, contributing education columnist for The Pit
and the former director of development at Brockwood Park, is convinced the people of Krasnaya Poljana and other former Soviet dominions need more than continuing education for their teachers.
"I spoke to principals and university department heads in the Ukraine about education and about 60 people turned up in a conference room with 24 chairs," Forbes
If you say the role of education is to help get a job or fit into a system or you say education is to help people or to become an independently thinking good human being, those are completely different things," said Forbes, 46, who has traveled throughout Russia and Central Asia with his message that education leads to intelligence, not factual knowledge.
would offer to teach Kikilo's teachers, but what Russia needed was a new and radically different school to offer "a different kind of education" and he
wants to build it on 125 acres of wilderness about 10 kilometers from Secondary School No. 65.
Brockwood Park School was established 25 years ago by the educator and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, and Forbes has been there since 1974.
The school is situated on 45 acres about 90 minutes southwest of London, and draws staff and students whose interests are not only becoming good at academics, but also at understanding themselves and their lives so that their lives have some goodness and beauty and they don't just become what Krishnamurti
called "a cunning animal," Forbes
and the other Krishnamurti Schools
in Ojai, Calif., and India are communities where staff and students confront their own conditioning while preparing academically for university.
The schools focus not only on science, math and the humanities, but also on how culture, the political environment, education, religious conflict and respect or disrespect for authority influence us.
"Hearing about academics only may lead to the lopsided situation of highly educated but very stupid people that created a system that filled American basements with bottled water and Civil Defense pamphlets for three decades," Forbes
Vladimir Riapolov, 38, who spent more than 20 years living in the hell reserved for noncommunist in the old Soviet Union, has worked with Forbes
to acquire the land to build the school.
Riapolov, who spent time at Brockwood Park before deciding to work with Forbes on the school project, said there was "a certain void in Russia today, and a void is fertile soil; there is a certain yearning."