Effect of Ontology on Education

Definition of Education

In some of the books about Islamic education, the writers usually have defined “education” in general, and not defined the Islamic education. Sanei (1996) speaks of correct education and defines it as a process, which breeds the sublime potentials, and abilities trusted in pupil’s nature and make them reach the goal for which they have been created. He considers education as a growth, Purification and refinement those individuals aptitudes are affected by it.

Faezi and Ashtiani (1996) define education as the preparation of backgrounds and factors for actualizing man’s potential aptitudes in the desired direction. Motahhari (1997) considers education as cultivation, that is, actualization and breeding the interior aptitudes that exist potentially in a creature, such an education should be a function of dependent things’ or creatures’ natures. Ahmadi (1985) has defined the concept of education in Islam as follows:

1. Breeding and making to grow

2. Guidance to the right way and straight path

3. Making the individual to reach intellectual maturity and comprehension and identification of truth from falsehood

4. Soul purification and cleansing it from contaminations and adorning it with virtues

5. Reaching all of the aspects of human personality to the peak of perfection.

All of the writers whose views on the definition of Islamic education were mentioned above are unanimous that Islamic education is the growth and actualizing of man’s aptitudes in the direction of his elevation and perfection.

All of them have used the word “aptitude” in their definitions (excluding “Ahmadi” who has preferred to use the combination “personality’s aspects.” Baqeri’s definition from Islamic education seems somewhat different.

He believes that Islamic education is the cognition of God as world’s and man’s one and unique Lord, and choosing Him as one’s Lord, submission to His Divinity and not accepting the divinity whatever is against Him.

There is no great content difference between the aforementioned definitions. Man’s personality has different aspects. Islamic education becomes applicable when this personality and its different aptitudes in the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and moral aspects are nurtured and bred and actualized according to the standards of Islam which is a position where the pupil reaches of the cognition of God and thus, chooses Him as his Lord.

Even in a more comprehensive view, it can be said that God Himself has created the above-mentioned aptitudes in man, and He has wanted man to nurture them, thus the process of this nurturing and cultivation according to standards is called religious or Islamic education.

According to Rashid Pour (1989) in the process of cultivation it is up to the educator to discover what abilities the student has, and then nurture him exactly according to his abilities and potentials.

Motahhari (1983) believes that man is perfect when he is not inclined to nurturing only one of his aptitudes and keeping inactive his other aptitudes, but he nurturers all of his aptitudes harmoniously.

Islam pays attention to all of man’s creation aspects at the same time, which is his physical, intellectual and spiritual aspects (Gotb, 1996). God’s prophets did also considered man, considered all of his material and spiritual aspects, and in their humanistic program, satisfied all of his animal and humanistic trends parallel to and along with each other and thereby caused man’s complete evolution, perfection and elevation (Falsafi, undated).

Christian education is education for the Christian life. Since this life is inherently a moral life, Christian moral education means the way this particular form of moral life is taught. Education may be understood both broadly and more narrowly.

Education, broadly understood, involves all the influences of a Person’s social context, which shape his or her values, beliefs, skills, and patterns of behavior, etc. In this sense, education is socialization, and is in part unplanned, unintentional, and unsystematic.

More strictly defined, education is limited to the intentional, conscious, and willed actions of persons and institutions in relation to others in order to influence them in particular ways. Christian moral education has historically involved several constant elements, however The Church has always found it important for the formation of moral life that people be intimately involved in the life of Christian community.

Here children and adults learn and assimilate the values, convictions, and patterns of perception, interpretation, and action of the faith community through participation in myriad events of worship, fellowship, service expression (Dykstra, 2001).

A Christian university functions in two different but essentially related ways for its students. It will at once and the same time be a home which provides security and peace for its inhabitants, and also a place of orientation from which students will be able to explore and take possession of the wider world around them (Thiessen, quoted in Astley et, al., 2004).

Goals of Education

After definition of education, another discussion, which is necessary to be put forward here (Ontology and education), is description of the goals of education. As mentioned in “ontology” the ultimate aim of man’s creation has been submission to God.

It is interesting that the ultimate aim of man’s education from the viewpoint of Islam is submission to God too, that is the aim of man’s education is not separate from the aim of his education, and these two aims are in harmony and consistent with each other.

In other words, each step that man takes in the direction of the aim for which he has been created, that is “submission to God” is considered as worship and thus educational. It is not inopportune that Imam Sajjad – one of the Muslim Imams in Sahifah Sajjadieyyeh, the collection of his prays, requires God that his life to be spent doing the things he has been created for.

