Essentials Of Unification Thought - The Head-Wing Thought

V. An Appraisal of Traditional Theories of Education from the Standpoint of Unification Thought

Let us now appraise those traditional theories of education mentioned above, from the standpoint of Unification Thought.

For Plato, the image of the ideal person is that of a philosopher who has recognized the "Idea of the Good." Plato thought that if such a philosopher were to govern the state, an ideal state would come about. In the Age of ancient Greece, however, no such philosopher emerged who could govern the state, arid the Idea of the Good was not realized in the city-state (polis). Moreover, after the coming of the Age of Hellenism, the Idea of the Good collapsed together with the city-states. That was because the Idea of the Good was ambiguous. Unless God's purpose for creating the universe and humankind is clarified, the standard of goodness remains ambiguous, and therefore, the Idea of the Good cannot be actualized.

Christianity in the Middle Ages advocated a kind of education that could raise people to love God and their neighbors. Yet, that love was "agape," that is, the sacrificial love that was displayed in Jesus' crucifixion. Such questions as to why God's love is such a sacrificial love, and for what purpose God created humankind were not clarified. Accordingly, it became difficult for such a Christian view of education to guide people of the modern period, who were awakened to human nature.

Education in the Renaissance period can be highly esteemed in that it liberated human nature, which had been oppressed; but from the mid-16th century on, it gradually became formalized into a mere study of the classics. It also leaned toward human-centeredness and gradually lost its religious morality.

Comenius said that the role of education was to bring out the natural gift (nature) inherent in every person. It was not clear, however, what that gift was. There is also a problem with his concept of pansaphia, according to which the acquisition of true knowledge would lead to virtue and faith. From the viewpoint of Unification Thought, true intellectual education can be established only on the basis of the Education of Heart and the Education of Norm. Still, the three kinds of education advocated by Comenius have something in common with the Education of Heart, Education of Norm, and Education of Dominion in the Unification Theory of Education.

Rousseau, also, advocated raising people in a natural Way, but his concept of "nature" within the individual was ambiguous. Furthermore, there is a problem in his definition of human nature as unconditionally good. He advocated bringing up children in a natural way, but without the Education of Heart and the Education of Norm centered on God's love (Heart), it is impossible to raise children as they are naturally and to lead them to become human beings as originally intended.

Kant attached importance to moral education. But his moral education had no solid foundation, because God, who should be the foundation of morality, wits conceived by Kant as an entity that is required to exist but of whose actual existence Kant was uncertain. Also, Kant dealt with morality only as a norm for individuals, but that is insufficient. Ethics, which is the norm for mutual relationships among human beings, is as important as morality.

Pestalozzi asserted that the three kinds of education, namely, education of knowledge, moral and religious education, and technical education, should be unified through love. This assertion resembles the ideas in Unification Thought of the Education of Norm and Education of Dominion based on the Education of Heart. (Pestalozzi's education of knowledge and technical education correspond to the Education of Dominion in Unification Thought, and his moral and religious education corresponds to the Education of Norm in Unification Thought.) His idea of education of the "whole man," and his idea that family education is the foundation of education, are also in accord with die Unification Theory of Education. Nevertheless, the point that the purpose of education is the fulfillment of the Three Great Blessings was not included in his theory of education. Also a sufficient explanation of God, who is the foundation for moral-religious education, was not given by him. For these reasons, Pestalozzi's theory of education did not become solidly established.

A similar comment can be made about Froebel, who inherited Pestalozzi's theory of education. For Froebel, the "whole man with divine nature" was regarded as the image of the ideal person. This is in perfect accord with the viewpoint of Unification Thought, which says that the essence of education is to teach children to grow to resemble God.

Herbart considered presentations and their mutual relationships to be the origin of all spiritual activities, such as emotion and will, and asserted that moral character can be built by cultivating the circle of thought. From the viewpoint of Unification Thought, however, it is not through cultivating one's thinking that morality is actualized. Morality can be actualized when people pursue the value of goodness and observe norms, centering on Heart (love).

Dewey did not recognize any purpose in education, but emphasized only growth and progress. Emphasis on growth and progress, however, without clarifying the purpose of human life, cannot solve human alienation and social problems. In fact, today, as science and civilization develop, many social ills have emerged in societies where Dewey's method of education has been practiced. Wholesome persons and societies cannot be formed through the method of practical technical education proposed by Dewey, unless such education is based on the Education of Heart and Education of Norm.

The view of capitalist education as "the bourgeoisie's tool for class rule" and the view of socialist education as "die proletariat's tool for dictatorship," both advocated in Marxism-Leninism, are aspects of a view of education from the perspective of regarding human society in terms of class struggle. As long as one regards materialist dialectic and the materialist conception of history as wrong, then one must say that this view of education is wrong as well.

Marxism-Leninism asserted that its aim was an "all-round, fully developed person," but this did not refer to the personality of an individual whose faculties of intellect, emotion, and will are developed in a well-balanced manner; rather it referred simply to the development of the skills of laborers, so that they can engage in any kind of labor. Moreover, Marxism-Leninism insisted on general technical education, but, since it placed emphasis on labor, this general technical education was no more than education in working skills. Also, collective education has come to oppress the dignity of human individuality and freedom.

Democratic education is based on the value and dignity of the individual. Yet, too much emphasis on the rights of the individual has given rise to a tendency toward individualism and egoism. Also, since it upholds human nature on the basis of humanism, its views on values have become relativistic. As a result, social disorder has become unavoidable. Only when Education of Heart and Education of Norm, based on God's absolute love, are provided, can the value and dignity of individuals be firmly established, and social harmony and order be maintained.

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