Education: Lighting of a fire and not filling a pail

I recently reorganised my electronic archive with files I saved over the past 25 years. While reviewing files I rediscovered a famous quote defining education metaphorically. The quote belongs to William Butler Yeats and it says:

“Education is not filling a pail but the lightening of a fire”.


With a teacher group in Lisbon working on creating a set of learning objects focusing on teaching & learning Europe at school, 2006

The quote made me review a special folder named “eTwinning”. eTwinning is an EU initiative born in 2005, which is still alive on the Internet. The eTwinning action encourages schools to partner peers from other countries to develop a collaborative project.

I contributed to this project proposal which was submitted to the European Commission in 2004. In my contribution part I focused on adapting the Freinet pedagogical model to electronic school collaboration via the Internet. Early in the 90’s I applied this learning model while working with colleagues from iEARN-Orillas Center and iEARN.

I would like to share three files which I still find relevant in the context the nowadays education and which were somehow lost on the Internet, so they are no longer online:

  • Intercultural learning opportunities, a Power Point presentation introducing a number of key intercultural learning opportunities that schools may enjoy while working collaboratively on the Web.
  • A video interview summarising a major outcome of the workshop I coordinated at the eTwinning Conference, which was hosted in my home country, in Bucharest, between 14-16 March 2008. The interview was conducted by Jan Oosterhuis, a Dutch teacher from the Netherlands.

I enjoyed being part of the team managing the eTwinning action. Great memories with great achievements, small failures and a lot of fun, from 2000 to 2009, when I left the organisation I worked for.

I was part of those earlier years when Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) were brought to schools in an effort to make teachers aware of the online facilities they can benefit from.

I was part of the team who designed excellent teaching and learning kits and resources to support teaching and learning Europe at school. It was not an easy job to design digital resources to suit so many curricula in so many EU and non-EU countries.

I am not sure whether we succeeded or not. What I know is that, even today, we get feedback from teachers, who share their enthusiasm and thank us for all our efforts.

These teachers share the same enthusiasm and do their job with pleasure because they believe in what they do. This is the reward for their commitments, which matters a lot to them.

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