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Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery 
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Post Re: Chapters 1-3: Up From Slavery
Robert Tulip wrote:
Booker T Washington wrote:
Chapter 3: The older I grow, the more I am convinced that there is no education which one can get from books and costly apparatus that is equal to that which can be gotten from contact with great men and women.
One trouble with learning from books is that we choose the books we read, and so can be quite selective in what we encounter. As well, spending time in person with other human beings forces us to react and engage in ways that mere book learning does not do. Great people have the wisdom of experience and insight that can cut through the problems a person is facing and provide mentoring and recommendations and contacts and opportunities in a way that book learning cannot.

My own bias has been toward book learning, and I think that has made it harder for me to engage constructively with people in person. But this is quite a dilemma. Booker T Washington probably achieved his political success as an institutional leader and community leader as a result of being able to engage face to face. There are other types of success which rely on book learning. I am sure that Booker T is not in the slightest denigrating book learning with this comment, just calling for balance. But there are people who succeed in the world of wits and interaction who see the world of ideas as irrelevant, and this causes a diminishment of social values.

His denigrating of book learning is partly situational, since in his observation what the "Negro race" needs after slavery is a way to rise in the estimation of white society by providing the things that society finds most useful. It's farmers, masons, builders, manufacturers, and doctors, but not lawyers and politicians. It's also partly an educational philosophy, learning by doing, that has had other proponents such as John Dewey. Today education seems to be heading more in that direction with the emphasis on students getting out of the classroom to apply and pick up knowledge. I think it's the best way to go.



Thu May 05, 2016 3:01 pm
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