The Problem of Modern Education
Modern scientific thinking assumes: (1) All wholes can be reduced to simple parts, (2) Simple parts are mutually independent and separable entities, (3) These independent and separable entities can be counted, (4) The behaviors of these entities can be described by mathematical laws, (5) These laws are uniform for all places and times, (6) They can be gleaned by trial and error, (7) The trial and error method is progressive but never final, and (8) There is no better way.
If our assumptions are false, then two things happen. First, the Law of Diminishing Returns kicks in: Greater money, time, and effort must be invested to obtain lesser progress, resulting in a self-negating cycle of reducing investment and progress. Second, rejuvenating progress requires a Paradigm Shift: We have to restart from scratch after postulating new assumptions.
Modern scientific thinking is now in the self-negating cycle of diminishing returns, due to its false assumptions. The next phase involves a Paradigm Shift. But the education system isn’t prepared for a Paradigm Shift. It hides all the failures of the current paradigm, keeping students unaware and unprepared, elongating the term of diminishing returns and delaying the inevitable.
Declining State of Education
Students today are not trained to apply critical thinking to what they are being taught. They are encouraged to internalize ideas from previous thinking to an extent that they remain unaware of the problems, let alone how to solve them. University- and college-educated students, in fact, are so completely unaware of the serious problems in what they were taught, that if such things are brought to their attention, they immediately consider them false and untrustworthy.
In pre-industrial times, most educated people were polymaths. Post industrialization, people were specialized in one field. Post World War II, children focus on a subfield of a field. The result of this education is that they are unaware of how other disciplines think. As the mind is ossified by the current ideas, it becomes incapable of new ideas. It can only repeat the previous ideas.
Goals of Shabda Academy
Shabda Academy aims to: (1) take students out of rote learning and memorization to qualify for exams, (2) create inquisitive, critical thinking people seeking the truth, (3) who are able to value knowledge for its own sake. The focus of Shabda Academy is to help students develop the skill to think about the biggest problems, the unsolved problems, and the biggest unsolved problems.
The courses in Shabda Academy aim to produce thinkers. They help students understand the key ideas in each discipline, how these came about, what problems were solved by their induction, and which problems were created by adopting them. These courses navigate the implications of these ideas and their problems, and how they cause endless confusion in modern academia.
If students learn subjects not as dogmas of the “priests” of their subjects, who often “preach” their courses like absolutely true gospel, but as ideas that have some value, and many unsolved problems, then they can think for themselves. Independent thoughtfulness requires a system of education that is mostly absent today, and Shabda Academy hopes to fill that gap.
Shabda Academy Courses
This education cannot be conducted in a vacuum. Rather, it should involve the same subjects that were previously learned without grasping their problems. In all these subjects, there are big problems, unsolved problems, and big unsolved problems. Unless we learn about the problems in what we were learned earlier, education is either misleading, or incomplete, or both.
Shabda Academy teaches what is commonly taught in university and college courses. However, it focuses primarily on what is generally ignored or neglected in mainstream education.