"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

By Masses of Complicated Fact

The whole field of education is affected -- There is no end of detail that is without significance.

Education would begin by placing in the mind of the student the nature of knowledge -- in the dead state and the nature of the force which may energize it.

This would clarify his field at once -- He would then see the use of data.

But at present knowledge is placed before a man as if it were a stair at the top of which a DEGREE is obtained which is superlative.

nothing could be more ridiculous.  To data there is no end.  There is proficiency in dissection and a knowledge of parts but in the knowledge--

It is imagination that --

That is : life is absolutely simple.  In any civilized society everyone should know EVERYTHING there is to know about life at once and always.  There should never be permitted, confusion --

There are difficulties to life, under conditions there are impasses, life may prove impossible -- But it must never be lost -- as it is today --

I remember so distinctly the young Pole in Leipzig going with hushed breath to hear Wundt lecture -- In this mass of intricate philosophic data what one of the listeners was able to maintain himself for the winking of an eyelash.  Not one.  The inundation of the intelligence by masses of complicated fact is not knowledge.  There is no end --

And what is the fourth dimension?  It is the endlessness of knowledge --

It is the imagination on which reality rides -- It is the imagination -- It is a cleavage through everything by a force that does not exist in the mass and therefore can never be discovered by its anatomization.

It is for this reason that I have always placed art first and esteemed it over science -- in spite of everything.

Art is the pure effect of the force upon which science depends for its reality -- Poetry

The effect of this realization upon life will be the emplacement of knowledge into a living current -- which it has always sought --

In other times -- men counted it a tragedy to be dislocated from sense -- Today boys are sent with dullest faith to technical schools of all sorts -- broken, bruised

few escape whole slaughter.  This is not civilization but stupidity -- Before entering knowledge the integrity of the imagination --

The effect will be to give importance to the subdivisions of experience -- which today are absolutely lost -- There exists simply nothing.

from Spring and All by William Carlos Williams (1923)

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