Educational Philosophy

The Seven Educational Principles Following the Maamar Principles of Education and Guidance

“Educate a child in his way: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6)

Educators must be aware first and foremost, before even stepping into the classroom, that education is a  great responsibility and requires much talent (chapter 1) and development (chapter 2).

Educators must demonstrate a firm commitment to introspection and self-improvement, recognizing that unbridled self-love is one’s greatest enemy (chapter 3). Education is essentially a personal process. This is one reason why the treatise begins discussing self-development all people, not just those in the field of education. An educator is to facilitate, to lead, another in that process of growth. Knowing what education is--that it is essentially helping others achieve their own goals and fulfilling their Purpose in life, is vital to having the appropriate mindset and setting the right goals.

1)      An educator’s mindset must be positive, even “blindly ambitious,” about the ability of children to be guided in the right direction (chapter 4). This as not a “goal” of education, but, before a goal, the right perspective/mindset/paradigm, immediately required.

2)      Educators must make being patient and pleasant, and using proper speech and appropriate adages to encapsulate moral lessons, the first educational goal of self-improvement (chapter 5).

3)      Educators must understand basics of psychology and perceive each student’s different nature, development, and his or her character and situation (chapters 6-12).

4)      Educators must have different behavioral expectations for each student(chapter 13).

5)      Educators must patiently deliberate the appropriate delivery of behavioral and moral directives for each and every student (chapter 14).

6)      Educators must identify the most deleterious behavior and, consequently,most important moral lesson to emphasize for each and every student (chapter 15-16).

7)      Educators must understand the power of praise, reward, rebuke, and punishment, and use it wisely and effectively (chapter 17).

The above is our summary of the 17 chapter treatise authored by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe when he was 17 years old, at the behest of his father, the Rebbe Rashab. The discourse expounds upon fundamental guidelines for educators to follow in order to ensure the success of learning. They explain that education consists of two distinguishable parts: education per se and instruction. Education per se, connected with its etymology, e- duce, signifies leadership: leading children to become good/quality citizens. Instruction, on the other hand, means the teaching of academic subjects. He explains that the greatest responsibility of the educator is to lead the child in the right way--to become a good moral human being, a good citizen.