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[Susan notes: Think of the revolution that would occur if public schools took as their number one rule the one recommended in this letter.]

Published in Brown Alumni Magazine
06/01/2014

To the editor

Regarding learning versus teaching, your useful article "Never Too Young to Learn" might have mentioned Winston S. Churchill, who used to say, "I love to learn, I just hate being taught" (Classes, March/April). That is, we're a curious. learning, thinking primate from the day of birth onwards--and maybe even in utero. But we resist unasked-for teaching and detest questioning, which is why the best school in the Philadelphia area, Open Connections, has as its number one rule: you must never ask a child a question if you already know the answer. And why the finest college eduction ever reported was in Great Britain where the reward for demonstrated learning by questions, discussion, and a paper or two was to be excused from all exams for the entire four years, i.e., they studied night and day to avoid testing! So attend to Sir Arthur Clarke, who stated, "When you have interest you have education."

Robert E. Kay '53


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