Friday, April 09, 2010

Must we 'educate?'

"I am coming closer to a place where I can see how to lead my kids in to being interested, instead of forcing them to work."

I took this quote from a post, written by somebody on a list I'm on.

On the surface it seems great. You want them to want to learn of course. And yet, the idea of trying to 'lead' your kids into what you think they should be interested in is some what manipulative.

How about this one;
"I'm taking violin lessons so that I can be a good role model for them."

Let's look at it closer. You're doing this so that you can be a good role model? Something inauthentic about this. Kids smell inauthenticity and don't like it.

What if, instead you did a thing for the love of that thing; or you did it because you are duty bound, or because you have to? By this I mean what if your reasons for doing a thing were to be transparent?

I can't help thinking it is better to be honest with why we are doing what we are doing rather than doing something to trick our kids into doing what we want them to.

When you get to the root of the word, etymologically the word education contains educare (Latin) "bring up", which is related to educere "bring out", "bring forth what is within", "bring out potential" and ducere, "to lead." (

It's the 'bringing out' that interests me. Something is already present; we help the child/youth 'bring forth what is within.'

That's why, more and more, I feel uneasy about about attempting to mold a person. Maybe it isn't a bad idea to suggest that a person should be in charge of educating him or herself.
The 'material' for education is abundant. It is every where. Shouldn't it be enough to expose kids to what's out there and then follow their lead?

We need role models and leaders; of course we do. We need teachers. But I sense, somewhere in my minimal understanding of things, that a true teacher does not set out to teach. A true teacher acts first. His actions teach.
Maybe what is needed is more people who are available to show their skills and share their knowledge and what they do.

1 comment:

clementine said...

Studies show that young children are self motivated to learn; they want to be competent. Maybe in our eagerness to educate our kids we have forgotten this fundamental truth.

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