Defining a good education 55

Posted by science on December 07, 2009

Science has been working with the Federal government for the last six months, which has been an education in itself. I ran across the following quote recently which I think is worth sharing. There’s a lot of talk in DC about a “high quality education” but often those comments are ill-informed as to what a student looks like after they have gone through such an experience. The following quotation is as good a description as I’ve seen as to what a quality education can offer:

“At school you are engaged not so much in acquiring knowledge as in making mental efforts under criticism… You go to a great school not so much for knowledge as for arts and habits; for the habit of attention, for the art of expression, for the art of assuming at a moment’s notice a new intellectual position, for the art of entering quickly into another person’s thoughts, for the habit of submitting to censure and refutation, for the art of indicating assent or dissent in graduated terms, for the habit of regarding minute points of accuracy, for the art of working out what is possible in a given time, for taste, for discrimination, for mental courage, and for mental soberness.”

– William Johnson Cory, 19th Century Headmaster at Eton

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