According to Neil Postman


A few penetrating and insightful quotes from Neil Postman (1931-2003) relating to education:

At its best, schooling can be about how to make a life, which is quite different from how to make a living.

When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.

There was a time when educators became famous for providing reasons for learning; now they become famous for inventing a method.

Thomas Jefferson. . . knew what schools were for–to ensure that citizens would know when and how to protect their liberty. . . It would not have come easily to the mind of such a man, as it does to political leaders today, that the young should be taught to read exclusively for the purpose of increasing their economic productivity.

Free human dialogue, wandering wherever the agility of the mind allows, lies at the heart of education. If teachers do not have the time, the incentive, or the wit to produce that; if students are too demoralized, bored, or distracted to muster the attention their teachers need of them, then THAT is the educational problem which has to be solved. . . That problem . . . is metaphysical in nature, not technical.

[A great] reason for schooling: to provide our youth with the knowledge and will to participate in the great experiment; to teach them how to argue, and to help them discover what questions are worth arguing about.

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