Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dorothy L. Sayers on Education

Just a quick post today, because I really can't say much better than others have said it. My long-standing interest in education was awoken once more when I read this old speech by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Some teachers may find it familiar:

What use is it to pile task on task and prolong the days of labor, if at the close the chief object is left unattained? It is not the fault of the teachers--they work only too hard already. The combined folly of a civilization that has forgotten its own roots is forcing them to shore up the tottering weight of an educational structure that is built upon sand. They are doing for their pupils the work which the pupils themselves ought to do. For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.

It seemed a timely reminder of some of the traditions we might need to revive here in the British Isles and mainland Europe to help us live what one of the Cardinals was saying recently:

Today a letter written by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone was made public. This message was sent to the participants of the V European Symposium of university professors, which is being held in Rome from September 28 to October 1, on the theme: "Where is culture going? Culture, people and institutions".

He writes that in continuation of what was proposed in the speech at the University of Regensburg last September 12, the Pope indicates the "objective of a full rationality, faithful to the integral human experience, as a duty of Christian university teachers and students, an objective to be achieved through constructive dialogue with all those sharing the same passion for truth and with mutual respect for the diversities".

Cardinal Bertone states that "Based on this cultural foundation, one can work realistically towards the construction of a renewed European identity, apt to offer the world, faced with epochal challenges, a contribution of inestimable spiritual and cultural inheritance, able to forge a humanism that is rational and open to the revelation of Jesus Christ, tolerant but steadfast in its ethical principles".

VIS 060929 (200)

Source:Vatican Information Service


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