Goethe on education

Writes, Rick Rozoff:

In some states, as a consequence of the violent movements experienced in almost all directions, there has come about a certain overpressure in the system of education, the harm of which will be more generally felt hereafter; though even now it is perfectly well recognised by capable and honest authorities. Capable men live in a sort of despair over the fact that they are bound by the rules of their office to teach and communicate things which they look upon as useless and hurtful.

The most important matters of feeling as of reason, of experience as of reflection, should be treated of only by word of mouth. The spoken word at once dies if it is not kept alive by some other word following on it and suited to the hearer. Observe what happens in social converse. If the word is not dead when it reaches the hearer, he murders it at once by a contradiction, a stipulation, a condition, a digression, an interruption, and all the thousand tricks of conversation. With the written word the case is still worse. No one cares to read anything to which he is not already to some extent accustomed: he demands the known and the familiar under an altered form. Still the written word has this advantage, that it lasts and can await the time when it is allowed to take effect.