Fact or fiction this piece makes the point about character development being more important than intellectual development – though if we can have both we have ‘light upon light’;
‘Many years ago a copy of this letter came my way – supposedly issued by a high school principal to his/her teachers on the first day of school. It was seminal in the development of my world-view – and it is worthy of re-circulation;
I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness:
Gas chambers built by learned engineers.
Children poisoned by educated physicians.
Infants killed by trained nurses.
Women and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates.
So, I am suspicious of education.
My request is: Help your students become human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmans.
Reading, writing, arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more human.’