Education, education, education

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子曰:「自行束修以上,吾未嘗無誨焉。」
Confucius said: “I have never refused to teach anyone who has asked me to, even if he was too poor to offer no more than a token offering of a bundle of dried meat for his tuition.”

子曰:「不憤不啟,不悱不發。舉一隅不以三隅反,則不復也。」
Confucius said: “I instruct only the passionate. I enlighten only the fervent. If a student cannot return with the other three corners of the square after I have shown him the first one, I will not repeat the lesson.”

Although Confucius opened his classes to everyone, he was only interested in teaching students who showed enthusiasm for learning and were willing to think independently and thus reach the right answers on their own.

Unfortunately, this aspect of his teaching philosophy was crushed by the emphasis on rote learning that subsequently suffused the “Confucian” education system with its emphasis on preparing candidates for the imperial examinations. Indeed, Confucius himself has been unjustly vilified for stifling creativity and independent thinking among generations of Chinese students even until the present day.

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