While it is credited as a Chinese proverb, the saying, “Give a man a fish” is actually a quote from a novel by Anne Isabella Ritchie who wrote, “. . . if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour; if you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.”
A modern version of this saying, “give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and congratulations you just lost half your consumer market” explains the impetus behind the mis-education of our current system of education.
To provide every child in America with a developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential, education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing their individual gifts and talents would mean the “hedgehogs” would loose half their profits, or more, as our children would be free of the poverty that exists to keep them from realizing their true potential.
Our children are not being taught to be self-sufficient but to rely on others to “give” them what they need to “get by” on a daily basis.
The work ethic that comes from catching your own fish, understanding the struggle involved in fishing, the time, the patience, and the respect for the fish that must give its life so that another may live is all lost when one can simply show up for school and be fed breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Parents are convinced that it is better to bus their children to the school of their choice than it is to make the school district improve the school in their neighborhood. If another public school is better, then that school model should be replicated.
To continue to place the onus of failure on schools, teachers, parents, and children when it is the system of education that has removed from our children the ingenuity of problem solving by “giving them fish” is to remain enslaved to the sellers of the fish.
Our children deserve to know how to fish so they can be free to feed themselves.
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