E. B. White – Writings from The New Yorker 1927-1976 (1942)

Education is such a serious matter, we speak of it with trepidation. We remember, with sober and contrite heart, that our educational system was responsible for (among others) the group of citizens who for two years did everything in their power to prove that the war which was going on did not involve us, that nothing was happening abroad which was of any consequence in our lives, that the earth was not round. Those people—millions of them—were all educated in American schools by non-crackpots. They were brought up on American curricula. They damn near did us in. They are ready again to do us in, as soon as an opening presents itself—which will be immediately after hostilities cease. On the basis of the record, it would seem that we need what crackpots we can muster for education in our new world. We need educators who believe that character is more precious than special knowledge, that vision is not just something arrived at through a well-ground lens, and that a child is the most hopeful (and historically the most neglected) property the Republic boasts.

“No Crackpots?”

Leave a Reply