Two educations

Marcus Burke, author of Team Seven, went to college on a basketball scholarship, but chose writing. Burke talks about Why Every Writer Needs Two Educations in The Atlantic as part of the magazine’s By Heart series.

About Joanne


  1. All well and good but our “education” system from first grade to grad school is designed to condition the student against the one he gives himself. To induce “school helplessness”. Oh, they try to throw a little back in in the last year of college, but it is hard to overcome a decade and a half of conditioning. And, of course, this is not new, here is a comment from 1919:

    “One of the most important functions of the class period is the development of initiative and self-reliance in pupils. These qualities are fundamental, not only in proper study, but they lie at the very basis of a democracy such as ours, and it is important that the school make provision for their development. In these days of hysteria it is essential that the future citizen be trained to stand on his own feet and to think for himself.
    “The ordinary man never trains himself to make a move unless some one tells him to do so. The advancement of successful men from position to position is due largely to this faculty of doing things without being told. Successful men have the nerve and decision to act quickly and assume the initiative in times of emergency. Men who are most in demand are the ones who can stand up under responsibility and can be counted on to do the right thing without depending on somebody else.
    “How is initiative developed? Certainly not by having the teacher take all the initiative and responsibility in the conduct of the class period. To develop initiative, the pupils must exercise initiative, and the class period must provide this opportunity. To secure this initiative, there must be a change in the conduct of the class period.”