I Wanna Be Literated! 099

I Wanna Be Literated! 099

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Friday, 26 February 2016
COLUMN

A critical evaluation of On Education by Bertrand Russell.

Bertrand Russell’s irreverent take on social institution continues through On Education. Here, as expected, Russell takes a very liberal approach regarding how children should be educated and considers the value of ornamental and practical education and its goals (“Hamlet, on the other hand, will not be much use in practical life, except in those rare cases where a man is called upon to kill his uncle”). It also bares noting that Russell himself started a school for children with the help of his wife at the time – and that this school lasted only about 5 years. So, as one can expect (again), Russell has much to say about how children should be raised and educated, especially since he’s had some experience with this himself.
Although there is a chapter here on university education, On Education remains focused largely on the education of children from birth up to 14 or so, and is full of Russell’s ideas on child-rearing which are probably controversial even today. Here Russell argues that children should be given an education based on love and truth with the company of other children, devoid of superstition, guilt and lies and that one must give children the freedom to develop and discover themselves and the world, and a bit worryingly, that simple explanations should suffice in preventing any unwanted or detrimental behavior in children. He assures us that these methods work since they have worked on his children. In addition, women should be given the same education as men and independence should be fostered in both.

Full of Russell’s trademark wit and charm, get ready for sentences like, ”At first, the movement of the toes is purely reflex, then the baby discovers they can be moved at will. This gives all the pleasure of an imperialist conquering a foreign country,” you’re in for an entertaining read. [Ollie Ottoman]

Author:
www.mcmaster.ca/russdocs/russell.htm

www.facebook.com/russellbertie/

Novel:
On Education is available now. Buy it here on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Bertrand-Russell-Education-Joe-Park/dp/0415752752/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456510166&sr=8-1&keywords=Bertrand+Russell+-+On+Education

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