Thursday, December 12, 2013

Montaigne on unwilling students

"You still can't discuss the differences between objective and projective psychological tests?"



From Gilbert Highet's brilliant book, The Art of Teaching:

The real job for which teachers are trained and paid is to help the young to learn. It should not be necessary also to make them learn....Of course there has always been resistance to school discipline and reluctance to learn hard and boring things. Scarcely anyone learns the multiplication table for fun....But it seems to me that resistance [to learning] was not shown by entire classes of youths and girls, year after year, until education ceased to be a privilege sought after by the the few and became a compulsion inflicted on everyone....If [education] is surrounded and sanctioned by disciplines, [students] come to hate it. If it is made easy and delightful, they don't take it seriously....For this problem I see no solution except the radical one of declaring such numskulls unfit for education in book-work, and devising trade-schools, outdoor schools like the CCC camps, and domestic schools, to occupy their strong hands until they grow up. (Montaigne, who was a mild enough man and devoted to kindness as an educational ideal, had no solution either. He said that if a boy refused to learn or proved quite incapable of it, "his tutor should strangle him, if there are no witnesses, or else he should be apprenticed to a pastry-cook in some good town.")





 
 
 
 
 
 

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