Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Inspiring Quotes

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"Birds fly, fish swim, man thinks and learns. Therefore, we do not need to “motivate” children into learning, by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do, and all we need to do is bring as much of the world as we can into [their lives]; give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for; listen respectfully when they feel like talking; and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest."

- John Holt
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"One of the problems for education is that it's based on principles of mass production. There's a big emphasis on conformity and standardizing. And all that makes some superficial sense; but the problem is that educating young people is not like making motor cars. At all. One key difference is that motor cars have no interest in how they are made. Young people do...

"You cannot make a plant grow. If you are trying to grow things, you don't stick the roots on and paint it and attach the petals. It grows itself. That's the nature of organic development and we are organic beings. What gardeners know is that there are certain conditions under which that will happen. If the conditions aren't right, nothing will grow. If the conditions are good, everything grows."

- Sir Ken Robinson
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"There is another way to immerse ourselves pleasurably in a challenge. It is a matter of aesthetic curiosity. It is what makes me stop and gaze upon the sunset. It is what detains me, lost in my contemplation of the speed and elegance with which the clouds move across the blue depth of the sky. It is what touches me when faced with a work of art that centers me in beauty."

- Paulo Freire
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"For thousands of years, in thousands of places, families educated their own. This tradition changed not because a better method was found but because economic conditions required it. To work one had to leave one's children; one's children, furthermore, had to be trained for tasks no-one in their purview could be seen doing. For these reasons institutionalised schooling was invented and while it adequately addressed a set of economic problems it inspired a new set of human ones that are psychological, emotional, and even spiritual in nature."

- David Guterson
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"Homeschooling is an act of liberation and an act of passion. It is an occasion to walk away from institutional images of life and to embrace a vision that is filled with personal meaning and unmistakable truths for our families."

- Earl Gary Stevens
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"I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must taught to think. Whereas if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less slowly. Let him come and go freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table while a sweet-voiced teacher suggest that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of colored paper, or plant straw trees in flower pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experiences."

- Anne Sullivan
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"I say above all else don't let your home become [a] miniture copy of the school. no lesson plans, no quizzes, no tests, no report cards! even leaving your child alone would be better; at least they would figure out some things on their own. Live together as well as you can; enjoy life together as much as you can."

- John Holt
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"I think children can be very cruel especially in adolescence and if you are slow, and I was (I was in a school which was quite competitive), you do get a lot of slamming about from the other kids. I don't know about girls, but I know that boys are very cruel and very tough. It built up a tremendous resentment in me because I was also bad at sport and athletics and all I could do was play the piano. So I always got the sense in my adolescent years that 'Oh, Hopkins, you know he's, well he's not worth much, or he's a failure.'"

- Anthony Hopkins
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"Why do people take or keep their children out of school? Mostly for three reasons: they think that raising their children is their business not the government’s; they enjoy being with their children and watching and helping them learn, and don’t want to give that up to others; they want to keep them from being hurt, mentally, physically, and spiritually."

- John Holt
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"I sometimes ask myself how it came about that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity. The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought about as a child. But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up."

- Albert Einstein
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"It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential, and has little or no significant influence on behavior. I realise increasingly that I am only interested in learnings which significantly influence behavior. I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning. Such self-discovered learning, truth that has been personally appropriated and assimilated in experience, cannot be directly communicated to another. As a consequence of the above, I realize that I have lost interest in being a teacher."

- Carl Rogers
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"School was the unhappiest time of my life and the worst trick it ever played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful and kind the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible."

- E.M. Forster
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"Nothing enrages me more than when people criticize my criticism of school by telling me that schools are not just places to learn maths and spelling, they are places where children learn a vaguely defined thing called socialization. I know. I think schools generally do an effective and terribly damaging job of teaching children to be infantile, dependent, intellectually dishonest, passive and disrespectful to their own developmental capacities."

- Seymour Papert
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"My kids only come around once in my lifetime, and they (hopefully) won’t be with me forever. I chose to have them, and I choose, freely, to make them and my family a priority in my life. This stage of life won’t last forever. While it does, I’ve climbed on for the ride."

- David Albert
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"Love is the only emotion that expands intelligence."

- Humberto Maturano
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"Learning can only happen when a child is interested. If he's not interested, it's like throwing marshmallows at his head and calling it eating."

- Katrina Gutleben
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