Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday’s Quote: Chesterton on education

c/o The Guy with the Glasses
Having authored dozens of books, hundreds of short stories and several thousand essays in his lifetime, Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was “a man of colossal genius” whose intriguing, if not groundbreaking, take on a plethora of topics established this London-born sage of Christian apologetics among modern history’s most extraordinary intellectuals.

Below is a selection of his opinions about education, which evidently ring just as true today as they did a century ago.


“IT is rare to come across anyone enthusiastic for our system of elementary instruction. It is not common to find anyone who is even free from grave misgivings about it. Nobody seems very keen about education — least of all the educators. I have a huge personal respect for the teachers in the Church and State schools, in regard to their untiring cheerfulness, industry, and courage. But I never met one of them who seemed at all certain that the system was doing any good.”
~ from Chesterton’s piece in The Illustrated London News; August 24, 1912

“IT is the great paradox of the modern world that at the very time when the world decided that people should not be coerced about their form of religion, it also decided that they should be coerced about their form of education.”
~ from Chesterton’s offering in The Illustrated London News; August 8, 1925

“NO MAN who worships education has got the best out of education; no man who sacrifices everything to education is even educated. I need not mention here the many recent examples of this monomania, rapidly turning into mad persecution, such as the ludicrous persecution of the families who live on barges. What is wrong is a neglect of principle; and the principle is that without a gentle contempt for education, no gentleman's education is complete.”
~ from Chesterton’s essay, The Superstition of School

“WE believe that a purely intellectual conspiracy will soon threaten the very existence of civilization, that the scientific and artistic worlds are silently bound in a crusade against the Family and the State. We have formed a special corps of policemen, policemen who are also philosophers. It is our business to watch the beginnings of this conspiracy.
~ from Chesterton’s novel, The Man Who Was Thursday

1 comment:

Phil said...

The man had a way with words. No question.