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Education and the pleasure of thinking

Edith Hamilton — a worthy intellectual companion indeed — once said something that ought to be emblazoned on the wall of every classroom and discussed at length by every teacher and teacher-wannabe, so wonderfully does it encapsulate a vital truth that cuts neatly through the endless layers of bullshit that encrust the contemporary theory and praxis of education:

It has always seemed strange to me that in our endless discussions about education, so little stress is laid on the pleasure of becoming an educated person, the enormous interest it adds to life. To be able to be caught up into the world of thought — that is to be educated (from The Saturday Evening Post, September 27, 1958).

This is more than tangentially related to a famous and worthwhile observation from Sydney J. Harris:

The primary purpose of a liberal education is to make one’s mind a pleasant place in which to spend one’s leisure.

Oh, how I wish these subversive (in the contemporary environment) quotes could be dropped like philosophical bombs on the bloated and technique-infested corporatocratic corruption that is the modern American higher education establishment.