Considering this fact, it can be deduced that man’s education is not restricted and confined to any particular place and time. It may be that formal education suffers from such a limitation but informal education does not.

If religious instruction is to work, its aims must be formed in such a way that they can be taught and learned. If aims are such that they cannot be taught or learned, they are not religious instruction aims (Lee; cited from Astley, Francis & Crowder, 1996). Some of the Islamic thinkers and scholars have considered the goals of education as follows (Bureau of Houzeh and university Cooperation, 1998):

Viewpoint of Ibn-Sahnun: acquiring of literacy, and learning reading and writing, Learning the Qur’an, and making acquaintance with it, learning religious ceremonies and traditions and becoming committed to the religion and religious ceremonies, and guidance to the good affairs.

Viewpoint of Farabi: Instruction of right opinions and strengthening the belief in them, Instruction of necessary skills for incumbent of duties in the Utopia, encouragement of individuals for doing actions in accordance with right opinions, encouragement of individuals for doing their social duties.

Gabesi viewpoint: cognition of the religion, and acting according to Islam, beneficence, endurance, goodness (as the ultimate aim of education).

Beheshti, Abuja’fari and Faqihi (2000) state the goals of education from the viewpoints of other Islamic scholars as follows:

Ibn-e-Moskovayh viewpoint: Physical cultivation, Intellectual cultivation, Moral cultivation, Religious cultivation.

Sheykh-e-Eshrag viewpoint: Divine nearness, Submission to God, Insight, Purity of heart or inner serenity, Thought strengthening, Moderation in the morality.

Rumi’s (Moulavi’s) viewpoint: Annihilation in God, and eternity in God, Voluntary death, Insight; heart knowledge, Receiving the direct bounty of God (these four goals as the ultimate aims), Cultivation and guidance of intellect and thought, Solving the existential problems (these two goals as the intermediary goals).

Beheshti, Abuja’fari and Faqihi (2001) state the viewpoints of the other Islamic scholars regarding the goals of education as follows:

Sadi’s viewpoint: Separation from the world and adherence to God, Spirit cultivation, Body health, Social adjustment. Sadi considers the factors causing social adjustment as follows: Justice, Humility, Self – esteem, deliverance and uprightness, Goodness and beneficence.

Ibn Khaldun viewpoint: knowledge, faith and monotheistic belief (as the ultimate goal). From the viewpoint of general goals of education are perfected proprieties that creates in the soul, but he considers faith, obedience and refinement as the origin of all of these perfected proprieties. From his viewpoint, the other goals of education are: Skill and mastering the knowledge, Practical – thinking skills, such as tailoring and carpentry, Moral and humanistic firm manner that makes man near to God, His angels, and the ultimate aim.

Allameh Majlesi’s viewpoint: Knowledge, Servitude to God, Divine nearness.

Molla Mahdi Naragi and Molla Ahmad Naragi’s viewpoint: Reaching virtue and absolute happiness, becoming good and deserving all of the individuals’ manners and behaviors.

Ghazzali’s viewpointl; Rafiee (2002) introduces the goals of education from the viewpoint of Ghazzali as follows: Knowledge and freedom (as the worldly aim), vision of the exalted God (as the other worldly aim), Creating, changing, stabilizing knowledge and manners and behavior in pupils (as middle aims), Sub goals from the viewpoint of Ghazzali are (other goals):Biological goals: cleanliness and adornment, hygiene and nourishment, exercise and play, intellect cultivation , knowledge and experience elevation, Vocational education, Spirit elevation, Soul education, Morality position and elevation.

Delshad Tehrani (1997) believes that one should achieve the general goals in order that he or she might reach the ultimate goal of education. The relationship between these two kinds of education is linear.

The general goals are correcting the relations of man with God, himself, society, nature and history. Shariatmadari (1990) mentions the following items as the educational goals in Islam: God worship, piety, instruction of wisdom, cultivation of justice – wanting spirit, man evolution, brotherhood and cooperation, friendship with other nations, cultivation of thinking power, cultivation of social spirit, and cultivation of moral character.

Ahmadi (1995) considers the goals of Islamic education as follows: nurturing man’s existential and personality aspects, movement of man to toward God, making man aware of his position and status in the world, nurturing the identification power in man through observation, experience, thinking and instruction, cultivation of seeking the right spirit in men, causing the spirit of brotherhood, equality, cooperation, beneficence and sacrifice, cultivation of the spirit of striving and endeavor and fighting poverty and its manifestation.

