Thursday, February 10, 2005

The more things change...

Consider this quote from Aristotle:

At present, opinion is divided about the subjects of education. People do not take the same view about what should be learned by the young, either with a view to human excellence or a view to the best possible life; nor is it clear whether education should be directed mainly to the intellect or to moral character...[,] whether the proper studies to be pursued are those that are useful in life, or those which make for excellence or those that advance the bounds of knowledge.... Men do not all honor the same distinctive human excellence and so naurally they differ about the proper training for it.

I think it's important to have an historical view of the arguments over education. We all need to be reminded from time to time that our debates should not be entered into with a spirit of trying to defeat our opponents, but instead to deepen their understanding-- and our own.


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