Experiment in Education: What We Can Learn from Teaching Germany

Experiment in Education: What We Can Learn from Teaching Germany

Experiment in Education: What We Can Learn from Teaching Germany

Experiment in Education: What We Can Learn from Teaching Germany

Excerpt

Teaching and learning are always going on in a silent way, among nations as among individuals. Knowledge, techniques, cultural achievements spread, not quite automatically but without the aid of conscious educative efforts, wherever travel and communication reach. For knowledge, widely reputed to be "power" and sometimes sought as such, is first of all light -- valued first for what it is and only afterward for what it can do; and like light, it tends -- as if by a propulsion of its own -- to spread without limit in all directions.

To be sure, knowledge can be possessed as private property. Much of it is so possessed; some of it is worn as a plume or as a badge of authority or is taken as a source of personal power -- the least justifiable of human prides. Even so, with every such treasure there goes an uneasy yen to transmit it -- if not to "others" in general, at least to someone else: witness the glee and relief of a child whispering to a confidante a "secret!" History begins with strong proprietary feelings toward the cultural possessions of tribe and nation. We still speak of "our" science, "our" law, "our" way of living. These are, in sum, our national character -- what else have we? It was in his day a revolutionary policy when Alexander, himself a pensioner on Athenian lore, determined . . .

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