Monday, April 30, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. April 30, 2007.

Note: Several of my readers have said that some of the quotes are convoluted and/or verbose. In either case they are hard to read. As a service to my readers, I will add at the end of difficult quotes a plainly written statement of the basic idea. Hope this helps. Rays.

Economics 383 Spencer: Economic relationships are so different from political relationships, and so much more complex, that no government could regulate them all without…an enslaving bureaucracy. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer. [Regulating economics would produce an enslaving bureaucracy.]

Economics 383 Spencer: Economic relations must be left to the automatic self-adjustment…of supply and demand; what society most wants it will pay for most heavily. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer. [Economics is essentially supply and demand.]

Economics and inflation 722 Soon they would be saying in Richmond, “You take your money to market in a market basket and bring home what you buy in your pocketbook.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. [Civil War inflation.]

Ecumenism 154 Mutual respect is a prerequisite for authentic ecumenism. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Education 342 “We must never accept utility as the sole reason for education.” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

Education 267 Sir Eric Ashby: “To train young people in the dialectic between orthodoxy and dissent is the unique contribution which universities make to society.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower. [The purpose of a university education is to learn to deal with orthodoxy and dissent.]

Education 197 All this information, however, is not going to solve the serious problems facing many public schools today: budget cuts, violence, drugs, high dropout rates, dangerous neighborhoods, teachers more concerned about survival than education. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education 197 The problem of America’s schools are not insurmountable, just extremely complicated. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education 197 Even today, for every disastrous public school there are dozens of successful ones you don’t read about. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education 919 Robert Kennedy…laid emphasis on pre-school education, pointing out that the formative years of a child’s life were before the age of six or seven and that many children from poor families arrived in the first grade so far behind that they could never catch up. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

Education 12 …Beatrice O’ Hara absorbed the sort of education that will be quite impossible ever again, a tutelage measured by the number of things and people one could be contemptuous of and charming about…. Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise. [A kind of education that looked upon things and people with either contempt and charm.]

Education 250 If he can be educated to think clearly, concisely, and logically, freed of his habit of taking refuge in platitudes and prejudices and sentimentalisms…. Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise.

Education 553 JFK: “Any educated citizen who seeks to subvert the law, to suppress freedom, or to subject other human beings to acts that are less than human, degrades his heritage, ignores his learning and betrays his obligations.” Sorenson, Kennedy.

Education 7 “Idealism” . . . is now the fashion in our schools and colleges, where all aesthetic and most intellectual standards are being abandoned in the name of social harmony and the remedying of historical injustice. Bloom, Western Canon. [The purpose of a college education today is social harmony and remedying historical injustice, not scholarship.]

Education 483 Instead of calling on some scholar, I paid many a visit to particular trees…. Thoreau, Walden.

Education 237 He [Heathcliff] appeared to have bent his malevolence on making him [Hareton] a brute: he was never taught to read or write; never rebuked for any bad habit which did not annoy his keeper; never led a single step towards virtue, or guarded by a single precept against vice. E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights. [The education of a brute.]

Education 21 Mrs. Goddard was the mistress of a school--not of a seminary, or an establishment, or any thing which professed, in long sentences of refined nonsense, to combine liberal acquirements with elegant morality upon new principles and new systems--and where young ladies for enormous pay might be screwed out of health and into vanity...[but] where girls might be sent to be out of the way and scramble themselves into a little education, without any danger of coming back prodigies. Austen, Emma [A school for girls that did not inculcate morality and refinement, but which kept the girls out of the way of their families, with little education to disturb the status quo.]

Education 12 I am aware I may here be reminded of the necessity of rendering instruction agreeable to youth, and of Tasso’s infusion of honey into the medicine prepared for a child; but an age in which children are taught the driest doctrines by the insinuating method of instructive games, has little reason to dread the consequences of study being rendered too serious or severe. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley. [Education with games does not produce serious education.]

Education 12 It may…be subject of serious consideration, whether those who are accustomed only to acquire instruction through the medium of amusement, may not be brought to reject that which approaches under the aspect of study…. Sir Walter Scott, Waverley. [Those who acquire instruction through amusement will not be willing or able to study.]

Education 366 You can’t teach a baby to walk by explaining the matter to her logically—she has to learn the strange poise of walking by experience. T. H. White, The Once and Future King. [Experience is the only method for learning to walk,]

Education 104 …wince involuntarily, as we remember the hard knuckles with which the reverend old lady who instilled into our mind the first principles of education…was wont to poke our juvenile head occasionally by way of adjusting the confusion of ideas in which we were generally involved. Dickens, Sketches by Boz. [The old school marms used knuckles on the head to unconfuse one's ideas.]

Education 12 The New-England meeting-house, like the synagogue on which it was consciously modeled, was primarily a place of instruction. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Education 145 Rev. Hugh Jones: They [Americans] are more inclinable to read men by business and conversation, than to dive into books, and are for the most part only desirous of learning what is absolutely necessary, in the shortest and best method. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience [Americans are inclined to read men and conversation rather than books.]

