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Education: The Fury of a Storm or the Music of a Drizzle

Editor's Pick From the Archive Reflections on Teaching

Education: The Fury of a Storm or the Music of a Drizzle

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Two readings triggered my thinking about contrasting images for education. In Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, Mr. Thomas Gradgrind tells us that education is stuffing facts into the minds of students. The more, the better. The quicker, the better. In current terms he favors “information bombardment.” It is a storm, a downpour of information on students. In contrast, the poem “A Tree Telling of Orpheus” offers an image of education as melodious music—slow, subtle, and yet touching to the very end of every nerve. Real education is not a storm, but a drizzle.

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