By Bruce Deitrick Price:
Believe it or not, there was once a time when the ideal purpose was to teach lots of stuff. Any serious stuff. The diameter of the Earth. What’s the Amazon? Why do people still talk about Alexander the Great?
This might sound like an apocryphal story, but people had textbooks full of information, teachers discussed this information, and students learned it for life.
Facts and knowledge were assumed to have an intrinsic value. You ought to know this stuff. There was a second benefit in discussing lots of facts. Your brain becomes more facile at juggling, comparing, and analyzing various kinds of new information. This facility was once upon a time the very essence of education.
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