I will tell you what has been the practical error of the last twenty years - not to load the memory of the student with a mass of undigested knowledge but to force on him so much that he has rejected all.

It has been the error of distracting and enfeebling the mind by an unmeaning profusion of subjects; of implying that a smattering in a dozen branches of study is not shallowness which it really is, but enlargement which it is not; of considering an acquaintance with the learned names of things and persons, and the possession of clever duodecimos and attendance on eloquent lecturers all... membership with scientific institutions, and the sight of the experiments on a platform, and the specimens of a museum, that all this was not dissipation of mind, but progress.

All things now are to be learned at once, not first one thing, then another, not one well, but many badly.

Learning is to be without exertion, without attention without toil; without grounding,' without advance, without finishing. There is to be nothing individual in it and this, forsooth, is the wonder of the age.

What the steam-engine does with matter, the printing press is to do with mind; it is to act mechanically, and the population is to be passively, almost unconsciously, enlightened by the mere multipliction and dissemination of volumes.

- Malaya Catholic Newsletter, July 2, 1950 (1950.pdf pp10)

NEWMAN ON EDUCATION

I will tell you what has been the

practical error of the last twenty

years - not to load the memory of

the student with a mass of undigested

knowledge but to force on him so

much that -he has rejected all. It

has been the error of distracting and

enfeebling the mind by an unmeaning

profusion of subjects; of implying

that a smattering in a dozen

branches of study is not shallowness

which it really is, but enlargement

which it is not; of considering an

acquaintance with the learned names

of things and persons, and the

possession of clever duodecimos and

attendance on eloquent lecturers all ...

membership with scientific institutions,

and the sight of the experiments

on a platform, and the

specimens of a museum, that all this

was not dissipation of mind, but

progress. All things now are to be

learned at once, not first one thing,

then another, not one well, but many

badly. Learning is to be without

exertion, without attention without

toil; without grounding,' without

advance, without finishing. There is

to be nothing individual in it· and

this, forsooth, is the wonder of the

age. What the steam-engine does

With matter, the printing press is to

do with mind; it is to act mechanically,

and the population is to

be  passively, almost unconsciously,

enlightened by the mere multipliction

and dissemination of volumes.

- Malaya Catholic Newsletter, July 2, 1950 (1950.pdf pp10)

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter