Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Written by Dato Freida Pilus, Founder Mentor of Cempaka Group of Schools & Chairman of Cempaka International Ladies College

It is difficult to pin-point an exact time when education started. It was probably about two hundred thousand years ago, when we emerged as a species called Homo sapiens, and developed an instinct from our daily experiences of where opportunities and dangers lay. 

We learned to see them as patterns (for example, fire is hot, predators are dangerous, the river provides water) and passed them on in simple signs and language to others in the group and to the young offspring. That sort of education was informal but invaluable in accumulating knowledge. It took a great stride when we learned to make symbols of such bits of knowledge. The Assyrians and Phoenicians were producers of agricultural and household goods. They traveled and sailed to distant lands, and were among the earliest known traders. They were also the first known communities to 'write' and record their possessions and trading transactions.

Among the first major civilizations that 'wrote' was Egypt, with its hieroglyphics and accounts of pharaohs in their tombs. The Egyptians also produced a medium for writing from the reeds (papyrus) along the Nile River. In the second century AD the Chinese invented paper, and this freed a large amount of silk (hitherto used as writing material) for export to Europe. Later paper followed the Silk Road to Europe. Here was a latent basis for an explosion of knowledge and education in Europe. This was ignited by a German craftsman, Guttenberg, who invented the first movable type of printing. Before the movable type, the most important book, the Bible, was handwritten on valium — each an ornate work of art.  But they were limited in number, and were kept safe as the property of the church. Only the clergy and members of the aristocracy were literate. In the UK, since the thirteenth century, only the clergy and the aristocrats were admitted to the teaching houses of the two old universities, Oxford and Cambridge. These houses were incorporated formally as largely independent colleges as members of the universities. 

Education as an activity can be traced to Socrates, a wise Athenian, in the fourth century BC. The form was informal. The sons of the city's aristocrats would gather around Socrates who, one might say, was the first formal teacher in history. Scholars might argue that the first teacher was really Thales (pronounced 'They-leez') in Meletus, a Greek colony near Anatolia in present day Turkey. Thales was perhaps the first teacher, in the sense that during a time of rampant superstition, he introduced reason and the scientific method. When it was common to attribute earthquakes or floods or any natural disaster to an angry god or gods, Thales taught that there was no need to look for supernatural explanations in life. He taught, "For every natural event, there was a natural explanation." This was the beginning of the scientific method.
Socrates; The Pioneer of Education
Two centuries later, in Athens, Socrates taught the same message. He went further, and introduced questions as the primary driver in education. The Socratic method was simply to ask questions, to probe, and to seek answers, as well as to reveal unsound beliefs, assumptions and ideas. In short, Socrates used questions to lead to the truth, and to uncover pretension, hypocrisy and sham. He was popular among the young, and one of his star pupils was Alcibiades, a young aristocrat, who later joined his teacher, Socrates, as soldiers in the long Athenian wars against Sparta. Another star pupil (from whom we were to know so much about Socrates' life and ideas) was Plato.
Plato; A star pupil of Socrates
The format of education was simple and informal. They would gather around the teacher and discuss mathematics, philosophy, literature and poetry. Socrates believed in dialogue, and thought that true education exists only when there was "contact" between two minds.  As I mentioned earlier, one of Socrates' pupils was Plato. Plato was a man consumed with ideas. Today, we have the term 'platonic' meaning as of ideas, not material. 

Plato set up the first formal Academy in Athens to carry on his teacher's legacy. And one of his star pupils, whose influence was to be greater than his, was Aristotle, another great teacher in the Greek tradition. His Ethics and Logic was to influence the course of science and education to this day. His ideas of analysis and synthesis and classification remain the core of scientific method even today.  Without Aristotelian logic and method of classification, there would be no biology or exploratory science today. Such was the influence of classical educators upon our lives today.

When Greece declined in power and Rome emerged as an empire, Roman aristocrats sent their sons to Greece, or had Greek tutors in Rome. It was the prestigious thing for a Roman aristocrat to do. They spoke in Greek more than Latin. To have a Greek mind, a mind that is open to ideas and yet disciplined and precise in its method was the ultimate aim, the ideal education.

The great works of the classical education were nearly lost, with the decline of the Roman empire and Europe broken up in bits in the Dark Ages that followed. But the Dark Ages applied only to Europe. The rise of Islam from the eight century AD over the next seven hundred years saved the great works of the Greco-Roman period. Muslim scholars together with Christians and Jews, gathered in centres of learning in Baghdad, Mecca, Cairo and Andalusian Spain, where they translated and studied the works of Greek scholars into Arabic. European scholars later translated them into Latin and later into their various vernacular languages.

As I mentioned above, education in Europe was reserved only to the few, fortunate well-born. School education was found only in private schools, and only the well-to-do could afford to be privately schooled. Again, there were very few universities, only five in the British Isles, and they were all incorporated by charter, and private. Education was mainly confined to a few subjects - Divinity, Classics, Mathematics, Law, Medicine and the Natural Sciences. Divinity was an early course to supply candidates for Ecclesiastical positions, Classics, Mathematics and the Natural Sciences for the sons of gentlemen, Law, Medicine and Natural sciences for the professions and sons of tradesmen.

At all times education was a reflection of society. When society was classified, so was education. When society gradually became de-classified, so did education. 

Throughout the early and middle Medieval period, books were rare and expensive. The process of making paper was still evolving, and printing was set, and labour intensive. However, from the middle of the fifteenth century onwards, with the widespread use of the Guttenberg printing process books became plentiful. The Bible was no longer the sacred property of the Church. It was translated in the British Isles into English, the King James Version, and elsewhere into the vernacular. The grip that the Church had on the minds of the people was, for the first time, loosened. 

Education, too, became more secular. In the case of Malaysia, formal secular education became available in the early nineteenth century onwards, with the foundation of the first English-medium school in Penang. Both Church mission and government schools became available to the people. After Merdeka in 1957, the independent government set out to establish more national type schools throughout the country. The objective was to produce more citizens with patriotism and skills to build a stable and prosperous nation.

How do I see the role of the teacher in this country? Very central. Everything begins in school. Today’s leaders and professionals and administrators all began as school children. Tomorrow’s leaders and professionals and administrators are in today’s school. They are being taught by today’s teachers.

We have a diverse society. It is the role of teachers not only to impart the skills in the three Rs, but also to develop the character of future Malaysians. The next generation of leaders, now still in school, should develop to be strong, skilled, honest, and empathic. 

It is the responsibility of teachers to shape the skills and ethos of the future generation of Malaysians. That is how important it is.

I have my own vision of a good education. I want an education that produces a disciplined, yet open and creative mind. That was the reason, in 1983, why I founded Cempaka School. I had the education of my own children in mind. Yes, Cempaka School was founded expressly for Dr. Rizal, Encik Fareed, Encik Raphael, Encik Hisham, and Encik Zahir. But now it is for thousands of other young minds.


First Cempaka Schools Campus, taken from Yearbook Committee 2013 page
My idea of a good teacher is one who produces the next generation of Malaysians who have the skills and the strength of character to build an even better society than the one they found. 

As to whether an ideal teacher exists, I would say no. The point of an ideal is that it is a destination that we must maintain our aim for. It comes from the Platonic concept of the ideal, the perfect, form that exists just beyond the reach of imperfect humans. Therefore by definition, an ideal teacher, or an ideal anything, is a point just beyond reach, beckoning us to move ahead and continue to make progress.


Photo Credit: Encik Khairul
As I have always said, nothing is impossible, but then we are all work in progress, trying to reach the perfect ideal with our imperfect human capacity.


Photo Credit: Encik Syariz


by Unknown 22:18 41 comments | in , , , , ,

41 comments:

  1. This one is a good blog which provides the interesting information about education system. Through this blog, i increase my knowledge. Thanks to share!!
    HTML5 Game Development

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am really very impressed with your content quality. This article gives a good information regarding educational system. Fantastic work done by you.
    dissertation help

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing the interesting history of (Socrates & Plato ) . Both Teacher and students were played a vital role in the education and
    especially in the field of psychology . Many psychology's important laws are proved by them . By the way, I am William Morris and loves your blog .

