Education Through Imagination

William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”(The Language of Composition, Yeats page 174) As a high school student aspiring to be an actress, I most certainly agree with his intelligent statement. Education to me, just as to Yeats, is not about having the maximum capacity of knowledge in every subject; it is finding that burning desire to learn about whatever it is that interests you. It is unnecessary to fill our heads with facts that will essentially be useless in our future, personal lives. Instead, we should be inspired to go and learn about the subjects that we are passionate towards, or at least what is related to those passions.

For instance, as a student working in the direction of becoming a theatre major, it is not under my impression that it should be mandatory of me to participate in classes that do not involve some type of lessons that will aid my acting career. Here is an example: I’m not going to rely on my knowledge of math or science to pursue a successful profession in theatre. But as an alternative I should become well-informed about many types of literature. The subject of English will be the most helpful to me while going through life as a performer of the arts.

Yeats’ description of education reminds me somewhat of another quote from the highly gifted Albert Einstein. Einstein said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” (GoodReads, Einstein, www. Both of them touch on the importance of the free mind, and how some knowledge is not always necessarily needed in life. Now, don’t misunderstand the meanings of these expressions. By no means should knowledge as a whole be absent from your qualities, but your main focus should not be to overflow your mind with knowledge. This topic is very controversial- most people would disagree in a heartbeat. People who disagree have a right to their opinion, but, they must also respect the opposing one too. The way that these theories are worded just provokes close-minded people to argument. But, if they were to try and understand the importance of what your imagination can teach you, they may change their minds. From my personal standpoint, by practicing the art of imagination, and by allowing my mind chase its dreams, I have fueled a spark in myself that has lit a fire. This fire is why I burn to be educated about the performing arts and all of the beautiful things I learn about myself while doing so. I have learned more and more about myself every day that I let my imagination educate me. My experiences at school have never come close to revealing the amount of truth in learning as my mind’s eye has. Einstein also said, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” (Albert Einstein, Therefore, it is what we take away from our education that shows what we have really learned. These are the things we will apply in our lives. We will prosper through the things we enjoy, and forget the useless information. Though to say what information is useless is entirely up to each individual. Also, as time passes we may change our minds as to what is useful to us or not, but that is the beauty of being able to change our minds and educate ourselves about whatever makes us happy.

It is passion that drives us, and passion that will truly educate us. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” (Anthony J. D’Angelo, If you are to take anything away from these words let it be this: Have a desire to learn, and be passionate about your education.

What do you think?

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