Instruments of Knowledge

Elizabeth Mayo; Charles Mayo; Robert Dunning, “A lecture on the life of Pestalozzi,” Pestalozzi and His Principles (London: Published for The Home and Colonial School Society, 1890), p.44:

One only wonders that reading, writing, and arithmetic could ever have been regarded as the foundations or elements of knowledge. It is now generally understood that they are not knowledge, but mere instruments of knowledge, most useful in the intercourse and business of life. It is to be feared that with many teachers their relation to knowledge is not sufficiently felt and applied, by the children being led to take an interest in the acquisition of the instrument for the sake of the knowledge which it obtains. It is this way that teachers fail to employ one of the most powerful motives of interest in learning to read, write and cypher … The meager explanations of the reading-lesson, and the absence of a school library in many of our schools, prove how little is understood the relation of the instrument to the work it is designed to accomplish.

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