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am connected with best custom essay help providing industry. In this post the writer explains the Tour d'horizon on the Subject of Education which is very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is no doubt that it is difficult to pin-point the exact time when education started, but we can be very where it is now. Education has now gone global and online, and Paramount California University is a product of these latest innovations.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Exercises incorporated into the program are intended to advance physical wellness, to impart learning and comprehension of tenets, ideas, and systems. I am well educated person and writer at Can Someone Write My Essay - EssayCampus.co.uk Many schools utilize the "Five forever" standard. Understudies figure out how to either act as people, in a wide assortment of focused exercises.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need to begin my vocation in 3d animation because I currently job as no 1 us based animated company that offer Animated Video Production Service. I'm 19 so have almost no involvement, yet I have endeavored to utilize Maya and z brush both extremely troublesome projects. I discovered this free chiseling program called sculptress that I appreciate significantly more then z brush I was thinking about whether that would be a decent begin.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We are not only learning about the past and our past, we also learn about the approaches that persons rummage-sale to recover their societies. Communal buy coursework on customized topic studies have a very wide possibility and it has so many branches and other arenas of study.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your question is one of religion in the eye of man. I trust it is reasonable for talk about all religions so we may comprehend what the conviction s and view focuses are. So we may settle on a choice of what we are to accept. In any case you can Get Cheap Assignment Writing Service, we can't take a gander at it that way in light of the fact that the best way to know reality concerning God and HIS qualities is to look for the reply from HIM, not a classroom.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Books in this branch of knowledge manage instruction: any demonstration or experience that essayleaks formatively affects the psyche, character, or physical capacity of a person. In subsections: Applications of ICT in Libraries.

    ReplyDelete
  11. the field of education has entirely transformed into a more smarter domain where people can now Buy A Degree From An Accredited College

    ReplyDelete
  12. 2016 SIHH, replica watches uk series of the entire update, including the new version of Mark (Mark 18), some retro-style rolex replica large version, as well as the first large section of the fine section of the pilots "Little Prince" Memorial replica watches uk IW500916.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for such a great post! I can highly recommend https://prowriterscenter.com/ This service can give the necessary assistance in completing all types of writing tasks. All works from essays to dissertation writing.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree with your pint that nothing is impossible, but then we are all work in progress, trying to reach the perfect ideal with our imperfect human capacity. Dissertation writing services

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes i agree your post and good info of It is difficult to pin-point an exact time when education started. It was probably about two hundred thousand years ago, when we emerged as a species called Homo sapiens, and developed an instinct from our daily experiences of where opportunities and dangers lay.and good info of education.Granite Cleaner Reviewlr

    ReplyDelete
  16. Many thanks for sharing this very diverse opinion post where each expert has no doubt shared his best knowledge on the topic. Have more success in your journey.
    Posted by Assignment Help Sydney

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think that this is the best way to communicate with all people and have a discussion with them effectively. Among the first major civilizations that 'wrote' was Egypt, with its hieroglyphics and accounts of pharaohs in their tombs. OK i agree your great post and good info of It is difficult to "pin-point" an exact time when education started.no doubt shared his best knowledge on the topic. related to best [url=https://www.realassignmenthelp.co.uk/]Assignment Writing[/url] to help all geography students.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think that this is the best way to communicate with all people and have a discussion with them effectively. Among the first major civilizations that 'wrote' was Egypt, with its hieroglyphics and accounts of pharaohs in their tombs. OK i agree your great post and good info of It is difficult to "pin-point" an exact time when education started.no doubt shared his best knowledge on the topic. related to best Assignment Writing to help all geography students.

    ReplyDelete
  19. thanks for sharing it but My idea of a good teacher is one who produces the next generation of Malaysians who have the skills and the strength of character to build an even better society than the one they found.
    coursework Writing Service

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for an interesting post! I definitely agree with you on idea of a perfect teacher: My idea of a good teacher is one who produces the next generation of Malaysians who have the skills and the strength of character to build an even better society than the one they found.
    And to get this perfect teacher you need to get into school. This site: http://www.lorservice.com/sample-residency-letter-of-recommendation/ is a helpful resource for letter of recommendation writing. I highly recommend it.
    Also, there are some problems with some pics on your site, they don't load.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  21. When you take the best of colleges on the planet, every one of them have research and Do my Coursework training adjoining; the individual who shows you could be a Nobel laureate. A few subjects are at the tri-intersection of many subjects set up together. That starts from awesome composed work. Nevertheless, making is not a capacity I have, shockingly. There is both a capacity factor and an effort factor in dream audit. People can make dream audit capacities.