Fazel Jamali (translated by Saidi, 1981) summarizes the educational goals of the Qur’an as follows:

1. Definition of man (human being) from situation and position point of view among other creatures, and his individual responsibilities in his life in this world

2. Definition of man (human being) considering his social relations and his responsibilities in the life in this world

3. Definition of man (human being) considering his creation (naturally) and making man to understand the creator’s wisdom for His innovation and creativity, and making man to use it

4. Definition of man (human being) from the position and status point of view with regard to the creator of the nature, and worshipping God

Delshad Tehrani (1997) believes that the aim of education should be consistent with the man’ truth, the very purpose for which he has been created. He adds that the more man goes higher in the ranks of submission and servitude to God, the more he will achieve Divinity, and the more he passes from himself, the more he will achieve some abilities, owes some affairs, and is endowed with Divine properties.

Hojjati (1989) mentions finding oneself, adherence to God as the goals of education. He believes that nurturing body, intellect and heart leads man to these goals. Faezi and Ashtiani (1996) consider the goals of Islamic education as follows: freedom and deliverance, faith and worship of God, justice-wanting, removing of oppression, independence.

Comprehension of this fact that the world and man are goal – centered, following the prophet of Islam, cutting the captivity chains, certitude, and Divine nearness, mans’ evolution. Sanei (1996) says that the ultimate goal of education in Islam, according to the researches of the high council of education is facilitation of man’s elevation trend and loftiness towards perfection state that has been determined in his creation according to Divine.

Will some of the goals that the above council has admitted are: the individuals’ education in connection with the creator, himself, society and nature. Malkavi (translated by Mottagi Far and Tusi, 2001) considers “freedom” as the ultimate aim of education in Islam, and describes such a freedom as follows: freedom is here meant to be delivered from those limitations, which act as obstacles for thinking power and any movement and action that man wishes to do.

Baqeri (1991) knows the following items as the ultimate aims of Islamic education: guidance and growth, purification and clean life, piety, nearness to God, paradise and God’s satisfaction, worship and submission to God.

He introduces, among these aims, submission to God as the most ultimate aim and believes that if we consider submission to God as the center of man’s creation, we can consider the other aims as some of its aspects that have appeared in different words.

If we see submission to God considering its effects in man’s existence, it can be called clean life and piety, if we see it considering man’s reaching to the destination, it can be called guidance and growth, and if we see it considering achievement to purpose and Beloved it can be called nearness to God and His Paradise and satisfaction.

Education goals from the viewpoint of Islam can be divided into general groups: ultimate goals and intermediary goals. The ultimate goals are the most final purposes that man should reach them, and the intermediary goals are considered as the steps to the ultimate goals. The most ultimate goal is submission to God (51:56).

The other ultimate goals from the viewpoint of the Qur’an are guidance, nearness to God, Paradise and satisfaction of God and clean life (Baqeri, 1991).

Considering some of the import respects of the individuals and society, we can consider the following items as the most important intermediary goals of education in Islam

1. Health, strength and cleanliness (physical respect) (28:25; 74:4).

2. Thinking and intellection (intellectual respect) (2:242; 22:46; 2:164; Nahj-al-Fasahah: 235; Nahj-al-Balaghah: letter 31).

3. Purification and refinement (moral respect) (62:2; Ghorar-al-Hekam: 247 and 248).

4. Adducting of just (economic respect) (57:25).

5. Cooperation (social respect) (5:2; 23:52; 21:92; 49:10; 59:9).

6. Dependence and esteem of Islamic society (political respect) (5:54; 63:8; 4:141; 3:139; Nahj-al-Balaghah: Khotbeh 207).

As mentioned before, submission to God is the truth of worship. Every worship has an appearance and interior. Contenting one with the appearances of worship does not lead humans to submission to God that is man’s peak of elevation and perfection.

For example, “prayer” has been introduced in Islamic traditions as the faithful light ascension and the pillar of the religion. Can it be claimed that sufficing oneself to a standing and sitting in a prayer can cause man’s effulgence and ascension or there is higher truth after apparent moves, behavior, and actions of the prayer that is obtained through paying attention to these parts? Heart courtesy, presence of hearth, man’s effulgence and increasing of his ranks of servitude and surrounding to God are among the things that are created in the light of prayer, and undoubtedly, submission to God is taking steps in the route of acquisition of such manners.

