There are many reasons I like this quote by Ted Sizer. One, in particular, is that it focuses on the fundamental goal of education—learning how to learn—and not on specific content. I have found that emphasizing this can be really helpful for students who are struggling. The idea is to take the focus off the content information they’re having trouble with and teach them to value the process of learning. Students often feel self-conscious about asking questions because they feel it will show what they don’t know. But when we make asking questions a true positive, we can turn that feeling around. With my students, I like to reiterate to them that when they’re finished with school they shouldn’t know everything, but they should have the tools to find out anything they want to know.
I encourage you to share this quote with your students. Let us know in the comments how they react to it. If you have any Quick Quotes that your students find helpful, please leave those in the comments, too!
- Elizabeth Ross, M.A., SMARTS Media Manager