Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


It’s worth noting the odd tributary when I pass it. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was one.


Reading the Little Princegave me permission to be childish again. As a young adult it broke me out of the urgent teenage years of self importance and over-philosophising.


To be honest, I can’t remember the story too well – I had two copies one in English and one in French, but I lost my English copy. I do remember the point made at the start of the book that children are taught out of drawing – out of being creative by self-imprtant adults – the picture of the hat


(or not the hat as the author points out) is a graphic illustration of adults ‘not getting it’.


It’s a point that Sir Ken Robinson echoes in his well known TED talk of a couple of years ago. Click here, if you haven’t seen it.


It’s also something I reflect on when I think of my own children’s creativity. When my daughter was three she was painting pictures like this one.


I predicted that someone at her school would teach her out of painting what she sees and start teaching how to draw an outline. Now I’m no expect on the development of observational art and it may well be that when she was three that was just a step she was going through. But the warnings of both Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Sir Ken Robinson tell me that I need to protect their creativity. I need to keep their learning enoyable, help them work co-constructively with peers and adults, and teach them how to be reflective.


All these are fundamentals to our change school programme at Paganel.


It’s only a small tributary on the river, but seems significant today – thank you to Google for marking his 110th anniversary.


As a footnote, the other thing about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is that I always planned to turn one of his quotes into a song. He said “Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.” This means (roughly, as my French is not too good) “Love is not looking at each other, it’s looking together in the same direction.”I have some chords (well 2 of them – G and D) and a tune and also the idea to get people singing the line in different languages. Maybe that could become a Year 6 project for the future…

3 thoughts on “Antoine de Saint-Exupéry”

  1. Love this, am a huge Little Prince fan and have read it too too many times to count – in fact, there are 3 books which travel with me no matter where I go and this is one of them. I’ll try later on today to send you a photo via twitter of my old and ratty copy as it’s so nice to meet a fellow of the same planetary experience… 🙂 Love your daughters painting! I really hope no one teaches her out of seeing the world as a place of people without lines and borders.Re your project – which sounds absolutely gorgeous – what about using voicethreads + a wiki? Talk to @abfromz @ozge @barbsaka @shellterrell on Twitter – these just off the top of my head – they’ve all got experience working on global projects internationally and know lots and lots of other teachers of YLs dotted around the globe – perhaps they’ll help!K

  2. Hi Steve!The Little Prince is also one of my favourite books. I believe you can read it a hundred times and find out something new each to your project, I’m bad at singing but I can offer those lines in Spanish: “El amor no significa mirarse uno al otro sino juntos dirigir la mirada en la misma dirección.”Regards,Marisa (@Mtranslator in twitter)

  3. Thanks for encouragement. I’ve now recorded 1 minute of me singing (badly) the words in both French and English and put it on Voicethread here… idea would be to have lots of other voices singing the same words in different languags – would be very messy but interesting… I’ll see if those other twitter contacts can give me tips on how to make best use of Voicethread and Wiki to do that. Thanks!

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