Independent ideas out of actual experience

Published by Lori Pickert on November 10, 2008 at 04:12 PM


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 be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less showily. Let him go and come 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 suggests that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of coloured paper, or plant straw trees in bead 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 experience. — Anne Sullivan

Hat tip: Life Dreamed.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the open thread this weekend! It was great, and we’ll definitely do it again!



Comment by amanda @ on November 10, 2008 at 05:24 PM

I just wanted to pop by and say that I've really been enjoying reading your thoughts on children, education, and (really) learning. The open thread was great, too. I'll save up my questions for the next one :)

Comment by Lori Pickert on November 10, 2008 at 07:52 PM

thank you, amanda! i really appreciate that. :^)

Comment by jessica on November 10, 2008 at 08:35 PM

The open thread was great-- I popped in last night and read through everything. Maybe you could give us a heads up for the next one a day or two in advance-- I'll be there for sure:)

Comment by Lori Pickert on November 10, 2008 at 09:49 PM

jessica, i am hoping to schedule open threads for most saturdays/weekends. (i won’t turn off comments until monday morning.) the most reliable way to know when we’re hosting an open thread is, of course, to subscribe to our rss feed. ;^)

and thank you! i thought it was great, too!

Comment by Mary Smith on November 11, 2008 at 04:35 AM

That is one great quote, Lori!

Comment by greenchickadee on November 11, 2008 at 05:20 AM

I'm feeling stupid here, but was this A Sullivan as in Helen Keller?! I love this quote! AS with all the other words of wisdom you use here. Thanks!

Comment by Lori Pickert on November 11, 2008 at 03:02 PM

mary, thank you! i thought so, too!

greenchickadee (btw, that name always makes me smile), yes!! annie sullivan! did you read her autobiography? i read it when i was a child -- a bit heavy for a 9yo! but i love her, too, and i think i reread that book once a year for at least a decade!

i love quotes; they always seem to jump start good lines of thinking on a cold morning.

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