ERIC Number: ED166775
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: N/A
Thomas Jefferson and the Purposes of Education.
Bailey, Stephen K.
Thomas Jefferson believed that no generation should be bounded by the dead hand of the past. If reincarnated, he would probably disown attempts to use his own precepts for either censure or praise of contemporary movements. He would instead ask us to solve our own problems by using our minds creatively in the context of a politically free society. For Jefferson, this was the ultimate purpose of education. Many of Jefferson's specific educational assumptions and recommendations are, if taken in their appropriate context, starkly irrelevant to our present age. Yet four important propositions that he advocated or embodied have the power to illuminate our future and the role of education in it. (1) Education is a means and must be useful and timely. (2) Education is a highly legitimate claimant on public treasuries. (3) Education is a necessary handmaiden to effective citizenship. (4) Education, as a lifelong encounter with the delights of the mind, is an end in itself. These four propositions constitute the rich and pertinent legacy of Jefferson's life and letters to us. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Democratic Values, Educational History, Educational Objectives, Educational Philosophy, Educational Theories
Not available separately--see EA 011 280
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa, Bloomington, IN.