in general is the voluntary training of one human being who is
undeveloped, by another who is developed.
The great value of education, in a
moral aspect, is the development of the power to resist temptation.
The most rapid and vital progress we
make in our development
is accomplished in the years before we have
reached the age to go to
It is the business of education to see that we do not lack
any essential opportunity, to make sure that necessary lines of stimuli
or of motor training have not been omitted from our development.
Education needs special type of
people, the passionate
people who never lose their
illusions, some men and women who are always young, who are always
interested in forming positive habits, and who never lose their
interest in moral guidance and instruction upon intellectual matters.
The business of the good educator (whether parent or teacher) is to see
to it that the greatest possible number of ideas acquired by students
are acquired in such a vital way that they become moving ideas,
motive-forces in the guidance of conduct.
The basic education of a student is
finished when the student has achieved a
completely fashioned Will, which will know how to control and direct
him or her among the exigencies of life, intellectual power to judge
and care for herself in every way, and a properly developed body.
However true it may be, that life itself, by means of daily exigencies,
will shape the Will into habits, will develop to some extent the
intelligence, and that the forces of nature will fashion the body into
But we know practically that the kind of character we hope to build up
through our education is one that not only has good intentions, but
that insists upon
carrying them out. Any other character is wishy-washy; it is goody, not
good. The individual must have the power to stand up and count for
something in the actual conflicts of life. He must have initiative,
insistence, persistence, courage, and industry. He must, in a word,
have all that goes under the name “force of character.”
Undoubtedly, individuals differ greatly in their native endowment in
this respect. None the less, each has a certain primary equipment of
impulse, of tendency forward, of innate urgency to do. The problem of
education on this side is that of discovering what this native fund of
power is, and then of utilizing it in such a way (affording conditions
which both stimulate and control) as to organize it into definite
conserved modes of action—habits.
The lecture and the book may tell us
look for when we are learning, and how to understand what we find. But,
in order to accept any presented lecture as a vital truth in our own
mind, it must be verified by our own
observation and experience.
my belief is—and this
is a matter upon which I should
like to have your opinion, but my own belief is—not that the good
body improves the soul, but that the good soul improves the body.
What do you say?”—Plato.