Origin of 'I see and I forget'
Posted by TheFallen on March 29, 2003
In Reply to: Origin of 'I am shown and I forget' posted by Gareth Noakes on March 29, 2003
: Does anyone know the definitive origin of the folowing?
: "I see and I forget. I hear and I remember. I do and I understand."
: There appear to be a number of variations, e.g. "I am shown and I forget, I touch and I remember, I do and I understand"
: Previous attempts to unearth the true origin have yielded 'Confusious', 'Some ancient Greek' or an ancient chinese proverb.
: My wife is using the phrase within an assignment and would like to be able to correctly reference the original source.
: Can anyone help?
: Many thanks
The most common version seems to be "I see and I forget. I hear and I remember. I do and I understand." I've had the same lack of luck as you in trying to track this down. The alleged sources as you say include Confucius, an unspecified old Chinese proverb and the ancient Greeks. You may add to this list native Americans and someone called William Glaser (whoever he is). It may have to be referenced as "anon" unless someone can do better.
- Origin of 'I see and I forget' ESC 03/29/03