Thursday, 15 March 2007

Nature and learning

I am a collector of words. Doesn't matter if they have been spoken or written, or if they originate from someone famous or not. All that really matters is that they have impacted me in some way and made me think a little more deeply. I have a journal where I keep collecting these quotes from others and every so often I like to thumb through the pages and spend time reacquainting myself with these shared thoughts.
Today, I want to share a quotation that ties into recent thoughts concerning Nature and children. Even though this was written many years ago, it has its application to this day; in my opinion.


"I believe every child has hidden away somewhere in his being noble capacities which may be quickened and developed if we go about it in the right way; but shall never properly develop the higher natures of our little ones while we continue to fill their minds with the so-called rudiments. Mathematics will never make them loving, nor will the accurate knowledge of the size and shape of the world help them to appreciate its beauties. Let us lead them during the first years to find their greatest pleasure in Nature. Let them run in the fields, learn about animals, and observe real things. Children will educate themselves under right conditions. They require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction." ~Anne Sullivan

4 comments:

Kelly said...

Such a beautiful and truthful post.

Now that spring is almost here we try to spend as much time as humanly possible outside breathing in the fresh air. In the past week we have already seen, observed and identified more birds, trees and clouds than I ever did growing up going to conventional school. Anne Sullivan's words are ones that I will need to print out and keep close to me if those days of force feeding curriculum try to sneak up on me. Thank you for your inspiring post.

Heather said...

That quote is very profound. I like it very much. I think I will put that one in my quote book too. Thanks. I have been thinking on this topic quite a bit lately and this quote seems to fit in nicely with this, you've given me some more to ponder.

Katherine said...

Kelly & Heather - Happy to share insightful and inspiring words. I stumbled upon this particular quote a few years back and admit to copying it down to give me the mental boost I need every so often as a homelearning parent. There have been days when I struggle with the influence of particular curriculums or subjects of study. Anne used the approach she expressed in this quote in guiding her famous student Helen Keller. An amazing and encouraging story with unbelievable results. Worth the read if you haven't checked it out already.

Mary-Sue said...

I collect words too and I LOVE these! Beautiful. A new quote for my fridge. Thank you.