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The Great Paradox

As a teacher, I wonder how we keep children safe from themselves and, at the same time, not curbing their innate curiosity and imagination.

Pablo Picasso said “Every child is born an artist. The challenge is to remain an artist after you grow up.”

Albert Einstein stated “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.

I am less concise, so I wrote a poem.

Born curious and imaginative,

Children do not have to be taught.

Yes, they can hurt themselves,

Ah, they need guides to walk with them,

Without inflicting greater harm.

The challenge lies in a question:

How do I guide them, without damaging them?

‘Tis a great paradox.



About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

15 responses »

  1. I don’t think we can keep anyone safe from themselves and as you said, we can cause more harm trying, than to let people find their own path. No one knows what’s good or bad for anyone else. We can be role models and that’s the most we can be/do. At least that’s the way I see it. Anything else is controlling the destiny of another. So many people are damaged because others (parents/teachers) thought they knew what was best. It’s a thin line. Really, really thin.

  2. I love my granddaughters. In their innocence and with instant inspirations they have taught me a lot. I am grateful to them, and would not dream of surreptitiously brain washing them. If they injure themselves as they grow, they’ll be better off for the experience. Scripture say it is better to get to heaven with one eye than to go to the other place able bodied.

  3. I fully agree. But how should we succeed in forming children correctly, for example, if we now have something like the former socialist child care system in Germany?
    The whole family is most of the day away from home, the children
    The preschools here are facilities for custody which do not serve to educate.

  4. mysticwriter2002

    Sir im in 9th class . Im from india. I want to ask you that how can I improve my presentation of poems and writing skills.

  5. Beautiful reflections on such a big… paradox

  6. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


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