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Why Do We Do It?

by Thomas H. Briggs — 1931

THERE was once a man who set up a school to train leaders in the church. Being wise, he admitted only those boys who by inheritance were likely to have unusual natural gifts.1 A few others got into his school because their families were ambitious for them, but these he rapidly weeded out. The curriculum had little relation to religion, but it did have a virtue that this crafty man devised: it was so difficult, uninteresting, and long that only pupils of superior ability and persistence could survive. The graduates were nearly all successful. The very powers that enabled them to overcome the hurdles of the curriculum likewise enabled them to master the problems that life brought. Few of them went into the priesthood and almost none of them used in religion the knowledge that they had acquired, but they succeeded. They became the leading citizens—the statesmen, the masters of men in all fields of activity. And thus began the fetish of higher education.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 32 Number 7, 1931, p. 589-598
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 7080, Date Accessed: 7/16/2018 6:49:02 AM

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