Education 171 In Europe a “liberal” education, which would supposedly liberate a man from the narrow bounds of his time and place, was the property of an exclusive few. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience [A 'liberal education' was designed to liberate one from the bounds of time and place.]

Education 304 English visitors found it hard to believe that a prosperous ruling class would rather learn directly from experience than from books. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience. [Europe was skeptical of Americans' learning directly from experience rather than from books. ]

Education 162 That is, with due respect to Shakespeare and others, we want our girls to communicate freely with the live world around them rather than plunge into musty old books. Nabokov, Lolita. [We want girls to be lively rather than stuck in musty books.]

Education 310 ...early example of the American identification of learning with self-improvement. Boorstin, The Americans: Colonial Experience

Education 161 ...the institution might turn out to be one of those where girls are taught...”not to spell very well, but to smell very well.” Nabokov, Lolita.

Education 72 Whoever needs more than five hours of sleep should not study medicine. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

Education 161 Why is it that doctors see only what they have learned to see? Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud). [Doctors do what they have learned, not what they see.]

Education 497 Latin and Greek were introduced because they are a bore and because they stupefy the intellect. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Education 497 …it was not for the sake of studying the classics they introduced the Latin, but solely as a police measure, to stupefy the intelligence. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Education 381 “Part of our job is to take kids with sixth-grade educations and prepare them to go to MIT.” Wiliam Watley, Pastor of St. James Methodist Episcopal Church, Newark, New Jersey. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past.

Education 388 Schools in urban America are beset by multiple problems: students in poor health, streets filled with danger, buildings in disrepair, families without enough parental time and less take-home pay, teachers who are overworked and called upon to ensure safety as well as teach mathematics and history, administrators who become detached from the crisis and make holding on to a paycheck more important than improving the school, state legislators who mandate higher test scores without providing the needed resources and thereby force pragmatic principals to sacrifice genuine education and teach for the test, and parents who hate sending their children into a cauldron of drugs and blood but don’t have any good alternative. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past. [The many problems with today's urban schools.]

Education 399 The zest for lifetime learning will be the entrepreneurial energy of a knowledge-based society. Bradley, Time Present, Time Past. [Knowledge will be so prevalent that people will want to go on learning for a life time.]

Education viii …the function of the professional teacher was clear…to mediate between the specialist and the nation; to learn the specialist’s language…and find for new truths old terms that all literate people might understand. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy. [One role of a teacher is to mediate between the specialist and generally literate people.]

Education xv …we might build up in America an audience fit to listen to geniuses, and therefore ready to produce them. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy. [We need an audience who can listen to geniuses in order to produce them.]

Education xxv We are like Mitya in The Brothers Karamazov—“one of those who don’t want millions, but an answer to their questions.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Education xxv …we want to seize the value and perspective of passing things, and so pull ourselves up out of the maelstrom of daily circumstance. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Education xxviii Leonardo: “The noblest pleasure, the joy of understanding.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy.

Education xxviii Emerson: In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him, and in that I am his pupil. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy. [Every person is my pupil.]

Education 26 ...studies are not to be forced upon an unwilling mind. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

Education 26 The elements of instruction...should be presented to the mind in childhood, but not with any compulsion; for a free man should be a free man too in the acquisition of knowledge. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato. [Children cannot learn by compulsion.]

Education 26 Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato. [What one learns by compulsion is not learned.]

Education 111 F. Bacon: To spend too much time in studies is sloth; to use them too much for ornament is affectation...crafty men condemn studies; simple men admire them; and wise men use them. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Education 156 It was in accord with the Hebrew canon that every student should acquire some manual art. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Education 165 Spinoza: [Christ] accommodated himself to the comprehension of the people…and most often taught by parables. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza.

Education 194 Spinoza: Academies that are founded at the public expense are instituted not so much to cultivate men’s natural abilities as to restrain them. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Spinoza. [Schools don't encourage man's natural abilities; they constrain them.]

Education 521 Following up on Spencer’s demand for more science and less literature, in education, Dewey added that even the science should not be book-learning, but should come to the pupil from the actual practice of useful occupations. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey. [You can't learn best from books; you learn best from experience.]

Education 521 Dewey: In an industrial society the school should be a miniature workshop and a miniature community...should teach through practice, and through trial and error. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey. [People should learn in school as people learn in the workplace.]

Education 521 Dewey: must be re-conceived, not as merely a preparation for maturity...but as a continuous growth of the mind and a continuous illumination of life. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey. [Education should not be a preparation for learning, but should engage in actual production.]

Education 521 Dewey: Real education comes after we leave school; and there is no reason why it should stop before our death. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Education 523 Dewey: ...mind and life are to be understood not in theological but in biological terms, as an organ or an organism in an environment, acted upon and reacting, molded and molding. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey. [Mind and life should grow through experience.]

Education 133 Whenever a given school system turns out to be relatively rational and effective, no one remembers the [school] ma'ams who make it so, for all the credit and glory are hogged by the super-gogues at the head of it. Mencken, Minority Report. [Successful schools do not praise the teachers, but the administrators.]

Education 129 Faulkner: People learn only by error. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

Education 193 …and in such weather as this I think one day in the fields is worth five in the school house. Jewett, A Country Doctor. [School houses shut children away from life.]

