The antidote to cranial rectal insertion in the academic world

“Destroy awe for Authority…”

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! 🙂  statue


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This entry was posted on May 3, 2014 by in Scholarship and tagged , , , , .
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