Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
By Linda Mc
Thomas Jefferson, arguing for a publicly-funded, universally accessible, education system for the United States in 1818, wrote the following about education. See if it reminds you of anything.
‘The objects of primary education:
Thomas Jefferson: Report for the University of Virginia, 1818
Sounds like the Key Competencies, don’t you think?
It incorporates much of what is taught in the Values Curriculum as well. The intention of the piece resonates pretty well with what we teach today.
What is the relation to libraries? Jefferson, by 1814, had accumulated the largest personal library in the United States, a collection which was to become the foundation of the Library of Congress.
He recognised that his books provided him with knowledge far wider than he could attain through personal experience or travel. As librarians, we facilitate access to collections - online along with the hard copies familiar to Jefferson - as well as facilitating the creative drive necessary ‘to express and preserve… ideas’.
‘I think that by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom, and happiness.’
Letter to George Wythe, 1786
I wonder if he’d recognise his vision in our schools and libraries two hundred years later.
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