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Guess the Speaker: Education

September 23rd, 2009 | 2 min read

By Jeremy Mann

I like to invent games, the more variables the better: multiple creators, absurd rules, elaborate procedures, built-in randomizers. One could accuse me of getting more excited about the invention than the actual playing—I have no problem stopping a game just after starting to consider new potential permutations. Today I’ll spare you and keep the game simple: Guess the Speaker.

I believe that the art of thus giving shape to human powers and adapting them to social service, is the supreme art; one calling into service the best of artists; that no insight, sympathy, tact, executive power is too great for such service.”

It is difficult always to be a creative artist. I think, however, that we should get on more rapidly if we realized that, if education is going to live up to its profession, it must be seen as a work of art which requires the same qualities of personal enthusiasm and imagination as are required by the musician, painter or artist."

Since learning is something that the pupil has to do himself and for himself, the initiative lies with the learner. The teacher is a guide and director; he steers the boat but the energy that propels it must come from those who are learning.”

While the raw material and the starting-point of growth are found in native capacities, the environing conditions to be furnished by the educator are the indispensable means of their development. They are not, and do not of themselves decide, the end. A gardener, a worker of metals, must observe and pay attention to the properties of his material. If he permits these properties in their original form to dictate his treatment, he will not get anywhere. If they decide his end, he will fixate raw materials in their primitive state. Development will be arrested, not promoted. He must bring to his consideration of his material an idea, an ideal, of possibilities not realized, which must be in line with the constitution of his plant or ore; it must not do violence to them; it must be their possibilities.”

These quotes come from this man, a man I have come to realize I need to understand a lot more, not only for his huge impact on America, but also for the way these quotes make him sound much more nuanced than I once believed. I recommend this book to myself (from a great publisher by the way).