Ralph Emerson Education Essay

We chase some flying scheme, or we are hunted by some fear or command behind us.

But if suddenly we encounter a friend, we pause; our heat and hurry look foolish enough; now pause, now possession, is required, and the power to swell the moment from the resources of the heart.

A liberating education, to Emerson, gives students the ability to challenge those in power when necessary.

Cooperative learning and a continued use of creative teaching methods are keys to the kind of true student achievement that motivated Emerson's writing on education.

Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say,—'Come out unto us.' But keep thy state; come not into their confusion.

The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosity.

No man can come near me but through my act.” ― “Doubt not, O poet, but persist.

Say 'It is in me, and shall out.' Stand there, balked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until at last rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power transcending all limit and privacy, and by virtue of which a man is the conductor of the whole river of electricity.” ― “When we are young, we spend much time and pains in filling our note-books with all definitions of Religion, Love, Poetry, Politics, Art, in the hope that, in the course of a few years, we shall have condensed into our encyclopaedia the net value of all the theories at which the world has yet arrived.

" my friend suggested,—"But these impulses may be from below, not from above." I replied, "They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil's child, I will live then from the Devil." No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.

Educational debate would be mightily enhanced in this country if we drew on earlier traditions in American educational and cultural thought.


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