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Educating the World

March 31, 2012

School forcibly snatches away children from a world full of God’s own handiwork… It is a mere method of discipline which refuses to take into account the individual… a manufactory for grinding out uniform results. I was not a creation of the schoolmaster: the Government Board of Education was not consulted when I took birth in the world.

– Tagore

Our schools are, in a sense, factories, in which the raw materials – children – are to be shaped and fashioned into products. The specifications for manufacturing come from the demands of 20th century civilization, and it is the business of the school to build its pupils according to the specifications laid down.

– E. P. Cubberly, Dean, Stanford University School of Education

One the great tragedies of schooling is how it rips people out from nature and lock them up in rooms for 8 hours a day. The profound kind of damage it is doing to us, we would recognize only generations from now and we will look back and say, “How could we have done this to children?”

– Manish Jain, Shikshantar

It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for what this delicate little plant needs more than anything, besides stimulation, is freedom. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.

– Einstein

Education… makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.

– Thoreau

Education is the tendency of one man to make another just like himself… Education is a compulsory, forcible action of one person upon another… Culture is the free relation of people. The difference between education and culture lies only in the compulsion, which education deems itself in the right to exert. Education is culture under restraint, Culture is free.

– Tolstoy


William Torrey Harris, U.S. Commissioner of Education had stated the ‘great’ purpose of the school pretty clearly –

The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places … It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.

Not so long ago as America had moved west, thousands of Native American children were forcibly taken from their families and sent to government-run boarding schools. The overt goal was to destroy their way of life, to civilize them, and kill everything Indian within them.

Sadly the same is being emulated all over the world today, for a purpose… 

(taken from the movie Schooling the World)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Pranoy permalink
    May 2, 2012 11:18

    Things that we start taking for granted always need to be re-looked at, reworked. This is a wonderful wonderful set of quotes to help us rethink about the meaning and purpose of education. 🙂 Hope to touch base sometime..


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