Adam Smith on education

I just read this and had to share it. It seems that universities haven’t changed radically for a good couple of centuries. That is, if Adam Smith’s writings in the Wealth of Nations are anything to go by:

The discipline of colleges and universities is in general contrived, not for the benefit of the students, but for the interest, or more properly speaking, for the ease of the masters. (Smith, 1776: V.i.f.15)

If nothing else, any suggestion of university curriculum change can now be prefaced by an Adam Smith quote.

One thought on “Adam Smith on education

  1. “Cam[illus]: Who can work on his studies all the time? Surely there’s danger that one may get his learning too hardly, for I’ve often heard from very intelligent men that immoderate work ought not to be thrown upon students, under which they break down worn out.”

    Manuale Scholarium, 1481. Robert F. Seybolt edition 1921, Chapter VI, Harvard University Press; Cornell University Library Digital Collections, 2003.

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