This Position-that is submission to God-which is acquired because of real worship and receiving the truth of worship can be considered as the philosophy and aim of man’s creation. The word “submission” mainly is reminder of the spirit of surrendering before the wise and capable God.

When the Glorious Qur’an wants to attribute the highest ranks of “servitude to God” to some of the prophets of God, it speaks of their surrender before God like Abraham: “When his Lord said to him, “surrender,” he said, “I have surrendered me to the Lord of all Being” (2:131). There were many signs for Abraham’s surrender and servitude but probably none of which are comparable with the status he accepted God’s order based on sacrificing his son Ismael in God’s way: He said, “My son, I see in a dream that I shall sacrifice thee; consider, what thinkest thou?” He said, “My father, do as thou art bidden; thou shall find me, God willing, one of the Steadfast” (37:102).

This is one of the highest scenes of submission to God in which a father has taken his son’s hand to scarify him in the God’s way and a son who gives his hand to his father to be scarified for the sake of God. It is not inopportune that God chose Abraham as His friend: “And God took Abraham for a friend” (4:125), or Abraham was fallen in fire but God ordered the fire to become cold upon him: “We said, “O fire, be coolness and safety for Abraham” (21:69).

Thus, it can be concluded that acquiring popularity and being loved before God is possible by submission to God. It can also be said that those who have attained the highest states of submission to God can be chosen as God’s messengers and prophets, as we say in our prayers: “I bear witness that Mohammad was God’s bondman and messenger”, because he was at first a real “bondman”, then he was chosen as God’s messenger.

Or we read in the Qur’an, that when the people had gathered around the cradle of Jesus Christ when he was born asking Maryam about that child (Jesus), that suddenly he began to talk and said: “Lo, I am God’s servant; God has given me the book, and made me a prophet” (19:30).

Jesus said that he was first God’s bondman and then he was deserving for being chosen as God’s prophet. It is not only man that should surrender to God, it is also the whole universe and all of its particles that surrender to God’s order, glorifying Him: “Nothing is that does not proclaim His praise, but you do not understand their extolling” (17:44).

A bud that opens and bestows freshness, a tree which casts a shadow, a bush that moves because of a breeze blowing, a star that lightens, all do their divine duties and tasks that God has ordained for them. It is only man that, because of the Partial free-will given to him, sometimes he turns away from surrendering to God, tries to act contrary to the universe system and commit a sin, and involves in disharmony with other Particles of the universe.

Therefore, it can be claimed that servitude to God is typically complete adjustment and harmony with the whole existence and the world, eventually it cannot be confined to a particular time and place, and rather it covers all human being’s life, and is a status in which man with his purification from all unbalance, that is every error and sin, finds himself nearer to his creator that is the manifestation of all goodness and purities.

Man’s nearness (p.120), that is one of the goals of man’s creation, is applied here, because God is near to us, even nearer than the jugular vein: “We are nearer to him than the jugular vein” (50:16). We feel ourselves far from God because of the sin we have committed, thus purifying ourselves from those sins will cause that we feel nearer to the God whom he was nearest to us.

Man, in such a position, takes more divine state and utilizes from God’s properties and his behavior will be confirming such a truth. Therefore, it cannot be stated that we mean by nearness to God that we go several steps nearer towards God locally because of some worships, because such a withdrawal is considered as polytheism and indicates God’s limitation that He does not exist in all places, while God manifests in the entire universe including man himself.

On the other hand, a man whose whole life scope is God’s manifestation and God is present in all of his thoughts, states and behaviors, will possess a clean or goodly life “…We shall assuredly give him to live a goodly life” (16:97).

Contrary to those persons who turn away from God’s remembrance and will possess a hard and unpleasant life, if we can call it ‘life’: “Whosoever turns away from my remembrance, his shall be a life of narrowness” (20:124).

That is why we can also consider clean and goodly life as one of the man’s goals of creation. So much is certain that those men who have attained such a position, their aptitudes, physical, intellectual, social, emotional and moral aptitudes, have completely actualized, i.e. have reached the peak of “guidance”, that is another goal of man’s creation (20:50; 29:69).

