Thursday, June 14, 2018

'There Is No Such Thing as Education'

Today we fly to Toronto and drive north to Aurora, Ontario, where my middle son will graduate on Friday from St. Andrew’s College, the boys’ boarding school he has attended for the last five years. In another two weeks we’ll fly him to Washington, D.C., then head to Annapolis, Md., where he will enter the United States Naval Academy on Induction Day, June 28. My immediate, self-centered thought: When I was Michael’s age – seventeen – I couldn’t have done what he’s doing. I was too childish, unfocused, undisciplined, flabby and immature. What on another occasion might stir envy – a young man’s success – instead makes me proud.

My access to time and the internet will be uncertain through the weekend. Given the nature of the next few days, I am posting in advance daily observations on the nature and importance of education by writers I admire. Today’s entry is by G.K. Chesterton in the Illustrated London News on Jan. 12, 1907:  

“The chief thing about the subject of education is that it is not a subject at all. There is no such thing as education. The thing is merely a loose phrase for the passing on to others of whatever truth or virtue we happen to have ourselves. It is typical of our time that the more doubtful we are about the value of philosophy, the more certain we are about the value of education. That is to say, the more doubtful we are about whether we have any truth, the more certain we are (apparently) that we can teach it to children. The smaller our faith in doctrine, the larger is our faith in doctors.”

1 comment:

Anon said...

Congratulations! On your family's achievement in this! Anchors aweigh!