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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 62 (Perception: Stephen Covey’s views)

20 Dec

(My dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children)

Assalamu Alaikum,

A reminder: all these discussions are from the perspective of educational processes. Perception being the most sensitive faculty and probably most effected by learning processes in a person’s life. Whereas I observe that this is least understood among contemporary educationists, both among the secular as well as the religious.

Before I start with the ‘vector effect theory’ I will like to write a little on the perception theory as presented by Stephen Covey. The celebrated author whose Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is considered as one of the great books of twentieth century. I think it is wonderful book because it focuses on principles rather than quick fixes. I was an ardent reader of Dale Carnegie when I was in early teens, but I feel Dale Carnegie talked of quick fixes, and superficial behavior modification to achieve few objectives, where as Covey’s approach is principle centered and more close to religious approach. I have gone through Seven Habits of Highly Effective People twice and have learnt a good deal from his work, though one has to be careful taking it at face value as many of the concepts are from secular perspective.

Covey writes: “My experience with my son, my study of perception and my reading of success literature coalesced to create one of those ‘Aha!’ experiences in life when suddenly things click into place.”

“each one of us tends to think we see thing as they are, that we are objective. But this is not the case. We see the world not as it is, but as we are—or, as we are conditioned to see it, we in effect describe ourselves, our perceptions, our paradigms.” If we are trained to look at the world situating ourselves inside the Qur’an it will be very different, than if we are programmed to look at the world from western perspective. These perspectives are quite strongly affected by the education that we are passed through.

“… paradigms are source of our attitudes and behaviors. We cannot act with integrity outside of them. We simply cannot maintain wholeness if we talk and walk differently than we see.”

“where we stand depends upon where we sit”. If we are sitting at a wrong place we will certainly see things from wrong direction.

“We can only achieve quantum improvements in our lives as we quit hacking (hitting with axe) at the leaves of attitude and behavior and get to work on the root, the paradigms from which our attitudes and behavior flow.”

“Paradigms are inseparable from character. Being is seeing in the human dimension. And what we see is highly interrelated to what we are. We can’t go very far to change our seeing without simultaneously changing our being, and vice versa.”

“Paradigms are powerful because they create the lens through which we see the world.”

Speaking of process of growth as a natural process and not to go for shortcuts he writes:  “It is simply impossible to violate, ignore, or shortcut this development process. It is contrary to nature, and attempting to seek such a shortcut will result in disappointment and frustration.”  In First principles of education, Muhammad Rafiuddin describes education as a self growth phenomenon. This can be discussed if anyone is interested.

Insha’Allah the above statements will make more logic when we discuss further on education. In my next email I will discuss on my theory of Vector Effect.  You will find it very relevant and interesting, and for many it will be paradigm shifting.

Br. Abid.