2011年8月14日 星期日

台成清交病了嗎?――從愛因斯坦的一句名言說起

陳之藩在〈哲學家皇帝〉一文裡引述愛因斯坦的話說:「專家只不過是一隻訓練有素的狗。」一個學生告訴我:愛因斯坦這句話原出處是在 1952年十月五日 New York Times 的一篇文章,題名「Education for Independent Thought」,比較完整的前後文是:

      It is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise he – with his specialized knowledge – more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions and their sufferings, in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow men and to the community.

      These precious things are conveyed to the younger generation through personal contact with those who teach, not – or at least not in the main – through textbooks. It is this that primarily constitutes and preserves culture. This is what I have in mind when I recommend the ‘humanities’ as important, not just dry specialized knowledge in the fields of history and philosophy.

      Overemphasis on the competitive system and premature specialization on the ground of immediate usefulness kill the spirit on which all cultural life depends, specialized knowledge included.

      It is also vital to a valuable education that independent critical thinking be developed in the young human being, a development that is greatly jeopardized by overburdening him with too much and with too varied subjects (point system). Overburdening necessarily leads to superficiality. Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.

        如果妳仔細閱讀過我在上面用顏色標示出來的段落,想一想:愛因斯坦會怎麼看今天台成清交的教育?比較像是在為高科技產業批量生產為他們賺錢的機器?為下一世代的大學培養不問價值與是非而只管論文產量的接班人?還是比較像在培養完整的一個人?

        第二段話重提中國的一個古老觀念:經師與人師之辨。現在的五年五百億、正教授分級制、傑出研究獎都在扼殺人師,甚至鼓勵那些學養很差而不擇手段的人。這些人連「經師」的資格都談不上,卻有機會當選「傑出教學獎」與「傑出導師獎」。因為我們已經徹底失去一個最基本的觀念:「人師」不是會討好學生的「大哥哥」或「美女老師」,也不是濫情地挑撥學生庸俗情感的「名嘴」,而是可以讓學生看見專科領域寬闊的視野與洞見,以及讓他們看見生命的恢弘格局與尊嚴,讓他們確實心服地說出:「活著,作為一個人,值得!」。「人師」是可以讓學生「雖不能至,心嚮往之」的 role model。

        我心目中的大學其實是一座「人種博物館」,把各種有能力啟迪學生稟賦的人安置在教室的講座上,讓學生看見人可以發展成多少種動人的丰采,然後讓他們按照個人的偏好、稟賦、性情去找心儀的老師們學習――學做人、學做事,學做學問,也學做真誠的自己。這就是以前中國的書院,以及八百年前的牛津與劍橋的學術傳統。

        今天的大學還有多少有風骨的老師?還有多少學養深厚足以啟迪後進的學者?還有多少老師有深厚的人生智慧,足以引領學生走過時代的混亂與虛無,看見人性的尊嚴、崇高,乃至於神聖,因而願意為了成全這樣的生命而受盡學習過程的困頓與折磨,並且在現實上安於簡約與樸實?更尷尬的是:如果有這樣的老師,今天的學生有多少人有能力辨識他們?

         五年五百億、正教授分級制與傑出研究獎是在鼓勵經師與人師?還是在鼓勵把自己當機器也把學生當機器在訓練的老師?學生投票票選「傑出教學獎」與「傑出導師獎」時,是在票選會遷就、討好、奉承學生的「好老師」?還是信口胡言、聊撥學生庸俗情感的「媚俗」的老師?

         台、成、清、交病了嗎?還是讓每一個人自己去回答這一個問題吧!