Education 198 M.L. Robinson: Be encouraged that what you know so well others know not at all. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

Education 18 Johnson on Mr. Hunter, the headmaster: He used…to beat us unmercifully; and he did not distinguish between ignorance and negligence; for he would beat a boy equally for not knowing a thing, as for neglecting to know it. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1. [He beat us for not understanding something as for not bothering to learn something.]

Education 283 Johnson: Sir (said he) a desire of knowledge is the natural feeling of mankind. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1. [People desire knowledge.]

Education 1020 You send your child to the schoolmaster, but ‘tis the school boys who educate him. Emerson, The Conduct of Life: Culture. [The pupils educate the teachers.]

Education 1191 …this deep sleep of the higher faculties of man, coexists with a great abundance of what are called the means of learning, great activity of book making and of formal teaching. Emerson, Uncollected Prose. [Our minds are in a deep sleep notwithstanding that we know much from books and formal teaching.]

Education 594 It was complained…we are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing. Emerson, New England Reformers. [We learn words, but nothing real.]

Education 599 [Our education system]…is a system of despair. Emerson, New England Reformers.

Education 599 Men do not believe in the power of education. Emerson, New England Reformers.

Education 600 …the scholar was not raised by the sacred thoughts amongst which he dwelt, but used them to selfish ends. Emerson, New England Reformers. [Scholars did not use knowledge to help people but only to accomplish their own selfish goals.]

Education 629 …all are teachers and pupils in turn. Emerson, Representative Men: Uses of Great Men.

Education 419 Each mind has its own method. Emerson, Intellect.

Education 385 Experimental college at the University of Wisconsin: There were no classes as such, the emphasis…on education, on opening the mind…the first year…spent studying nothing but Greek civilization, the second nothing but nineteenth-century American civilization and comparing the values of the two civilizations. Halberstam, The Best and the Brightest. [Example of a reformed university education: comparing Greek and American society.]

Education 38 It is not a mind, it is not a body, that we are training; it is a man, and we must not divide him into two parts; and, as Plato says, we must not train one without the other, but drive them abreast like two horses harnessed to the same pole. Montaigne, Selected Essays. [Both mind and body must be trained together.]

Education 51 …I believe I should have brought nothing away from school but a hatred of books, as almost all our noblemen do. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Education 221 A good education changes the judgment and way of living…. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

Education 418 For being more learned they are none the less fools. Montaigne, Selected Essays. [Greater learning can sometimes produce bigger fools.]

Education 12 In high school we obediently went through brief courses in elementary physics and chemistry, without the faintest glimmering ever percolating into our minds about the rigor and the glories of the scientific method, the long heart-breaking struggle of men to establish it against institutionalized superstition, or how and why it made our age fundamentally different, more wonderful and more terrible, than all preceding ages. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream. [In high school we did not really learn the nature of learning.]

Education 487 Their [the American soldiers’] education had given them the ability to read and write and follow a map; it had not given them intellectual curiosity and without this they could not be said to have received any education. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream. [Learning to read and write without curiosity produced almost no education.]

Education 290 Shame, despair, solitude…had been her [Hester’s] teachers…had made her strong…. Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter.

Education 271 Mr. Weller on Sam: “I took a good deal o’ pain with his eddication, sir; let him run in the streets when he was very young, and shift for his-self...the only way to make a boy sharp, sir.” Dickens, Pickwick.

Education and society 524 Dewey: The first distinguishing characteristic of thinking is facing the facts--inquiry, minute and extensive scrutinizing, observation. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, John Dewey.

Education change 254 In a changing world, education is the best preparation for being able to adapt. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education institution individual 204 The highway [i.e. Internet] will alter the focus of education from the institution to the individual. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education learning 204 The ultimate goal will be changed from getting a diploma to enjoying life-long learning. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education technology 184 Some fear that technology will dehumanize formal education. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education technology 186 Preschoolers familiar with cellular telephones, pagers, and personal computers enter kindergartens where chalkboards and overhead projectors represent the state of the art. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education technology 186 Reed Hundt, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission: …”there are thousands of buildings in this country with millions of people in them who have no telephones, no cable TV, and no reasonable prospect of broadband services…they are called schools. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education technology 191 Her ability to influence what she sees on the screen—to answer the question, “What happens if I click here?”—keeps her curiosity high. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education technology 192 I’ve always believed most people have more intelligence and curiosity than current information tools encourage them to use. [education and technology] Gates, The Road Ahead.

Education technology 196 Testing will become a positive part of the learning process: a mistake won’t call forth a reprimand; it will trigger the system to help the student overcome this misunderstanding. Gates, The Road Ahead. [Real testing helps students understand their mistakes.]

Education technology 198 The good teachers of the future…will use technology as a starting point or an aid. Gates, The Road Ahead.

Educational leadership 133 The [super-gogues] have incommoded the schoolma'am much more than they have aided her, and when she succeeds at her dismal task it is usually in spite of them, not because of them. Mencken, Minority Report. [Administrators get in the way of good teachers.]

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