A Philosophy of Education
A Philosophy of Education for the 21st Century
The Presentation of General Principles
Compiled by Tom Mandel
Education makes us what we are. The most important kind of knowledge, perhaps the only kind that matters ultimately. is not intellectual in its nature. I would far rather feel remorse than know how to define it. Culture is activity of thought and receptiveness to beauty and humane feeling scraps of information have nothing to do with it. All too often Americans substitute as a measure of educational excellence the display of details instead of the abilities for which they are the fuel. Education is not a perfection in the accomplishment of habits of blind obedience and prescribed diligence, but a preparation for independant action The teachers function is to train pupils in habits of accurate observation, not in the memorization of words. However true those words might be, they have no reality for the student unless based on his own perceptions. Do not mistake the pointing finger for the moon. For eternally and always there is only Now, the present is the only thing that has no end. To know is to do. Experience is the only teacher. Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action. We cannot learn men from books. The word is not the thing. The difficulty that beginners find in the study of science is due to the large amount of technical detail which has been allowed to accumulate in the elementary textbooks, obscuring the important ideas. The governing metaphor of the school should be student as worker rather than the more familair metaphor of teacher as deliverer of instructional services. It is a grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and learning can be promoted by coercion and sense of duty. Order and obedience we would always have and yet two of the best schools we ever knew appeared to the casual spectator to be complete uproar, confusion and chaos. Schools need not be asked to teach more and more content, but to teach what is essential and to teach it more effectively. Education is not a process of packing articles in a truck, the importance of knowledge lies in its use. A magazine of remembered facts is a useless treasure. Using knowledge is the heart of it. There is an inmost centre in us all, where truth abides in fulness, and, wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in. And to know rather consists in opening out a way whence the imprisoned splendor may escape than in affecting entry for a light supposed to be without. The emphasis is upon placing the pupil in the midst of those things which are like what we desire him to become. Let them know nothing because you have told him, but because they have learnt it themselves. Don't teach them science, let them discover it for themselves. They should be told as little as possible and induced to discover as much as possible. Teach by doing whenever you can and fall back upon words only when doing is out of the question. My friend, all theory is grey and the golden tree of life is green.
The authors: 1-Helvetius; 2-Woodsworth; 3-Kempis 4-Alfred North Whitehead 5-Ted Sizor; 6-Pestazzoi; 7-Zen; 8-Schroedinger; 9-Zen; 10-Zen; 11-unknown; 12-Korzybski; 13-Whitehead; 14-Sizor; 15-Whitehead; 16-Whitman; 17-= Project 2061; 18-Whitehead; 19-J.S.Mill; 20-Sizor; 21-E.B. Browning; 22-John Dewey; 23-Rousseau; 24-Goethe;