Also a man who has such a “piety”, will try to gain Divine satisfaction and Paradise that these can be considered as the other goals of man’s creation (3:135, 7:201; 59:418; 9:72). Therefore, as it was shown, these goals are not separated and independent from each other, they are a unit light, or harmonious and unit states that are complementary and can totally be gained through the position of “submission to God” which is the highest goal of man’s creation.

On the other hand, those goals can lead man to the higher ranks of submission to God. His holiness Imam Ali – the first Imam of Muslims – points in different cases and in different styles to the ultimate aim, general goals and sub – goals of instruction and education. Including these goals (cited from Al – Hayat) are:

1. Man reaches to positions in which he obeys and worships God: “It is due to knowledge that God will be obeyed and worshiped” (Amali-al-Salug).

2. reaching to the position of abstinence and piety and asceticism to the fleeting world and interest to the Hereafter: “A knowledgeable person is the one whose knowledge will lead him to abstinence and piety, and asceticism in the fleeting world and interest to the Paradise” (Ghorar-al-Hekam). According to Imam Ali, asceticism is summarized in two Qur’anic words: “That you may not grieve for what escapes you, nor rejoice in what has come to you” (57:23).

3. Knowledge should make the erudite to a position they are not jealous of their superiors and do not despise their inferiors: “An erudite cannot be considered as erudite until he is not jealous of his superiors, and do not despise his inferiors” (Ghorar-al-Hekam).

4. It is up to an erudite to reach a status to know his value (Behar-al-Anvar, v.7).

5. The erudite reach to a position that God, His angels and His worshippers love them: “if the erudite bear knowledge as it deserves, God, His angels, and His worshippers will definitely love them” (Behar-al-Anvar, v.2).

6. Knowledge cause the real needs of individuals and society be satisfied: “Know that there will be no benefits and good in that knowledge which does not benefit” (Nahj-al-Balaghah, letter 31).

7. Scientific question and researches should be with the intention of reaching to a deep sighting and a real knowledge: “Ask for understanding not for confusion” (Nahj-al-Balagah, Hekmat 320).

8. Knowledge leads man to growth and perfection: “Knowledge will make you to grow” (Ghorar-al-Hekam).

9. The learner should acquire knowledge for reaching a real and right knowledge and guidance to truth: “He learns for jurisprudence and righteousness” (Al – Kafi: 172/8). Thus, learning should never be carried out for bragging and acquiring rank and fame before scientists, or flaunting before the ignorant or hypocrisy in sessions or honoring and bowing of others in the direction of seeking superintendence (Al-Ershad).

The general aim of Christian religious teaching is to co-operate with divine grace in forming Jesus Christ in the soul of the child; instructing him by word and example in the truths revealed by Christ and taught by His Church till he clearly knows them and, according to his capacity, perfectly understands them, in his daily life and conduct lives up to them and faithfully practices them, and finds pleasure and satisfaction in so doing (Cronin, 1952).

For Christians, moral education is not something separate from or added to Christian education. Christian education is education for the Christian life. Since this life is inherently a moral life, Christian moral education means the way this Particular form of moral life is taught (Dykstra, 2001).

A Christian education is one which enables the student to think God’s thoughts after Him in every discipline and area of life (Perks, 1992). The aims, objectives and methods of religious, moral, Personal and social education, for example, are far from being self – evident (Straughan, 1983), and have generated heated debate and substantial literature (Quoted in Bailey, 2005). Basic requirements for effective religious education are:

1. Respect for self

2. Respect for others

3. Respect for the environment, natural and cultural

4. Respect for beauty

5. Respect for truth

These constitute a basic concern for wholeness and seeing inter – connectedness of everything, and desire to try to sort out contradictions, not resting satisfied with fragmented and perhaps schizophrenic understanding (Watson, 1993).

The fact of the matter is that the learner acquires, for example, knowledge of the Ten Commandments (cognitive outcome), a love of the Ten Commandments (affective outcome) and obedience to the Ten Commandments (lifestyle outcome), primarily according to the on – going laws of his own human development and not Primarily to the logical structure or eternal import of the Ten Commandments themselves.

There is no empirical research evidence to suggest that a Person learns religion (or even theology) in a way fundamentally different from the basic manner in which he learns any other area of reality (Lee; cited from Astley, Francis & Crowder, 1996).

Is Religious Education Pupil – Oriented or Teacher – Oriented?

In reply to this question, it should be said that most of the books written about Islamic education do not represent a clear answer, there are even, in some cases, differences of opinions among the writers.

