Occasionally Something Beautiful: The Essence of the Distinction between Education & Mere Schooling

My son Peter supervises, manages, teaches and leads 90 teachers who teach English in 45 different schools in the Tokyo area. In talking about what he does in this 56 second video, he nails the essential distinction between education and mere schooling, between leading and mere managing, between leading a life and just going through the motions of living.

Would you agree?

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9 Responses to Occasionally Something Beautiful: The Essence of the Distinction between Education & Mere Schooling

  1. Shirley says:

    I do agree Rick. Is there a way to maintain this sense of hope and wonder in our children, because I believe they are born with this sense.
    Modeling is hard because so many of us adults live for weekends, hate getting up in the morning and frankly work at jobs that are uninspiring. And the goals of schooling in North America are not really focussed on helping kids find their passion.
    I look at your son, and say…Lucky him…he’s found life’s work that makes him feel that way..

  2. Jonnie Sharp says:

    Hi Rick,

    I can’t seem to get this video to work. Can you repost? I want to see.



  3. Rick says:

    It works on my computer. you could also go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=occasionally+something+beautiful&oq=occasion&gs_l=youtube.1.0.35i39j0l9.7010.8061.0.9643.…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.KQJ9gnpNZF8

    or to YouTube and type in “occasionally something beautiful” (with or without “Peter Ackerly”

  4. Bill G. says:

    Agreed! AND consider that “selling the school on it” is in the same genre as inspiring the students; both stemming from the mindset that it can happen and being open to the moment of brilliance that triggers it.

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  6. Getting out of bed every morning is onerous – or at least was until I retired, now it’s fun. Life is worth living, and we should always remember that – just look at those poor people in the Phillipines – ask them how their lives are compared with our more humdrum ones. Everything is relative.
    Yesterday afternoo, my wife and I took our usual afternoon walk around the James Hamilton Park in Sough Lanarkshire -not far from Glasgow. My wife wondered how ducks felt swimming around in the cold weather – I wondered too, but then i remembered that some arctic species come down her to winter, finding our northern clime positively balmy – everything is relative – except death, and while we are alive, we need to thank God we are here.

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  8. I loved it, and I agree. My question for you and Peter is, what is it about schooling that doesn’t seem to get a lot of children out of bed to want to go there? As Peter says, taking an idea, working with others on it, and getting it to work (be useful, be interesting, make a contribution). I know that we know there are many things about schooling that don’t support that, and I am still attempting to get my head around our whole idea of “teaching”, which, for some reason, isn’t just giving children opportunity and information.

    For fun, I read Terry Pratchett’s fantasy novels, and I recommend them highly. He is a British writer who writes amazing fantasy stories which reveal so much about humans. In a recent one, some child had some horrible event occur, and one of the characters, either a young woman named Susan or her grandfather, Death, commented: “that’s what happens when you teach children rather than tell them things.”

    I give thanks for Peter and those he works with. Life, at its best, is about creating something that works beautifully.

  9. Great feedback.
    Mary Dutcher: <>
    I’m saying that as a teacher, myself, with the absolutely highest regard for the profession. I’m saying that as someone that believes that our conversations about “how to improve education” are a joke until we as a society evolve to the point where the percentage of GPA devoted to education dwarfs what we spend on everything else.
    But you remember being that kid and you remember the internal monologue: “when I get out of this bed and go to school, I am going to have to deal with _____” insert name of least favorite teacher.
    So the question is, how do we manage the universe within which these teachers operate such that the kids’ least favorite teacher is somebody that the kid still wants to go see, still wants to learn with. What do we do, as managers, day by day, minute by minute, to equip and inspire teachers such that they inspire?

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