It would be ideal if every maritime training institution had a philosophy of education — a formulation of the whys and wherefores and the ultimate aim of preparing young people for a sea career and upgrading ship officers. But why bother creating some new doctrine? There is enough wisdom from the past to enlighten and inspire those who teach and those who seek to learn.

NOTEStill Life with Statuette and Shells (pictured above), is by the German painter Sebastian Stoskopff (1597–1657).

For maritime trainers, lecturers and educators:


I am not a teacher: only a fellow–traveller of whom you asked the way. I pointed ahead—ahead of myself as well as of you. ~Bernard Shaw

The great object of Education should be commensurate with the object of life. It should be a moral one; to teach self–trust; to inspire the youthful man with an interest in himself; with a curiosity touching his own nature; to acquaint him with the resources of his mind, and to teach him that there is all his strength, and to inflame him with a piety towards the Grand Mind in which he lives. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality. ~Dalai Lama XIV

I have learnt much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and most from my students. ~Rabi Hanina

Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel. ~Socrates

Instruction does much, but encouragement everything. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn. ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing. The rest is mere sheep herding. ~Ezra Pound

Experience teaches only the teachable. ~Aldous Huxley

There is something that is much more scarce, something finer far, something rarer than ability. It is the ability to recognize ability. ~Elbert Hubbard

For maritime trainees, cadets and apprentices:


Any fool can know. The point is to understand. ~Albert Einstein

Learning is more than the acquisition of the ability to think; it is the acquisition of many specialized abilities for thinking about a variety of things. ~Lev S. Vygotsky

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn. ~Benjamin Franklin

Learning is not child’s play; we cannot learn without pain. ~Aristotle

Knowing it does not compare with loving it; loving it does not compare with delighting in it. ~Confucius

Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study. ~Francis Bacon

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right. ~Henry Ford

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously. ~G.K. Chesterton

Just as eating contrary to the inclination is injurious to the health, study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in. ~Leonardo da Vinci

The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators. ~Edward Gibbon

You can read my own maxims and aphorisms about crew training and a host of other subjects in my e–book, Maritime Double Shots.


~Barista Uno

The Marine Cafe Blog

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