Author: Cynthia Norman
Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986) was an Indian philosopher with a passion for enquiry and the pursuit of truth, who considered himself to be of no nationality, culture or belief. He felt that world peace would come from educating pupils in the total understanding of man and the art of living. He desired a ‘good society grounded in right values and right relationships’ (Thapan 2001, p1). Krishnamurti founded schools in which children could be taught to discuss the philosophical questions of life as well as achieve academically. He also wrote many books which explored the nature of human consciousness. Krishnamurti considered that if people could be awakened to their conditioning of nationality, religion, prejudices, fears, and desires, which inevitably leads to conflict, their lives might be improved. He founded schools on this basis, striving for academic success as well as freedom of thought.
Krishnamurthi Foundations were established as educational charitable trusts to preserve the teachings of Krishnamurti in their original form. The Krishnamurti Foundation Trust was established in England in 1968, followed by Foundations in America (1969) and India (1971). Foundations now also exist in Canada and Latin America. These are not religious organisations, though Krishnamurti viewed education itself as a religious activity which could not be time or culture-bound (Forbes 1997). Krishnamurti schools exist throughout the world as Foundation or Non-Foundation schools, and are all private. Foundation schools are supported by the Krishnamurti Foundation. Non-Foundation schools are self-supporting though their creation was inspired by Krishnamurti’s teachings. A complete list of Krishnamurti schools worldwide, with descriptions and contact details, can be found on Kinfonet (http://www.kinfonet.org/community/default.asp?id=2). The majority of schools are in India (Krishnamurti Foundation of India 2005).
Krishnamurti built his schools in beautiful surroundings to enhance respect for nature and to provide peace for study; thus environmental studies and conservation are an important aspect of the education provided. The schools function as working communities and undertake projects with the local community outside the school to widen their network. Krishnamurti saw schools as places where “students and teachers can flower” (Thapan 2001, p5), where consciousness unfolds. He established schools to cultivate the total human being and awaken intelligence, rather than simply indoctrinate children (Thapan 2001).
There is one Foundation School in England, the Brockwood Park School in Hampshire. Founded in 1969, Brockwood is an international boarding school for 55 students aged 14 to 21 and is where Krishnamurti gave his public talks in England from 1969 to 1985 (Kinfonet, 2005). Brockwood Park School offers AS/A Level subjects for pupils who require national certificates (http://www.brockwood.org.uk/programme/academic.htm).
Another Foundation School is the Oak Grove School in California, founded by Krishnamurti in 1975, which provides infant through to high school education for day and boarding pupils. Krishnamurti defined the intent of this school as “a place, an oasis, where one can learn a way of living that is whole, sane and intelligent” (Oak Grove School 2005). The school website states that the achievements of its graduating pupils exceed the required standards of the University of California (http://www.oakgroveschool.com/pdfs/profile_05.pdf).
Brockwood Park School http://www.brockwood.org.uk (Visited 21-June-05)
Forbes, Scott (1997) Krishnamurti's Insights into Education: Education as a Religious Activity, http://www.pathsoflearning.net/library/Krishnamurti1997.cfm (Visited 21-June-05)
Krishnamurti Foundation of America http://www.kfa.org/about_kfa.php (Visited 23-June-05)
Krishnamurti Foundation of India http://www.kfionline.org (Visited 23-June-05)
Oak Grove School http://www.oakgroveschool.com/teaching (Visited 23-June-05)
Thapan, Meenakshi (2001) J Krishnamurti (1895-1986),
http://www.ibe.unesco.org/International/Publications/Thinkers/ThinkersPdf/krishnamurtie.pdf (Visited 23-June-05)
French and Spanish versions from: http://www.ibe.unesco.org/International/Publications/Thinkers/thinhome.htm (Visited 23-June-05)
Journal of the Krishnamurti Schools
Begun in 1995, the Journal provides a forum for the teachers of Krishnamurti schools all over the world to share their educational experiences and insights.
http://www.journal.kfionline.org/about.asp (Visited 21-June-05)
Krishnamurti Activities in New Zealand
On this page excerpts of some of Krishnamurti’s books can be read, as well as the whole of his book Education and the Significance of Life.
http://www.krishnamurti-nz.org/education.htm#what%20is%20a%20K%20school (Visited 21-June-05)
Krishnamurti and his insights into education
Clear explanation of Krishnamurti’s philosophy on education.
http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-krish.htm (Visited 21-June-05)
Krishnamurti Foundation Trust
Gives details of the Foundation.
http://www.kfoundation.org/krishnamurti.htm (Visited 21-June-05)
Lists Foundation schools in England and India, with contact details and web URLs.
http://www.krishnamurti-nz.org/krishnamurti_schools.htm (Visited 21-June-05)