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Blogging On History, Science, and Education

Speaking In St. Louis With Help From William James

I'm sitting in front of my computer, thinking about what I will say as a featured speaker at the 98th (!) annual meeting of NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies). My friend William James is helping me focus. (No, I'm not quite old enough to have known him, but I think of writers I like as friends.) James wrote these words at the very time the NCSS was getting itself organized. Here they are:
"You can give humanistic value to almost anything by teaching it historically. Geology, economics, mechanics, are humanities when taught by reference to the successive achievements of the geniuses to whom these sciences owe their being. Not taught thus, literature remains grammar, art a catalogue, history a list of dates, and natural science a sheet of formulas and weights and measures." That's from "Memories and Studies, published in 1911.
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