萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea
萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

金剛菩提海:首頁主目錄本期目錄

Vajra Bodhi Sea: HomeMain IndexIssue Index

《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

重光孝德:廿一世紀佛教教育之展望
Buddhist Education into the Year 2000:Affirming the Virtue of Filial Respect

比丘恒實 文 by Bhikshu Heng Sure
曾偉峰‧王青楠 中譯Chinese translation by Wayne Zeng and Qingnan Wang

對品德教育之需求

正如許多西方教育工作者指出的,中小學課程裡的德育課份量很少,或根本沒有。再者,越來越多的學術界人士意識到,西方的高等教育發展已與其首要任務: 使學生具備道德倫理觀,背道而馳。政府官員、企業主管、律師、醫生、乃至販夫走卒各行各業的人士皆有目共睹,由於教育上的差失,學校與社會各行業中道德操守普遍下降。

大部份的職業要求至少四年以上的高等教育,有些還要求研究院的教育。學生有的可能已在學校讀書十六年,而其間他們的價值觀、偏見、與人生哲學卻從未受到任何有系統的挑戰。如果已經畢業的學生不具備基本道德判斷的素養,如果對於是非正邪問題連提出明智意見的能力都沒有,那麼這種失敗就出自於教育系統、教育目標與教育方法了。如果未來社會的領導人未在其求學期間鑄成他們的價值觀;如果他們未能找到符合正確的社會倫常標準的人生觀、價值觀,那就很難指望他們走入社會各工作崗位後能夠無偏見、充滿正義、知見廣博。如果一個社會的議員、法官、教師、藝術家、輿論界領袖,不能正視那些大眾、歷史、個人良心與真誠正義所面對的重要問題,這個社會必然不會繁榮;危機發生時,還可能崩潰。未來的各國領導人,現在展望將來所面對的不可迴避的複雜道德問題時,不禁會感到捉襟見肘,無能為力。

關於佛教的辦學方針,曾有人說:

今天已到了教育破產的歷史關頭,佛教徒應該挺身而出,肩負起推動 教育的重任,導引青少年走上正路。 改革教育是很艱鉅的,因為現在的青年人道德淪亡,已達前所未有的程度 。所以要力挽狂瀾,就要拿出雄健的氣魄。現在的學生讀書是為了什麼?不是作醫生,就是要作專家等等。學生為什麼要學這些科目呢?他們回答說:因為這些工作的薪水高,因為這些工作的地位高,名聲好,受人尊重。如果學生在讀書階段,持這種觀念的話,其害處是很大的。

「哈佛雜誌」在過去的二十年對新生所做的調查表明:最受崇尚的價值觀是經濟優越,獲取好名聲,以及在工作職位的階梯中居人之上。尋覓一個有意義的人生觀,卻變成最遭人冷落的人生目標。

哈佛的調查顯示,人們對學業歷程所期盼收穫普遍降低。二十世紀七、八十年代進入哈佛大學的學生,其學習目標與哈佛大學興辦之初衷相去甚遠。哈佛大學教師的追求可見書文於1789年的法律中,亦可見其重書於1826年的麻州立法院所立的法律條文。條文如下:

哈佛大學,地處劍橋。吾校上下,校長、教授、教師,皆當盡心竭全力,將吾所宗,教導學子,虔誠正義,至愛真理,熱愛國家,仁慈博愛,嚴謹謙和,勤勞節儉,貞潔中庸。及教其餘,社會所光,憲法所基,種種之德。

大多數的大學都遠遠沒有做到他們在信條與立校宗旨中所立的崇高目標。哈佛大學校長德雷克‧布克解釋說:

實際上,早在南北內戰時,哈佛大學的著重點已經從原來的塑造學生的高尚人品蛻化到單純的灌輸訊息與傳授技能。這種教育目標的改變到1920年代已經成為一種鐵定的事實。

雖然大多數的高等學府已經放棄原來教育的崇高目標,然而人們對於這些目標的需求卻沒有降低。現代社會的佛教教育工作者所面臨的挑戰與角色如下:

真正的教育是推動孝悌忠信禮義廉恥的教育。我們若能使八德成為每個孩子心靈的一部份,孩子長大以後就能為全人類謀福。會造福整個世界,造福全人類。我們把人教好了,這世界就不會有災難,問題自然解決了。孩子就會聽話,行為也好,也自然會孝順父母。

宣公上人說,好教育的結果是孝順。傳統社會教導學子孝順以及其他美德的教材,可以很容易地改寫成適合西方學生的英文教材。讓我們簡要地看看中國孝道的典範,然後再看看促成佛陀終身所教授孝道的印度背景。

待續

The Need for Education

As many educators in the West now point out, lessons in virtue are weak or missing from the curricula of elementary and secondary schools. Further, there is a growing awareness in academic circles that higher education in the West has abandoned its first duty: to form the moral character of, and to instill ethical values in its students. Leaders in government, business executives, attorneys, physicians, and professionals in all walks of life perceive a widespread decline in ethical standards in schools and in their own professions, stemming from mis-education.

