Education is the kindling of a flame

Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:33 Vjekoslav Hlede
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24 centuries ago a famous Greek philosopher, Socrates, said:

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.

Now, 24 centuries after, this quote is equally relevant – if not even more so. Do we teach or do we preach, do we kindle a flame or do we fill a vessel – the question is now.

Two worlds. For many kids coming to school means coming from an highly interactive, colorful, collaborative world into a place where information flows just in one direction; a place where you have to switch out your batteries, sit and listen.

Why is this?

Scarcity of information. From the dawn of time until recently scarcity of information was the key factor in our society. We did not have data, we were not able to collaborate with an expert from another city, another country, we were not able to publish data on YouTube, MySpace, Wikis, Blogs, we were not able to collaborate with millions of peers…

We were hungry for information. That scarcity has focused us and our educational community on research (generating information), sharing & protecting information. Therefore those have become the main functions of our educational community. However, since nowadays instead of scarcity we have abundance of information with sophisticated tools to share and protect data, knowledge management has become the bottleneck.

Having information today is… usually just as valuable as having the skills to use search engines (Google, Yahoo) and collaborative tagging system properly; having information is not a key factor anymore. The key factor is what we do with the information that is all around us, linkable, searchable, chatable... Do we try to fill vessels or do we kindle a flame that will convert that info into something new, something much better… something beautiful.
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Number one criterion. In national survey organized by The Providence After School Alliance (mypasa.org), children and youth indicate that their number one criterion when selecting an after-school program is that it is FUN!

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Last Updated on Thursday, 17 September 2009 17:47