    ReplyDelete
  22. There has never been another you. With no exertion on your part you will undoubtedly be something Assignment Help UK remarkably unprecedented and set apart. What you will do in essentialness about that blessing is a choice no one yet you can make. so use this instrument with a particular respectable 'ol planned fixation to make yourself especially asked. Be cautious that what you plot does not rub anyone or cause issues inside the connivance.If you place stock in others and give them a positive reputation to keep up, you can empower them to turn up clearly better than anything they to think they are.

    ReplyDelete
  23. A contemplate push to save our legacy is a central connect Do my Assignment with our social, instructive, in vogue, fulfilling, and cash related heritages - everything that truly make us our character. The whole instructive process must be done with warmth, which is discernable in each disciplinary measure and which does not allow any dread. Also, the best lighting up technique is not the revelation of heading yet rather the living case without which all words stay vain. Likewise, welcome them. Satisfaction is the reward of being thankful and appreciative. It goes that on the off chance that you are grateful in each condition, you will be content with everything and your satisfaction will be flooding and unending.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you for an interesting post! I definitely agree with you on idea of a perfect teacher: My idea of a good teacher is one who produces the next generation of Malaysians who have the skills and the strength of character to build an even better society than the one they found.
    You can also check my link below

    fat diminisher

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for an interesting post! I definitely agree with you on idea of a perfect teacher: My idea of a good teacher is one who produces the next generation of Malaysians who have the skills and the strength of character to build an even better society than the one they found.
    You can also check my link below
    fat diminisher

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you for an interesting post! I definitely agree with you on idea of a perfect teacher: My idea of a good teacher is one who produces the next generation of Malaysians who have the skills and the strength of character to build an even better society than the one they found.
    You can also check my link below
    fat diminisher

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for sharing this informative post, these are useful to complete my assignment work, I hope I will get more ingormation from dissertation writing service .

    ReplyDelete
  28. Nice post i have recently update my site about all venus factor review issues information please check this out.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wonderful post!!! Genuinely loved this kind of post. Although I want much more information on like precious subject matter.
    happy wheels demo
    happy wheels

    ReplyDelete
  30. I think that this is the best way to communicate with all people and have a discussion with them effectively. Among the first major civilizations that 'wrote' was Egypt, with its hieroglyphics and accounts of pharaohs in their tombs. For more visit
    Cureinnature.Com
    "

    ReplyDelete
  31. There has never been another you. With no exertion on your part you will undoubtedly be something Assignment Help UK remarkably unprecedented and set apart. What you will do in essentialness about that blessing is a choice no one yet you can make. so use this instrument with a particular respectable 'For more Visit Vitiligo Miracle
    "

    ReplyDelete
  32. In upper grades, college students look at works of literature through well-known authors, some living however most dead. They are taught approximately the affect of works of literature on cultures, and the way books can impact attitudes and customs. They observe poetry, fiction, drama, historical works, essays, persuasive strategies, tragedy and comedy. Do My Essay Online

    ReplyDelete
  33. It was really superb post that I have been read and this is really awsome movie but I always but these movies on WAY coupons because Its provide the best code for movies and you can save your money.( Thanks )

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nice post thanks for share you can also check my site.
    http://www.leahsfitness.com/

    ReplyDelete
  35. Nice to see this website you can also visit my site link in below http://www.fitnesspowerclub.com/

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks For share this fabulous article you can also check this site link in bwlow http://internetfitnesstrainer.com/

    ReplyDelete
  37. nice post thanks for share you can also check this site link in below http://www.naturalhealthcorner.com

    ReplyDelete
  38. nice post thanks for share you can also check this site link in below http://www.scamreviewscan.com/

    ReplyDelete

Search