DECEMBER 30, 1942
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—One of the most interesting points in Vice President Wallace's speech is the realization that education in the aggressor countries must be watched in the future. Implicit, however, in that acknowledgement is the fact that education must be watched everywhere.
If we are going to live in a world ruled by true democracy, then it is essential that every human being receives the kind of education that will best develop his faculties. In addition, each and every one of us must become conscious of the fact that we have an obligation to think for ourselves so that we may function as citizens. We must base our actions on facts and use them to determine what type of action we want taken by our representatives in government.
The importance of all education lies far more in the training of minds than in any facts which may be absorbed, for trained minds will ascertain the facts as they need to know them. Having learned to reason and to weigh the information they discover, people with such minds will be more nearly educated than any amount of cramming of definite facts into their heads will make them.
If we look at education not as something to end at any special point, but as a preparation whereby we can attain the means to acquire whatever we need in life, we shall have a truer perspective on what we want to achieve through our educational system.
In the early grades the tools must be provided. We must learn to read, write and figure. After that, it depends on the individual. Some people develop better mentally through the use of their hands. To others, a classic type of education brings the greatest satisfaction. To others, scientific studies make a greater appeal. Once you have your tools in hand, then the development should be along individual lines.
I am going to New York City this morning in order to speak this afternoon on the radio for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and then to attend the dinner for Senator Norris, where I am to have the honor of presenting him the bust made by Mr. Jo Davidson. I am anxious to see this bust, because I think no artist has a greater gift for catching and reproducing the real personality of his subject. I shall be back here for breakfast tomorrow morning.