Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Dr. Radhika Herzberger on teaching students to slow down their thinking

I got an opportunity to meet Dr. Radhika Herzberger on the beautiful Rishi Valley School campus last month. Radhika is a writer, educationist, and Indologist. She is a former Director of Rishi Valley Education Centre. She has been teaching culture and history for several years. Radhika is concerned about the anxiety that dominates students’ mind especially due to exam pressure and is currently exploring ways of teaching students to slow down their thinking. In this short conversation, she presents her thoughts on this theme.

You can listen to the interview here (13:30 minutes, MP3 file, 5MB)

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 00:40 What do you mean by slowing down the thinking process? Awareness of “Mind’s eye”, Attention, veiled by conditioning
  • 03:38 Why do you think this is relevant for students?10th class while facing exam and struggling
  • 04:35 Don’t students need a fast mind to solve problems in a shorter time?  The quickness of perception doesn’t have a bearing on the fast mind, In fact, you can see better with a slow mind. That’s why it is called a mind’s eye. Empty drum sounds best.
  • 06:00 Where can interested students start this exercise of mind’s eye? Start by writing down their thoughts for 20 minutes without censoring. Raises awareness of your preoccupations – typically self-condemnation or fantasy. Let the pen write, and you discover about yourself through it. I follow this up with a short film by Prof. Robert Sapolsky called “The best and the worst in you”. Self is not a unified whole. Then students write about people they don’t like.
  • 11:38 Could this exercise be relevant for anybody? Yes.
If you have any questions on this, please feel free to write to Radhika at

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