“We Learn 10% of what we read,
20% of what we hear,
30% of what we see,
50% of what we see and hear,
70% of what we discuss,
80% of what we experience,
95% of what we teach others.”
To educate means “to draw forth from within.”
Education at its best is a simple step-by-step process that meets the students where they are at, and helps them to discover who and what they already know and pull it out from inside the deepest core of themselves. All our offerings are based on a philosophy of education as drawing the wisdom out from within the student, client, or reader.
I was always a good student. In grade school, junior high, high school, and even college, I was the kid who wanted to learn, wanted to please the teacher, wanted to get the best marks and really LEARN. I was eager, motivated, excited about school. If a teacher recommended a book, I would get every book by that author. I read with a flashlight under the bed-covers every night until I fell asleep.
And then I became a teacher. Now I am every teacher's worst nightmare! I'm the kid who sits in the back, doodles in my notebook, scoffs under my breath, looks at the clock, and does the bare minimum to get the pass on a pass/fail grade.
Everything changed for me in a Latin class in college. I didn't like the teacher. He acted like he knew everything, and I knew nothing. There were only two of us in the class. I'd had four years of Latin in high school, and Jason had gone to a private Catholic school where Latin was compulsory. Our Latin professor talked to us like our high school Latin experiences were mediocre at best. (my high school Latin teacher and her English teacher husband still remain my favorite teachers of my entire life). Then someone said to me "to educate is to pull out from within" and it all made sense. I looked up the etymology of the Latin root educare, and I realized that my Latin college professor had it all wrong.
My own values of education are based on the concept that my students come to me with a wealth of wisdom inside them that just needs to come out. While yes, I can give them ideas and insights, the real learning happens when that information and instruction mixes with their internal wisdom and alchemically creates something all new. Ultimately, there is a distinct difference between an instructor, a teacher, and an educator.
An INSTRUCTOR fosters a need-based relationship. They tell you precisely what to do and how to do it in a way that makes you realize you cannot do the said task without their instruction. For example, a yoga instructor puts together a precise sequence of poses and cues to those poses in a way that implies you could never do it yourself without going through yoga instruction training yourself. You need the instructor to do the expert work of designing the sequence and series and watching your body to make sure you do it right and safely.
A TEACHER fosters a growth-based relationship. They set up a series of learnings, and step-by-step tasks to achieve those learnings. In the end, you graduate by proving that you have attained a certain level of skill, usually through some sort of testing process. For example, a mathematics teacher puts together a curriculum to teach you how to divide fractions. They walk you through series of step-by-step lessons to learn the skill, and in the end, they test you on your ability by giving you problems to solve accurately.
An EDUCATOR fosters an independence-based relationship. The key here is that the student is the leader of this process. The student comes to the educator with a goal in mind, and the educator offers experiences, questioning, lessons, insights, problems, and a wide variety of other processes to help the student dig inside themselves to figure things out. In the end, the student decides they have achieved their desired result.
I have found that the best educators are one who practice the following principles in their processes with their students:
Students who relate to their teachers are more likely to respect and adhere to an instructor’s teachings. One of the best ways for teachers to establish a positive relationship and rapport with students is to share stories of their own process, their own learning, and to be authentic and real with their students.
Storytelling has been proven as an effective lesson plan since the beginning of time (oral tradition of indigenous tribes, Aesop’s Fables, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Shakespeare, Harry Potter, etc.) The absolute best way for people to relate their own lives and learn the lessons of life is through the power of story.
A key component in personal growth is mentorship, a special relationship of one who has walked a path guiding others to find their own ways on a similar path.