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Friday, March 16, 2007

Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire. W.B Yeats

Much as I admire Mr Yeats I must disagree with him on this point. I have found that a fire only exists to be lit in some children. others have to have knowledge stuffed down their throats.


Blogger Lula Bell said...

I once saw a sketch of children in a classroom with the teacher sticking a funnel in each of their ears in turn and pouring in knowledge from a large jug. The point was that education doesn't allow for free thinking. If it isn't on the curriculum, then it isn't fact. That's enough to put out anyone's fire.

5:13 AM  
Blogger grumpy old man said...

and still other children have to have the knowledge punched hard in their faces (according to the popular Christian Brothers legend)


3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all those children are flowers. should they wilt, they are starved of water and sunlight. your eyes are flowers too. as is the smile of your mouth. offer them your flowers.

thich naht hanh.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Lorainne said...

I'm not sure about the flower thing anonymous. if you smile at some kids they think you will let them get away with bad behaviour. Your method would work on nice intelligent kids from stable and secure home backgrounds.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Sinead H said...

I agree - have been there too many times and learnt the lesson the hard way! There's a reason for the teachers stare and I perfected it long ago!!

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure about the flower thing anonymous. if you smile at some kids they think you will let them get away with bad behaviour. Your method would work on nice intelligent kids from stable and secure home backgrounds."

Or they could make mistake your smile for simple care and dignity. I bet I could guess the color of these so called, "nice intelligent kids..."

9:40 AM  
Blogger Lorainne said...

Anon - 'nice, intelligent kids' can be any colour. My point was that some kids need discipline, especially if they don't have it at home. Most teachers care very much about their pupils.

3:13 AM  
Anonymous Average College Student said...

There are no "nice, intelligent kids" nor are there any that need informatin shoved down their throats. There are only kids who have been taught to learn, and kids who have been taught that once they are 18, they can get out with their souls intact.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous rossuh said...

"education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire."

-I hate this quote. I think it should be the other way around and taken in different context. Education is filling a bucket. It's the beginning, it's preparation for the fire that we call the real world. The bucket becomes a safety in case the fire gets outs of control, it can put the first out and then start over if you need. Education is the safe net of life. If you have a problem, thinking about it and coming at with intelligence and experience, no matter what the level is always better than letting the fire burn out of control.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you that hate this quote: What did you learn your 4th week, 2nd day of 3 grade? Don't rememeber? What about 9th week, 4rd day, 11th grade? Don't know that one either?

Perhaps your bucket has a hole in it.

If you had a fire lit, you would want to keep learning.

If you view your students as machines made to spew back the info that you pour in, many will never have the fire lit. Some students will not let a teacher quench that fire.

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that everyone is right but you have to think that if those students don't have that fire lit they will never progress

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stupid person.
it means that a bucket can filled and then you can't fill it anymore but if you a fire it can continue to grow and there's no limit. It's the same way with education.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Guthrie said...

Surely the role of a teacher is therefore to create an environment where the student wants to learn? Sure they have constraints of the curriculum, but isn't that what makes being teachers all about? If you are not interested in your subject, or any subject for that matter and do it because you have nothing else to do, you're in the wrong job.
That quote, while not wholly accurate, still has a lot of truth in it. You have to be interested in a subject, ergo it should be the job of the teachers to create that interest - to "light the fire".
Kids who don't want to learn usually have had bad experiences with teachers. Or at home, or whatever. You have to go past that - for those who said there aren't nice intelligent children and children that need it shoved down their throats. There are children. Full stop. You have to be able to engage them in different ways, otherwise, in my belief, you haven't done the proper job of a teacher.
All children have the ability to learn. Find out how they learn, and you've done over half the job. Insert knowledge here, and you're well on you're way. Allow the children time to come to terms with it and stretch those who need stretching, and you're pretty much there.

- G.

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Special Educator said...

Brilliant comments Guthrie!

To the people who don't get the quote or have the audacity to say "that a fire only exists to be lit in some children. others have to have knowledge stuffed down their throats" makes me think you need knowledge about the individual differences of children shoved down your throat!

Anyone who considers forcibly "teaching" children are ignorant, or tyrants, or both (which makes you an evil dictator - too common a trait in teachers these days).

Wake up to the lessons of child development - it's all about the fire! Kids who don't have intrinsic motivation (fire) are the ones you may think need knowledge forced into them, but in fact they are the ones who need the most help finding their fire. It's hard work, not for knowledge stuffers, but it pays off for the child, the family, their community, our nation and the world!

As Piaget said, "“The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done - men who are creative, inventive and discoverers”. That's called fire people.


9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they need it shoved down their throats, then DON'T. I refer you to pink Floyd "Hey, teacher, leave then kids alone"

However if what is really happening is the wood is waterlogged, then get better fire lighting skills

9:30 PM  

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