From one respect, it can be claimed that “teacher” from the viewpoint of Islam has particular esteem, respect and authority who decides to represent on acceptable instructional content using desirable teaching methods, and apply necessary standards and regulations for management of his class.

Therefore, at the first sight, it appears that Islam is a teacher – oriented or teacher – centered school. However, it should be noted that the instructional content and the teaching methods that the teacher uses are chosen based on the cognition that he has acquired from his students, and from man, in general.

In other words, the teacher cannot decide in advance regarding instructional plan and contents, curriculum and teaching methods, rather he is really required to recognize his pupils’ concerns, motives, and aptitudes, and act in harmony with them, i.e., it is his students that determine the teacher’s instruction and his teaching from all respects.

Evidentially it should also be noted that every superficial and unoriginal interest of every student, which is not rooted in the pure nature of the students, cannot be acceptable for the teacher. Thus, in fact, the teacher must take expedient decisions concerning his teaching methods and plans.

It appears that, according to this interpretation, we can consider Islamic education as a pupil – oriented or pupil – centered education, but a middle pupil – oriented education in which the teacher possess a very high esteem and respect whose decisions based upon a perfect cognition on humanistic and natural standards of his pupils are considered respectful. Islamic education, according to this, can be considered as a combination of teacher – oriented and student – centered education.

However, a spirit of “God – oriented” state governs Islamic education. Thus, if it is here spoken of paying attention to pupil and teacher, it is in the very direction of observing Divine principles and respecting God’s rules.

In other words, considering the aptitudes and interests God has trusted in man’s nature, and has ordered human beings to actualize them, is typically paying attention to God and appointing God and His Commandments as basis in education.

Imam Ali emphasizes that it is necessary to approach for action at the time when they are passionate and when they are in a mood for advancing, because if hearts are forced (to do a thing) they will be blinded (Nahj-al-Balaghah, Hekmat 193).

Considering the students’ interests causes their serious participation in learning and showing their suitable interaction and reflexes (Shariatmadari, 1991). Therefore, the teacher is required to consider the interests of his or her student as the starting point of his work and try to activate the students with due attention to their interests (Shariatmadari, 1985).

Education in the Bible was transition from a family – based phenomenon to something the society saw as its Primary responsibility. It was a peculiar mix of institution and individual, sage and prophet, law and aphorism, all grounded in values which could and were given humanistic rationales and, finally, attributed to God the teacher (Morgan; cited in Freedman, Myers & Beck, 2000).

It is indoctrination, not education, which seeks to inculcate, fixed views on essentially controversial issues. Any educational approach to controversial area must focus on the controversy itself. The reason for it and the arguments that can be produced on both sides; helping pupils to make their own informed judgments is always a prime educational aim, whatever the context (Straughan, cited from Bailey, 2005).

Therefore, in Christianity, students cannot be considered higher than their teachers can: “students are not above their teachers, nor servants above their masters” (Matthew 10:24). Two interesting examples of “teachers” in the Bible are the prophet Amos and Jesus.

Both were itinerant. Both used forms of wisdom literature and rhetoric to express their message to the People (Parables, rhetorical questions). While neither is usually seen primarily as a sage, both are given authority because of their teaching and its power. At the very last Amos and Jesus, reflect the existence of wisdom teaching and its influence. Both were educated and educators (Morgan; quoted in Freedman, Myers & Beck, 2000).

Brümer applies the claim even to God’s love for us, arguing that Nygren’s position, which asserts that God’s love, creates value in its object but is indifferent to it, is incoherent. Brümer writes, “Only by needing us can God bestow value on us and upon our love for him”, others have expressed similar views.

James Mackey has even argued that a “defensible and meaningful” use of the term God could be derived from a notion of Eros as a pervasive originating impulse of the cosmos.

In teaching, too, there can be a proper and natural form of need – love. It is a need – love that must be qualified, added to, transmuted and transcendent, but never ignored or disparaged. Real teachers need to teach; they want to teach; they are deeply fulfilled by teaching. They love it, as they love their learners’ learning.

It is not too much to say that many teachers need their learners; they need the joy of watching them learn – of sharing in that disclosure situation in which the student comes to see the truth or masters a skill, or are charged in some other way. This is a desire and need that may properly be fulfilled, if it is recognized, directed and channeled aright (Astley, 2004).

Learning and teaching, but – like worship – if we never enjoy them, it would be far better to give them up. Both learning and teaching need such passion (Astley, 2004).