Child Teacher and Teacher Education

There is a profound Indian view about teaching which declares that the first principle of teaching is that nothing can be taught. This paradoxical statement may seem at first sight incomprehensible. But when we look closely into it, we find that it contains a significant guideline regarding the methodology of teaching. It does not prohibit teaching, since it is stated to be the first principle of teaching. It does, however, suggest that the methods of teaching should be such that the learner is enabled to discover by means of his own growth and development all that is intended to be learnt. It points out, in other words, that the role of the teacher should be more of a helper and a guide rather than that of an instructor. This would also mean that the teacher should not impose his views on the learner, but he should evoke within the learner the aspiration to learn and to find out the truth by his own free exercise of faculties.

The truth behind this role of the teacher is brought out by the contention that ‘nothing can be taught’ to the mind which is not already concealed as potential knowledge in the inmost being of the learner. One is reminded of the Socratic view that knowledge is innate in our being but it is hidden. Socrates demonstrates in the Platonic dialogue, ‘Meno’[1], how a good teacher can, without teaching, but by asking suitable questions, bring out to the surface the true knowledge which is already unconsciously present in


[1]  Professor Kireet Joshi , The Good Teacher and The Good Pupil, ed., Auroville Press, Auroville, 2005 (reprint), pp. 119-131. Plato, Protagoras and Meno, Harmondsworth, Penguine, 1985, pp.130-8.

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