Inductive Education: A Tool of Survival Through Creativity

What is the task of education? Primarily, it is to teach someone to survive. Friedrich Nietzsche talks about creativity in education but what function does this creativity have? As biological beings, our first impulse is to survive in the condition that we are born into. Should the task of the education then not be to teach the students how to survive?
It should be, and it is in many parts of the world. The Yoruba and Batu tribes teach their children to survive from the time they barely learn how to walk. Then their education continues throughout their lives, from their parents, elders and the world around them. Education never stops for them, and this form of education is deemed a perfect education by W.E.B Du Bois because education is completely integrated with life and there could be no uneducated people (Du Bois, 1973). There was no education that was not immediately necessary for earning a living and for use in living a life. Therefore, out of this organic education came about ethics, religion, and culture that is ingrained in the lifestyle of the people.
However, this form of education becomes difficult, if not impossible, when people dislocate and progress. Because this is when philosophy and culture become so rapidly changing that a previous generation cannot teach the next of some knowledge that is partly obsolete and partly untrue (Du Bois, 1973). Therefore, in a rapidly changing society, the only object of education become to teach students how to climb up the social ladder and become a member of a privileged class because that seems to be the best path to survival. But this cheat code denies the identity of a person who is not a member of the privileged group but aspires to become one. Thus, they become dissatisfied with their life if they fail to reach social privilege and become dissatisfied with their identity if they succeed.
A university education that is aimed at equipping its students of getting into the privileged club is therefore severed from its root and fails to hold the universal culture as its guiding end which it had originally sought (Du Bois, 1973). What function of a university education then remains in a university that cannot teach a student to survive with their own identity? None. That is why students feel dissatisfied with the education they receive in their school.
So the only education that can be successful and satisfying is one that has its roots in the lives of the masses (Du Bois, 1973). An educational institution of the rapidly dislocating world must also serve the same purpose of the education of the Bush school, it should teach the students to live and making a living in their ever-changing reality. That is why creativity is essential for survival. The only way the students can be benefited from their education is if they are equipped enough to create their own cultural understanding from their own unique point of view.
The way we can reach this end is by acknowledging the roots. Education for a student needs to be tailored to the unique requirements of the students. If a university teaches black students, it has to be a black university. If a student teaches German students, it needs to be a German university (Du Bois, 1973). It is a fallacy to start from the global perspective and to subordinate the personal perspective because anything we learn, we learn through applying a personal perspective to it. The best educational method should, therefore, be inductive, not deductive. It cannot be something that starts with a broad set of ideas and then narrows down to a personal motive because that sort of theoretical pedagogy is so far removed from the real worldview of the student that they lose interest in understanding in learning because they don’t know why they are learning. It has to start with a specific detail that the student can most connect with and then connect it to the broader theoretical idea, teaching them how to manipulate these conceptual ideas to meet the ends their identity demands. Education must not only be the center of knowledge but a center of applied knowledge and guide of action (Du Bois, 1973).
But the limitation in this idea is, as Du Bois (1973) suggests, the lack of eligible teachers to be able to teach from these specific perspectives. No teacher with simply the general ideas of human culture or general knowledge is well equipped to provide a university-level education because a university is a place where humans learn things they do not know through the lens of the things they do know (Du Bois, 1973). Therefore, the perfect university teacher would be someone who has an almost identical worldview of that of the student.
But how is this possible if a teacher is to teach a class of thirty to forty students coming from different social and cultural backgrounds? The only possible solution to this problem would be creating a class small enough to maintain cultural similarity between the student and the teacher.But where do you find these huge bulk of teachers and how do you pay them? Also, if the teacher is a knowledgeable, well-read and experienced professor from the earlier generation, the objective of this exercise would fail since his worldview would be significantly different than that of the present generation.
In this scenario, the best solution would be to combine the education from both perspectives. Firstly, the professor, when teaching a large class would try to use as many interactive and anecdotal tools as possible to make education more personal. And secondly, this education would be complimented by a follow-up research or study session with classmates or earlier students who have worked on the similar topic. In these sessions, the students will be free to choose the other members from their own classroom and also from a group of senior students.
For example, let’s consider a class of thirty college freshmen who are taking an introduction to philosophy course. The professor of this course, a jolly old man, tries to incorporate all the interactive tools at his disposal and also makes a research paper instrumental for his course for which the students will have to form voluntary study groups. They will be presented with a group of college sophomores who have recently taken this course from whom the freshmen can choose their discussion leader. The discussion leaders. who would presumably be picked based on their cultural similarity with that of the student group? would help the freshmen to look at the broad concepts from their unique worldview and write a paper that would interpret the concept from their perspective to solve a real problem in their lives. In return, the discussion leader will receive some sort of incentive, which could be filling the requirement of one of the courses they are currently taking or earning additional credit points. This educational loop also ensures that all students are entirely knowledgeable of what they learn and they are also able to transmit this knowledge and apply it to meet practical ends.
The sort of education described above is an education that is instrumental for the survival of a human which uses creativity as its indispensable tool. We have already discussed the ideas of Nietzsche regarding education as a creative tool but through Du Bois, we can see that this creativity is a tool for survival. When education is custom tailored for each student to fit their individual need, the general concepts they learn become enhanced tool for their own creativity and survival in the world.
Du Bois, W.E.B (1973), The Education of Black People: Ten Critiques, 1906 – 1960, In Herbert Aptheker (Ed.), The Field and Function of the Negro College (1983) (pp. 83-102), New York, N.Y: Monthly Review Press.

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