Thursday, January 18, 2007

Freedom to learn

W.E. B. Du Bois offered some valuable counsel to these young people when he wrote:
Of all the civil rights for which the world has
struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the right to
learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental.... The
freedom to learn... has been bought by bitter
sacrifice. And whatever we may think of the
curtailment of other civil rights, we should fight
to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn,
the right to have examined in our schools not only
what we believe, but what we do not believe; not
only what our leaders say, but what the leaders of
other groups and nations, and the leaders of other
centuries have said. We must insist upon this to
give our children the fairness of a start which
will equip them with such an array of facts and
such an attitude toward truth that they can have a
real chance to judge what the world is and what its
greater minds have thought it might be.

--W.E.B. Du Bois, "The Freedom to Learn"
([1949] 1970b, pp. 230-231)
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