The antidote to cranial rectal insertion in the academic world
I used to deliver the opening lecture of a core course to our honours students. I thought it worthwhile to present some ideas on the role of tertiary education. I had some fun quoting the likes of W.B. Yeats (“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.”) and Frank Zappa (“The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it’s not open.”) I then summarised what I believed my role was (as an academic) in the educational process, and I summed it up by paraphrasing from the Aims of The Fortean Society 1931:
– Destroy awe for Authority in the youth of the world at as tender an age as possible.
– To urge the practice of teaching the suspension of final judgement.
– To foster enlightened scepticism in young people and children;
– To make them healthy doubters and to make them suspicious of statues.
— Aims of the Fortean Society, 1931
I would still support these ideals. Postscript: The one problem I now have is that I cannot verify this list. I took it from an article by Ken Campbell in the Fortean Times from a long time ago. When I search for it on Google, I only find references back to items that I have posted. If you can confirm/correct this list, please get in touch! 🙂