Sanity in Education. (Detroit Open Forum. 1 March 1926.)
Standardization is the real calamity of education. The isolation of the individual has destroyed the character building value of the school. There is not enough to intimate contact between pupils and teachers, especially in the higher institutions of learning. Dr. Little is to be commended for his attempt to break down the aloofness between students and professors at the University of Michigan.
Rigid, inflexible courses and cast iron curricula have made an educational machine, attuned to the idea of grades and ages. What we need is education for all of the people all of the time. Learning isn't necessarily confined to youth. When you think that your education is finished, don't hang around any longer; take chloroform and make a permanent departure.
Education does not always depend on schools and books. Learning to use the brain and the senses is the real purpose of all education. How to make the most of your environment is what you need to know. How thankful America should be that some millionaire didn't discover Lincoln and send him through college and thus deprive him of the contacts and experience that made him great. A great many formal schools need a resurrection to awaken the dead.
The school can't do everything and there are some of the elemental teachings that must come from the home life of the child.
Self-reliance and self-sacrifice, obedience, sobriety and truths are old fashioned virtues that should be taught at home. It is highly probable that the present open violation of law has some relation to the disintegration of the American home.