What Happens in a Good Education?

Earlier this week, I shared my classical learning experience led by Mill City High School start-up coordinator John Miller—to demonstrate learning in their new high school opening this fall. We had a rich discussion in identifying the quotes we felt best answered the question, “What Happens in a Good Education?”

Our 8th grade participants selected these quotes:

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela, South African leader

“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” B.B. King, musician

Other quotes that resonated with the group included:

“In a good education, students discover their gifts.” Linda Halcon, University of Minnesota

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle, Greek philosopher

“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew that lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans, too.” Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Lakota Chief

“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” Plato, Greek philosopher

“The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet

And my personal favorite:

“Good education maximizes the options that students will have going into the world and prepares them to make wise decisions about how to contribute to the world and themselves.” Rachel Wannarka, St. Paul Public Schools

Which quote do you like best, and why? 

From the ancient to the modern, from entertainment to philosophy, we already know key components of 21st century education. How do we motivate our K-12 public education system to better incorporate them for today’s learners?