into a human being, education has the potential to do harm rather than good.
Even while learning a profession, a child should not be given ready-made explanations, formulas, solutions or anything in that matter. He should not receive anything in its final form. First, he needs to discuss, test and analyze the subject to eventually reveal the truth on his own, feeling the thrill of discovery. Such an approach inspires him; he is independently reaching the conclusions that the teacher wanted him to reach.
Studying Torah has always been in the form of discussions and allowed an exchange of opinions. A student is intentionally confused, being dragged into researching a task. That makes him search for the solution, honing his independent arguments. Eventually, in the process of his development, he masters the problem, while he’s “opened the book” for himself and thus understands what is written in it.
A book needs to obligate a child to develop. He needs to discover the formula following the steps of the discoverer. One must attain knowledge, not be given it, such as occurs in mainstream education.
In that sense, the Talmud serves as an excellent example of a true text book. After all, we study it to develop and not to memorize data.
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