What could educators learn from the philosophers?

Sun Tsu was a war strategist and a philosopher. He was praised for his great strategies and tactics at war. Researchers often refer to his strategies as the best of all times in the military arenas and have thought that they could be applied in the business arenas. And so his strategic philosophies was often used in business to win over others.
Lao Tzu was a great thinker and a philosopher. He was often conceived as a wise leader, but historians have not been able to identify him. Lao Tzu was anonymous and so no one even knew who he actually was. But his concept of leadership was stated as “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say we did it ourselves.” However, this was quoted in Network Logic as being said by Sun Tsu.
I suspect these may be due to a problem in the translation into English.
Out of the many Chinese Philosophers, the wisest one was called “Chong Tsu”. His most important and famous philosophy runs like this: “Human has a life span, but we know that there is unlimited boundary (knowledge, especially the huge amount of information, and knowledge nowadays) , to use the limited life span to chase after the unlimited knowledge boundary, it would cause “serious consequence – “death”. If you know the consequence, but still want to do it, then, it will just cause “death”. My interpretation of his philosophy is that he was trying to warn people not to chase for the unlimited “knowledge” to that extent, because there are lots of worthwhile things to do other than the mere passion of knowledge.
Another famous story from Chong Tsu was about how to learn. Chong Tsu quoted how he observed a butcher of a cow separated the fresh from bones of the cow. He noticed that the butcher had done it so naturally with speed and seemingly so easy, and so he thought it was due to the practitioner’s practice and his craft in “butchering”. The moral of the story was to illustrate the importance of mastering learning with efficiency based on “profile, pattern recognition and sensing” of the learner and its interface or artefacts – similar in concept to the connectivist’s learning approach of pattern recognition, way finding and sense making.  So, his philosophy seems to provide similar direction to that of connectivism.

I am happy to share more stories of those philosophers with you. Some of these stories were lost in their formal records, but I could still recall them. The genres or themes of those stories have great significance in education and learning, and could be used as a foundation of most modern education and learning theories.

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One thought on “What could educators learn from the philosophers?

  1. Pingback: #Change11 #CCK12 Learning in school and networks | Learner Weblog

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