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Great Educator: Confucius 551 to 479 BCE

Confucius, or K’ung-fu-tzu, married at the age of 19, got employed as a storekeeper and later as a superintendent of parks and herds. He established a private school when he was about 30 years old (522 BCE) and gained a reputation for his expertise in ‘rituals’.

“If one loves humanness but does not love learning, the consequence of this is folly; if one loves understanding but does not love learning, the consequence of this is unorthodoxy; if one loves good faith but does not love learning, the consequence of this is damaging behaviour; if one loves straight forwardness but does not love learning, the consequence is rudeness; if one loves courage but does not love learning, the consequence of this is rebelliousness; if one loves strength but does not love learning the consequence of this is violence.”

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Great Educator: Mary Wollstonecraft 1759 to 1797

Mary Wollstonecraftleft home after receiving a haphazard education in a miserable and unloving family situation. She spent the next nine years in some of the few occupations open to unmarried women at that time. First she was a companion to a widow in Bath. Next, with the help of a sister and close friend, she established and ran a school for girls; then when that venture had to close, she became a governess.

“The most perfect education, in my opinion, is such an exercise of the understanding as is best calculated to strengthen the body and form the heart. Or, in other words, to enable the individual to attain such habits of virtue as well render it independent. In fact, it is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the exercise of it’s own reason”

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Great Educator: Thomas Henry Huxley 1825 to 1895

Thomas Henry Huxley’s research was so impressive that in 1851 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society; this however brought him no income. After a considerable career in the Navy as a voyaging surgeon, he left it to carry on his career in science.

Surely it would be the most undesirable thing in the world that one half of the population of this country should be accomplished men of letters with no tincture of science, and the other half should be men of science with no tincture of letters ?

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