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  • Jill Pearson-Keltner

Lighting Fires

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many are worried that students are going to lose what they’ve learned. The educational pail is going to leak all the knowledge of math, grammar, science, and history that we have been pouring into it. Kids will go back, “behind” and lost. Teachers will have to help them “catch up” by pouring educational knowledge back into that pail to fill it up.

If education is the lighting of a fire, what is the kindling to create a love of learning, a passion for knowledge, an educational fire?

In order to follow their passions, kids need time to think, to be, to figure out what interests them. They need the security of adults who care for them, a sense of belonging, and family members to talk to. In the middle of this pandemic, is this something we can give to our kids?

I wonder if we can use this time, this crazy, crazy time, to look at education differently. Instead of being filled up from the outside, I want my kids to build a fire from the inside, to remember what they love learning about and discovering in this amazing, interesting, wild world.




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