Do you ever over educate?

It was on Wednesday 24th July 1765 that Denis Diderot – a French philosopher, art critic and writer – wrote:

“Do not over-educate is a maxim particularly suited to boys. You should abandon them a little to their natural impulses. I prefer them to be rough, thoughtless, and wilful. Let them have the sort of appearance that suits them. If in their foolish behavior I see some sign of originality, I am satisfied. To my mind one of our unlicked provincial bear-cubs is worth a hundred of your little well-trained spaniels.
When I see a boy who listens to himself talking and holds his head up properly and walks correctly and is afraid of getting a hair out of place or a crease in his clothes, the parents may be in raptures and say, ‘What a dear little boy we have’.

But I say,
He will never be anything but a fool.”


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