Socrates would be turning in his grave!

I wanted to write something about the education system here in Greece. It seems to me so ironic - tragic, even - that the country that produced some of the greatest minds in history, and, in Socrates, one of the greatest teachers, should now have one of the poorest educational systems in the developed world.

Socrates would be turning in his grave faster than a lamb at Greek Easter!

To help his students find answers to their questions, he would, in turn, ask them questions so that they could use their own minds to find the answers themselves.

Nowadays, in Greece, schools just encourage pupils and students to learn things parrot-fashion. It is extremely rare to find teachers helping pupils to learn how to learn. For exam questions, you are required to regurgitate specific paragraphs or pages in order to get the marks - not to express yourself in such a way as to show that you have actually understood something.

To this end, the state also dictates exactly which books schools should use and doesn't leave it to the schools themselves to decide what would be best to cover the curriculum. Pupils don't even do scientific experiments themselves! In no way are they encouraged to discover things for themselves or to learn to think for themselves.

This has enormous repercussions on society and on the way it functions. People have grown up not to question or think for themselves, and leads to the dearth of innovative thinking and even basic common sense!

It really is such a "Greek" tragedy that a country which - quite rightly - is proud of its heritage from the great minds of 2500 years ago, should now be so lacking in thought and innovation.

Socrates was condemned to death for what he did. I think we should now be saying, "Come back Socrates! All is forgiven!"

J. K. Rowling's Latest Book available for Pre-Order

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is the title of Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling's latest book, due to hit the bookshops on December 4 this year. However, you have the opportunity to order it right now through Amazon - either the Standard Edition or the Collector's Edition.

The book has 5 fairy tales, which are illustrated by Rowling herself. Not only that, but it has the commentary,footnotes and historical background for each fairy tale from Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, who "brings his unique wizard's-eye perspective to the collection", to quote the blurb.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is published by The Children's High Level Group (CHLG) and all net proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Children's Voice campaign.

"The Children's Voice campaign is run by CHLG. It campaigns for child rights across Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe where over a million children and teenagers are growing up in institutions, often in unacceptable conditions. In most cases they are without adequate human or emotional contact and stimulation, while many only just survive without life's basics such as adequate shelter and food."

The Collector's Edition is sold exclusively by Amazon and features an exclusive reproduction of J.K. Rowling's handwritten introduction, 10 new illustrations, metalwork and clasp, replica gemstones, and tucked in its own case disguised as a wizarding textbook from the Hogwarts library. (Available in limited quantities)

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