bù fèn bù qǐ, bù fěi bù fā 不愤不启，不悱不发
Instruct Only Who Is Anxious to Learn; Teach Only Who Wants to Express Himself but Does Not Know How.
One should not instruct a student until he is anxious to learn; one should not give guidance to a student until he wants to express himself but does not know how. This term is an underlying principle of Confucius’ philosophy on education. It stresses the importance of keeping students motivated. The principle of guidance of teaching in contemporary educational theory originates from this concept.
Confucius said: “I do not instruct a disciple until he is anxious to learn; I do not give guidance to a disciple until he wants to express himself but does not know how. If I teach him one thing, yet he cannot draw inferences on three other related matters, there is no point in teaching him anymore.” (The Analects)