Virginia S. Fleming, M.A.

Teacher in Missouri City, TX

Mahatma Gandhi was getting on a train. One of his sandals slipped off and fell to the ground. The train was moving, and there was no time to go back. Without hesitation, Gandhi took off his second sandal and threw it toward the first. Asked by his colleague why he did that, he said one sandal wouldn’t do him any good, but two would certainly help someone else.

A marvelous example of a charitable act, on a small scale, seizing a singular moment. But it was more than that: It was also a knowledgeable act. By throwing that sandal, Gandhi had two important insights: He knew what people in the world needed, and he knew what to let go of.

Knowledge is for going somewhere, and must be meaningful for the learner. Knowledge isn't helpful if it's not being used. We must move away from an understanding of something to an understanding with something.

“As the train started up and Gandhi tossed down his second sandal, he showed wisdom about what to keep and what to let go of,” Perkins says. “Those are both central questions for education as we choose for today’s learners the sandals they need for tomorrow’s journey.”


  • Education
    • St. Mary's University
    • University of St. Thomas