Confucius: ‘I do not instruct the uninterested’

Alvin Rabushka’s Confucius Analect of the Week comes from  Chapter VII, Verse 8 (James R. Ware):

“I do not instruct the uninterested; I do not help those who fail to try. If I mention one corner of a subject and the pupil does not deduce therefrom the other three, I drop him.”

Perhaps this is why Shanghai students ranked first in the world in the PISA international achievement test, Rabushka speculates.

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  1. Perhaps China rigged the results the way they rig everything.

    Does he think Confucius explains “quality fade” too?

    Would that educated people paid any attention to reality in China.

  2. Sounds like a philosophy that’s also been adopted on this side of the world … except without the “positive” consequences implied by Rabushka.

  3. Beyond the age of fourteen – sixteen the forced education of children is a colossal waste of time and money. The opportunity and encouragement should be heavily promoted – but the make the horse drink angle shouldn’t.

  4. Unfortunately, I have to agree with mazenko. At least traditional models of “sit in four different classrooms for 75 minutes a piece” (that’s how it works in my board) don’t seem to add much value to the lives of the “uninterested” 16-plus crowd. It’s sad to see all the life and vitality sucked out of those kids by an institution that attempts to force them into a mode of existence that simply doesn’t resonate with anything remotely relevant to those students–despite the efforts of talented and creative faculty members. It’s the system and institutional structures that don’t work for those kids.