Education and the Social Order (Routledge Classics)
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Bertrand Russell was renowned for his provocative views on education. Considered an educational innovator, Russell attempted to create the perfect learning institution. Despite the failure of this practical vision, it did not stop him from continuing to strive towards inventing and arguing for a system of education free from repression. In Education and the Social Order, Russell dissects the motives behind educational theory and practice, and in doing so lays out original and controversial arguments for the reformation of the education of the individual.
aristocratic class. Aristocracy is now out of date, and England, by maintaining it, is coming to be viewed as a curious survival, like the marsupials. For this reason, rather than from any error of detail, Eton no longer has the importance that it had a hundred years ago. Whatever system of education is to fit men to take their place in the modern world, it must not be an aristocratic system. Democratic education unadulterated has evils which are as great as those of aristocracy, if not greater.
imagination is to be valuable, its emancipation from fact must not spring from ignorance, but from a certain lack of slavishness. Farinata degli Uberti held Hell in great contempt, in spite of having to live there for ever. It is this attitude towards fact that is most likely to promote fruitful imagination in the adult. To pass to more concrete considerations, take such a matter as children’s drawing and painting. Most children, from about five years old to about eight, show considerable
attraction between boys and girls. Information on sexual subjects should not be excessive, since, if it is, ‘the result can only be the stimulation of an unhealthy and, one can suppose, an insufficiently chaste attitude towards the sex relationship’. He repudiates with horror a suggestion that children should observe coitus in dogs, chickens, cattle, and horses, and says: ‘If questions of sex are not singled out for separate and special emphasis, the attention of children and adolescents will not
examine their opinion, we must, therefore, decide what it is that we should wish education to accomplish if possible: on this question there are as many divergent views as there are conceptions of human welfare. But there is one great temperamental cleavage which goes deeper than any of the other controversies, and that is the cleavage between those who consider education primarily in relation to the individual psyche, and those who consider it in relation to the community. Assuming (as will be
Gordon 55 Byzantine tradition 7, 10–11 Caesar 163 capitalism 62, 77, 101, 103, 104, 110, 114; communism contrasted 126, 134 Catholicism see Roman Catholicism Cavendish, Henry 109 celibacy 82 change, advocate of 9 children: institutions, care in 129; private property in 104–5 children’s homes 129 China 13, 50, 51; liberation of 169; respect for learning 143; Taoism in 70 Christ 4 Christianity 5–6, 70, 71, 75; codes 80; ethics see ethics, Christian; Gospels 79; versus Islam