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Posts Tagged ‘quote

I was reminded of a saying by someone I follow on Twitter:

So I created this image quote as a tribute.

Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

The wisdom of the quote is that we should not give up our high ground to gratify a short term urge. The high ground could be moral or ethical. It could also be content expertise or the mastery of skill.

But first it is important to be certain that we actually have the high ground. How do we know? Our qualifications and character are fundamental. But what matters in the long run is our reputational capital, the backing of rigorous research, critical and reflective practice, and the humility to keep learning.

High ground is obvious to us and those who observe us. A bubble is obvious only to you.

I have not made an image quote in a while, so here is one that is particularly relevant today. It is from author Douglas Adams.

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”  — Douglas Adams

Adams’ observation holds true when you consider how some governments seemed to not learn from the mistakes of others when dealing with SARS-COV-2.

The same could be said about how some in schooling and education choose not to learn from the experience of more informed others. They would rather make the same mistakes or invent new ones.

I would be tempted to say that learning from one’s mistakes is a powerful way to learn. The problem is some refuse to learn and others suffer as a result.

Call me humourless, but I agree with the sentiment below.

I can see why the “joke” works — it is the juxtaposition of bad grammar with what a teacher stands for. At the root of the insult is the oft cited: Those who can, do; those who can’t teach.

Just because lay folk have been in classrooms in their childhoods does not make them knowledgeable about what it is like to be on the opposite site of the desk. I challenge any non-teacher who thinks that teaching is easy to teach and facilitate for an extended period.

Teaching is a science and an art. As a science, its elements can be theorised, studied, experimented on, and tested. It is a social science that combines assorted fields of study like psychology, philosophy, cognition, planning, management, and evaluation. As an art, it needs to be practiced, modelled, and changed based on reflection, feedback, and empathy for learners.

Are there bad teachers? Of course there are. No job or profession has a perfect population. But teaching tends to attract individuals who are nurturing and passionate about learners and learning. Where is the pithy mug quote for that?

I can relate to this quote. I am rudely reminded of it whenever I try to reason with administrators or policy makers in order to facilitate change.

I am a Ph.D. doctor and I educate whether I am inside or outside a class. Some of the outside class education is trying to talk sense to administrators or policy makers who cannot empathise with educators or learners.

I should know better by now. When they think in dollars or walk in spreadsheet cells, they are the walking dead. I should ignore the zombies and focus on the living.

I was not the first to point this out. Unfortunately, I will not be the last.

I cannot remember when I first started using this phrase: We have 21st century learners taught by 20th century teachers in 19th century classrooms. I can point to one of my keynote slides that someone put on Pinterest.

Searching my Google Presentations, I found a keynote slide in 2016, another keynote slide in 2014, and a presentation for a Google event in 2012.

I will stop saying this the day it no longer is true. In the mean time, I offer a slightly different quote.

We still have 21st century learners taught by 20th century teachers in 19th century classrooms.

I read this recent tweet and decided to make an image quote out of some of it.

The eyes see and the ears hear what’s already in the mind. Our perception becomes our reality. Sometimes learning is the easy part. It’s the unlearning that’s hard. — Amy Fast

Unlearning is hard. With older learners, unlearning is often prerequisite to learning. Old habits die hard, if at all. You must break before you can make.

In edu-speak, we might point out the importance of deconstructing before constructing. If we encourage learners to build on the wrong foundations or with questionable materials, we are at fault for rushing with the building instead of starting with the tedious work of deconstructing.

Tomorrow's educational progress cannot be determined by yesterday's successful performance.

This is the same quote on the new background (above) and the old one (below).

Tomorrow's educational progress cannot be determined by yesterday's successful performance.

If the message holds true, why change the background (other than to update it with CC information)?

The old image juxtaposed a typewriter with what is now a really old iPhone. We would not judge mobile-ness with a ten-year-old phone, so why should we evaluate the outcomes of education any differently?

If your reply is that schooling and education change much more slowly, then you might be part of the problem.

Whether the quote is in its new form…

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see. — Alexandra K. Trenfor

… or its old one…

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see. — Alexandra K. Trenfor

… my guess is that most teachers would agree with the sentiment. But easier said than done.

Most teachers are taught to provide answers and thus tell students what to see. The problem with doing this is not just providing answers when there are no questions. It is not being comfortable with generating questions and facing questions with no clear answers.

We are accustomed to the pedagogy of answers, but not to the pedagogy of questions.

By the time this entry goes live, I should be rewarding myself with a short and actual break.

But I can bend light and see something beyond the horizon. This is why I chose to revise this image quotation.

History repeats itself. It has to, because no one ever listens. -- Steve Turner.

The new image is above while the original below was one that I uploaded to Google Photos in October 2015.

History repeats itself. It has to, because no one ever listens. -- Steve Turner.

Like my reflection on yesterday’s image quote, I liked the original image. It was simple and the bloodied “repeat” button sent its own visual message.

As I work with different agencies and various stakeholders, I sometimes wonder why they do not learn from one another. The opportunities wait to be taken and the links between groups grow cold. So instead of learning from the mistakes of others, they make the same ones all over again.

I am in the midst of preparing for a Masters course that will debut early next year.

The last three weeks has seen me spending between three to six hours every day reading, writing, revising, and reflecting. I have done this despite technically being on vacation with my family.

The last few years of being an education consultant have taught me how to be constantly working while simultaneously taking a break. That is not an oxymoron. It is simply a sign of the times. So my revisited image quote is timely.

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.

The revised image is above and it was based on the one below.

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.

I actually like the original because of what it contains and the way it is composed. Technology is the enabler for this mindset, but it is our children’s interest that is the impetus for such change.

So why change the background image? I could not resist the visual message that combined a space-age suit and crumbling books. It is contrary to tell our children to reach for the stars while burying them with our hangups.


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