What are the four birds of Four Birds Education? The four birds are based on an ancient idea going back to the Greeks. Each bird represents a particular element: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The ancient Greeks believed that these four elements represented four essential qualities in each person’s character and that people became unhealthy when these four elements were out of balance with each other. We at Four Birds Education have divided education up into four distinct areas which we believe every child should be cultivated to learn so that they grow up to be a well-rounded and balanced members of society. All articles and educational material posted on this site will be categorised in accordance with which of these four birds they belong to. The idea is not to have a favourite bird and to exclude all of the others, but to learn to appreciate and respect the different strengths and weaknesses of each of the other birds and consequently respect the value people with different talents and skills bring to the community. I chose the symbolism of birds and elements so as to appeal more to children and their imaginations.
Another factor is that I want to expand people’s conception of what education actually is. Education is to a person what water is to a fish. After a century of publicly funded schooling, people have learned to associate learning almost exclusively with the air bird stream, but that learning should be boring and repetitive. By emphasising the air bird, the publicly funded school system has made children who are strong in the earth, fire and water streams feel either stupid or inadequate. Education should never make anyone feel powerless or unwanted.
Earth Bird (Raven)
Construction, mechanics, invention, innovation, cooking, building, pragmatics, gardening and agriculture.
Air Bird (Swift)
Science, philosophy, ethics, mathematics, rhetoric, languages, debating, economics, psychology and politics.
Fire Bird (Eagle)
Health, physical fitness, athleticism, dance, sport, elocution, acting, self-defence, hunting and the military.
Water Bird (Swan)
Relationships, self-esteem, emotional strength, compassion, EQ, empathy, music, art, poetry and aesthetics.
For a more detailed description of each bird, check on the sub-menu for each bird’s respective page.