One of the issues I raised in the TEDxParramatta talk was the four things needed for education are: a teacher; a pupil; knowledge; and a flow or interaction usually involving language and speech. The teacher can be a paid, trained, skillful professional; or it can be &. anyone or anything.
For example, I was in a carparking area a few months ago and a kind lady offered me a parking ticket which still had some time on it. I was grateful and expressed my thanks. When she had gone I felt I had gushed , because of a slightly uncomfortable feeling of reluctance to accept other people’s generosity. It was a small thing but I found it instructive. That lady – and the situation without knowing it, was my teacher.
But for a teacher’s lesson to work, it does require a willing pupil who is ready to learn. Shantananda Saraswati says that no one can learn anything without respecting the teacher. That respect, in the form of a willing ear listening to what the teacher has to impart, is crucial.
Hence our emphasis on respect, as one of our five core values. The teachers try to model this by respecting each other and respecting the children. And we ask the children to enact this by standing when adults come into the room, addressing adults politely and fully, and so on. All this creates a respectful atmosphere where the knowledge can flow easily.
On another note: the P & F stalwarts have worked long and hard to put together a Trivia Night which is a fundraiser and which is also fun and sociable. Sadly Mrs Mane and I were already booked to go to Brisbane to see relatives, but I would love to hear how mightily successful this event was on all fronts!
Headmaster’s TED talk online
To view the talk by Mr Mane at the recent TEDxParramatta conference, click this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzih5tNiG18&feature=plcp
The link is also on our school website under the Latest News menu item.