Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Quote on children and education: Educate the children by Robert Ingersoll

Richard Danielle Art

Every child should be taught to be self-supporting, and every one should be taught to avoid being a burden on others, as they would shun death.. Every child should be taught that useful work is worship and that intelligent labor is the highest form of prayer.

Children should be taught to think, to investigate, to rely upon the light of reason, of observation and experience; should be taught to use all their senses; and they should be taught only that which in some sense is really useful. They should be taught the use of tools, to use their hands, to embody their thoughts in the construction of things. Their lives should not be wasted in the acquisition of the useless, or of the almost useless. Years should not be devoted to the acquisition of dead languages, or to the study of history which, for the most part, is a detailed account of things that never occurred. It is useless to fill the mind with dates of great battles, with the births and deaths of kings. They should be taught the philosophy of history, the growth of nations, of philosophies, theories, and, above all, of the sciences.

So, they should be taught the importance, not only of financial, but of mental honesty; to be absolutely sincere; to utter their real thoughts, and to give their actual opinions; and, if parents want honest children, they should be honest themselves. It may be that hypocrites transmit their failing to their offspring. Men and women who pretend to agree with the majority, who think one way and talk another, can hardly expect their children to be absolutely sincere.

Nothing should be taught in any school that the teacher does not know. Beliefs, superstitions, theories, should not be treated like demonstrated facts. The child should be taught to investigate, not to believe. Too much doubt is better than too much credulity. So, children should be taught that it is their duty to think for themselves, to understand, and, if possible, to know.

Real education is the hope of the future. The development of the brain, the civilization of the heart, will drive want and crime from the world. Education, real education, is the friend of honesty, of morality, of temperance.

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