Tuesday 29 August 2023

 Jane Ellen Harrison On Education

Jane Ellen Harrison (1850-1928), ‘Reminiscences of a Student’s Life’, Arion, 4.2 (1965; first pub. 1925), p.324.

Though I have lived most of my life with educationalists, I have little interest in education. I dislike schools, both for boys and girls. A child between the ages of eight and eighteen, the normal school years, is too young to form a collective opinion, children only set up foolish savage taboos. I dislike also all plans for “developing a child's mind,” and all conscious forms of personal influence of the younger by the elder. Let children early speak at least three foreign languages, let them browse freely in a good library, see all they can of the first-rate in nature, art, and literature—above all, give them a chance of knowing what science and scientific method means, and then leave them to sink or swim. Above all things, do not cultivate in them a taste for literature.