Wells, H G - On the need for continuous education
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extract from The Presidential Address to the Educational Science Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, given on September 2nd, 1937, at Nottingham, as read by Mr, Wells
It we are to build a real modern civilisation we must go on with definite informative instruction into and even beyond adolescence. Children and young people are likely to be less numerous proportionally in the years ahead of us in all the more civilised populations and we cannot afford to consume them in premature employment after the fashion of the preceding centuries. The average age of our population is rising and this involves an upward extension of education. And so you will see I suggest what I call an undergraduate or continuation school, Grade D, the upper adolescent stage, which I presume will extend at last to every class in the population, in which at least half the knowledge acquired will be specialised in relation to interest, aptitude and the social needs of the individual. But the other half will still have to be unspecialised, it will have to be general political education. Here particularly comes in that education for citizenship to which this Educational Section is to give attention later. It seems to me altogether preposterous that nowadays our educational organisation should turn out new citizens who are blankly ignorant of the history of the world during the last twenty-five years, who know nothing of the causes and phases of the Great War and are left to the tender mercies of freakish newspaper proprietors and party organisers for their ideas about the world outlook, upon which their collective wills and actions must play a decisive part.
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Observation contributed by: John Bryant