Socrates on Education

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Socrates once said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” With this, he revealed that education should be thought about and questioned for curiosity and understanding rather than for memorizing facts and information without any deeper thought on the matter.

Socrates’ metaphor, “filling of a vessel,” relates to our type of educational system and administration. It is often that teachers do not want students to ask questions they cannot answer; they do not want them to question why everything is the way they it is, yet they force students to memorize it and know it for evaluations. This method of teaching does not give students anything valuable since they are not learning, they are memorizing. Memorizing a text is not the same as understanding the text presented and fully comprehending the information given. Therefore, the “filling of a vessel” is not defined as education. To be able to understand the information presented defines education and its purpose.

The “kindling of a flame” is referring to thought and curiosity leading to asking questions in order to fully understand what we are learning. It is to teach information and have them understand what they are learning. Our education in school should be about grasping information and what it’s about instead of having to memorize something without knowing what we are memorizing.

The education we have in school is not as valuable in a mental nature in comparison to the education system we have now. This is because our whole lives our job is to memorize and regurgitate what we have been instructed to do resulting in a system that is not real education. The real education is the kind that where one is to ask questions in order to understand. It is the kind we unfortunately do not use in our education system. It is the kind we learn on our own from other sources.
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