Most professions require a minimum of four years in higher education, and often additional years of graduate training. Students can sit in schools for sixteen or more years, and yet never meet a systematic challenge to their values, prejudices, and philosophies. The failure lies with the educational system, its aims and methods, if graduating students cannot wield the rudiments of ethical, decision-making skills and lack the ability to bring informed opinion to questions of right and wrong. If the future leaders of a society do not forge their values during their school years, if they miss that chance to identify their life-values in harmony with standard social norms, they can hardly be expected to gain unprejudiced, expansive viewpoints and righteous, informed, opinions after entering careers in the marketplace. A society whose senators, judges, teachers, artists, and leaders of opinion cannot bring to bear on important questions facing the community, historical precedent, personal conscience, honesty, and a keen sense of obligation to represent the moral consensus, is a society that will not prosper, and may collapse when crises arise. Thus the future leaders of the world now find themselves woefully ill-equipped to handle the complex ethical issues and choices they inevitably must face.

A spokesman for Buddhist educational policies stated:

“At this time in history, education has become bankrupt. Disciples of the Buddha must rise to the occasion and shoulder the responsibility of advancing education, so that young people can walk the right road. The job of remolding education is a heavy task, because the moral fibre of today's youth has reached an all-time low, so that salvaging the situation from disaster will require an heroic effort. Why do students study now? If it is not to become a doctor, then it’s to become an expert technician, or a specialist of some sort. Why do students want to learn such things? They answer, ‘Because those jobs pay the highest salary. You can get fame and high status in these jobs.’ For students to think this way during their years of study is to do great harm.”5

A Harvard Magazine poll of entering freshmen over the past two decades shows the values most desired are to be “very well-off financially”, to gain personal recognition, and to “have administrative responsibility for the work of others.” The goal that has fallen furthest is the desire to find “a meaningful philosophy of life”.6

The Harvard poll reveals a general lowering of expectations from the learning experience. What students entering that school during the 1970’s and 1980’s hoped to get from their studies does not echo what Harvard was designed to give them. An early statement of the challenge to Harvard’s teachers, written into law in 1789, and reaffirmed in 1826 by the Massachusetts legislature, reads,

“The President, professors, and tutors of the University at Cambridge, shall exert their best endeavors to impress on the minds of children and youth committed to their care and instruction, the principles of piety and justice, and a sacred love for truth, love of their country, humanity, and universal benevolence, sobriety, industry and frugality, chastity, moderation, and temperance, and those other virtues which are the ornament of human society, and the basis upon which a republican constitution is founded.”7

Most universities have fallen far short of the lofty aims expressed in their creeds and founding principles. President Derek Bok of Harvard explains that in practice, as early as the Civil War, the focus in education at Harvard had deteriorated from transforming students’ character, to merely transmitting information and skills. This shift in aim was established fact by the 1920’s.8

Even if most universities have abandoned their original stated ideals, the need for their noble goals has not diminished. The challenge and role of Buddhist educators in contemporary society has been expressed as follows:

“A true education advances filial respect, and fraternity, as well as service to the nation, trustworthiness, righteousness, courtesy, incorruptibility, and a sense of shame. Making these Eight Virtues part of every child’s thinking enables him to seek happiness for all citizens when the child grows up. It enables him to bring blessings to the entire world, and to benefit all of humanity. When we do a good job of educating people, then there will be no disasters in the world, and problems will be solved by themselves. Children will be obedient and well-behaved. They will naturally practice filial respect for their parents.”9

Venerable Master Hua identifies filial respect as the fruit of good education. Filial respect, and the other virtues taught to school-children in traditional societies could be easily adapted into teaching materials suitable for western students and English-speaking audiences. Let us briefly consider first the Chinese paradigm, then the Indian background that fostered the Buddha’s life-long teaching on filial duty.


Notes:
5. Venerable Master Hua, from an unpublished talk delivered to the Trustees of 
 Dharma Realm Buddhist University in Taipei, Taiwan, November 1, 1989.
6. Derek Bok, “Ethics, the University, and Society,” Harvard Magazine, May-June 1988, p. 40.
7. Bok, ibid., p. 40.
8. Bok, ibid., pp. 41-42.
9. Venerable Master Hua, from November 1, 1989 address.

To be continued

▲Top

法界佛教總會Dharma Realm Buddhist Association │ © Vajra Bodhi Sea