6.02.2009

The Aim and End of Education

By Lola Ridge

(Former organizer of the Modern School in New York. In ' 'Everyman.'')

What do we imagine to be the end and aim of education? Most people will say, the acquisition of knowledge. Knowledge of what? Of oneself, of humanity, of life ? If this was the ideal, as conceived by the builders of the present system, it has not been attained; or perhaps the system, like a Frankenstein creation, has grown beyond all intent of its sponsors, exhibiting a diabolic and independent will. . . .

Let us examine the effect of public school education upon the psychology of the child; then we shall see if we are "wasting our energies."

In the first place, no gardener would think of giving each plant the same amount of air and sun, and the same quality of soil. Yet this is exactly what you are doing to your children, and there are as many different kinds of children as there are different kinds of flowers. Why pay more attention to the cultivation of a vegetable than to the development of a human being? Each child requires individual attention, individual understanding, and individual mental food.

One New York branch of the Ferrer School has its headquarters at Pythian Hall. 1914 Madison Avenue, New York City.

Senator Nelson. I suppose they have night schools for adults?

Mr. Stevenson. Yes; the school is a regular school for teaching- anarchy to children as well as adults.

Senator Nelson. I mean, they have night schools for adults in that line?

Mr. Stevenson. I am not sure whether the Ferrer School has. I am sorry to say that I can not enlighten you on that point, but they give a series of lectures.

It might be of interest to give you a few of the titles:

On November 17, 1918. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn lectures on "Economic reconstruction." She is an I. W. W., as well as a sympathizer of the "Anarchist."

On Sunday, November 24, " The spirit of the mob, a factor in revolution," by J. Edward Morgan.

December 1, " The anarchist's relation to the law," by Lola Ridge: and similar lectures are carried on in New York.

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