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talljasperman's avatar

What is the meaning of the quote from Mark Twain "I never let my schooling interfere with my education"?

Asked by talljasperman (21866points) September 27th, 2010

I sort of understand it… but is it still relevant in todays schools? Does Mark Twain have a point?

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13 Answers

maggiechen55's avatar

Our school learning is only knowledge and a little bit of truth in life.
But one growth not only need knowledge and a little bit of truth, but rich life experience and experience,which are real life education.

muppetish's avatar

From what I understand, Twain means that one cannot leave it up to schools to turn individuals into intellectuals. His facetious comment addresses how many are under the impression that if children are sent to a well-respected grammar school / university where they will have literature, maths, and sciences beaten into their brains then they will walk out a well-versed, educated scholar who is ready to face the world. Even today, this is not the case. We should not stop learning because we walk away with a degree. We should not stop learning because we dropped out without one. It is necessary to maintain a thirst for knowledge and an apt for asking questions.

I’m in love with Mark Twain, by the way. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

talljasperman's avatar

@muppetish @maggiechen55 GA… That quote kept me from being expelled for skipping school to watch a space shuttle launch

weeveeship's avatar

Don’t be bound by conventional wisdom. I think this is best explored in Twain’s article about him and the river. Before he became a steamboat captain, he loved the river and reveled in its beauty. After he became a steamboat captain, he saw the river as a daily obstacle and annoyance that he had to deal with.

You can learn new things everyday outside of school. School is good but it can only teach you so much. There are a lot of questions in life that still have no firm answer.

GeorgeGee's avatar

It’s more important now than ever. Teachers, even the best of them, have a vested interest in keeping order in their classroom, and having students follow THEIR agenda. So students with their own plans, ambitions and creativity are routinely hammered down and suppressed. Teachers nowadays want such children to be medicated with Ritalin and other drugs to make them act more like 40 year old women and less like healthy young kids. However the big picture is inescapable. Students who learn to conform to the expectations of tired schoolteachers will go nowhere, and those who ignore their teachers and become great despite them will lead the world.

Austinlad's avatar

He meant all the world is a classroom.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It means that school is only one place that you learn, and probably the least important, because it’s an artificial learning environment with grades. A person with any sort of intelligence and curiosity can, and should, learn things on their own. Schools introduce you to concepts, but their application and expansion generally happen on your own time.

Yes, it’s still relevant. However, there are more distractions these days that kill intellect and curiosity.

Cruiser's avatar

I believe he meant that schooling only teaches you so much and real life experiences are where you learn what life is really all about. Reading the great books, touching, feeling, and interacting with the world around you is the way to true learning.

everephebe's avatar

Um…. read some sir Ken Robinson. Or watch his TEDtalk or really any TEDtalk about education. School isn’t where you learn the most, it is when you educate yourself, after you have learned how to learn. School isn’t set up for education as such. It’s a socializing, indoctrinating, homogenizing device of big business. Teachers aren’t the problem, but the system in place now, is.

I guess think about it this way. Have you learned more in school or from wikipedia, google and fluther?

everephebe's avatar

To further answer I add this quote:
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”
– Albert Einstein

CMaz's avatar

Life lessons.

wundayatta's avatar

What you learn in real life is learning you can use. School learning is theoretical and if you follow it, may lead you in the wrong direction. School is pure preparation. Real life is preparation that matters, because you aren’t playing any more.

Jeruba's avatar

I think he was making the point that education is one thing and what you find in a classroom is something else. It was meant as a reproach to formal education, saying that schooling can be an obstacle to learning, and that given a choice, real education should win out over the institution.

I think an exact parallel would be a distinction between religion, true religious worship and practice, and the activity found in churches. Nietzsche called churches the tombstones of God, and I think that’s what he meant.

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