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Monday 13-Nov-2017
【蘋果日報】英國寄宿學校的哲學

英國的寄宿學校有超過一千四百年歷史。全國最古老的寄宿學校是東南部肯特郡肯特布雷鎮的英皇書院。

 

寄宿學校因天主教修道院和貴族莊園而誕生。最早的寄宿是一種修道院生涯,兒童很早離開父母,付託給僧侶來教育。十九世紀之前很多寄宿學校的教師全部是神父。而貴族則把子女留在家裡,聘請私人教師,直到十六世紀後,貴族才明白到教育最好聚在同一班級,從此寄宿學校才「貴族」起來。

 

帝國時代寄宿學校發展迅速,軍人和文官奉召到殖民地,他們確保子女留在祖國,接受地道的英國文化教育。寄宿學校為子女提供的見識是父母在家無法提供的,首先能結識上流社會的下一代,及早建立成功的社會網絡,學習禮儀和體統。很早就知道人際社會的複離關係,包括階級、學養、性別。

 

寄宿學校是一個很斯文的叢林,一隻免子和綿羊走進去,要適應森林的另一種潛規則,要避免成為其他野獸的點心,你就要脫胎換骨,由綿羊進化成為一隻小野狼。

 

寄宿學校教育在於兒童少年成長時,人性和性情的蛻變〔Metamorphosis〕,而不只是成長和改變。蛻變是昆蟲界的生物規律,由毛蟲變成繭,繭變成飛蛾,雖然是同一條生命,形體完全不同。

 

在西方不同國家的寄宿學校有不同的文化傳統。加拿大的寄宿學校著重錄取印弟安人的孩子,促進文化融和。瑞士的寄宿學校重幾種歐洲語言的教授,令小孩畢業後學以致用,不必讀大學就可以進入瑞士的商界和銀行界,成為專業人才。

 

寄宿學校的生涯,學生第一樣服從的是床頭的鬧鐘:幾點起床、幾時作息,幾點就寢。家裡有父母,永遠被寵慣,一進寄宿學校,鬧鐘立即成為寢伴的生活的第一權威。九成的寄宿學校學生承認,寄宿生活改變了他們對人際關係的印象和認識,令他們懂得控制情感。首先是想念家鄉之情,然後是理性和紀律的發展。

 

英國詩人格雷夫斯說〔Robert Graves〕說:「寄宿學校的學生有一套與世界不同的詞彙,不同的道德系統,不同的聲音。我們每次在家裡放假完畢回到學校,馬上調節心理性情。宿舍的舍監,我們叫他Sir,把他當做主人,同時也像義父。女社監叫做Matron,有如代母的角色。寄宿學校令我覺得學校生活才是真實的,回家之後,家庭生活反而虛幻。」

 

父母、教師、士官、將軍,孩子在成長時,將世界的多重權威揉合在一起,在交疊的角色結構中,慢慢建立自己的身份,找到定位。走出校門,無論他有一天到南非做警官還是到馬來亞做稅務官,三年之後再調去百慕達,他都自動成為帝國的一位成表,而且無論到那裡,他都是一個領袖,一個天生的牧羊人。回首前塵,他兒童時代曾經是一頭小綿羊。人生變幻之奇,莫過於此。

 

文:Samuel Chan 

Facebook專頁:www.facebook.com/ukchitchat



原文:https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/realtime/article/20171113/57445987


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Education Experts

Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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Mabel Chan is the Principal Consultant of Britannia. Having studied in both the UK and the US, she is an expert in school matching for overseas education. She writes education columns for Sing Tao Daily and The Standard, and answers questions arising from parents and students patiently.

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MB Cheung, our senior consultant, has been writing education columns for major local newspapers for more than 25 years. With his experience and unique insights, he shares a variety of tips and advice on overseas education for the readers (and DSE students)

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