新概念英语Lesson 41 The Origin of Things

Education is one of the key words of our time. A man without an education, many of us believe, is
an unfortunate victim of adverse circumstances deprived of one of the greatest twentieth-century
opportunities. Convinced of the importance of education, modern states 'invest' in institutions of
learning to get back 'interest' in the form of a large group of enlightened young men and women
who are potential leaders. Education, with its cycles of instruction so carefully worked out,
punctuated by text-books--those purchasable wells of wisdom--what would civilization be like
without its benefits ?
So much is certain: that we would have doctors and preachers, lawyers and defendants, marriages
and births--but our spiritual outlook would be different. We would lay less stress on 'facts and
figures' and more on a good memory, on applied psychology, and on the capacity of a man to get
along with his fellow citizens. If our educational system were fashioned after its bookless past we
would have the most democratic form of 'college' imaginable. Among the people whom we like to
call savages all knowledge inherited by tradition is shared by all; it is taught to every member of
the tribe so that in this respect everybody is, equally equipped for life.
It is the ideal condition of the 'equal start' which only our most progressive forms of modern
education try to regain. In primitive cultures the obligation to seek and to receive the traditional
instruction is binding to all. There are no 'illiterates '--if the term can be applied to peoples without
a script--while our own compulsory school attendance became law in Germany in 1642, in France
in 1806, and in England in 1876, and is still non-existent in a number of 'civilized' nations. This
shows how long it was before we deemed it necessary to make sure that all our children could
share in the knowledge accumulated by the 'happy few' during the past centuries.
Education in the wilderness is not a matter of monetary means. All are entitled to an equal start.
There is none of the hurry which, in our society, often hampers the full development of a growing
personality. There, a child grows up under the ever-present attention of his parents, therefore the
jungles and the savannahs know of no 'juvenile delinquency.' No necessity of making a living
away from Home results in neglect of children, and no father is confronted with his inability to
'buy' an education for his child.
New words and expressions 生词短语
inherit vt.继承 disinherit v.剥夺继承权
illiterate n. 文盲 literary a. 文学的 literature n.文学
circum=surrounding 周围的