Monday, February 8, 2010

Contra Vocational Education

A couple of thoughts against a mere vocational education:

"You are put to a stern choice. . . .You must either make a tool of the creature, or a man of him. You cannot make both. Men are not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions. If you will have that precision out of them, and make their fingers measure degrees like cog-wheels, and their arms strike curves like compasses, you must unhumanize them." -- John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice.

"I insist that the object of all true education is not to make men carpenters, it is to make carpenters men; there are two means of making the carpenter a man, each equally important: the first is to give the group and community in which he works, liberally trained teachers and leaders to teach him and his family what life means; the second is to give him sufficient intelligence and technical skill to make him an efficient workman . . ." W.E.B. DuBois, The Talented Tenth.

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