=Michael Angelo.=—At the age of fifteen, Michael Angelo wrought the Mask of the Satyr, which would not be considered a work of art if that were the only product of his chisel. What he did later was the fulfillment of the prophecy embodied in the Mask. At the age of eighty, he produced the Descent from the Cross, which glorifies the Duomo in Florence. In between these productions, we find his David, his Moses, the Sistine Ceiling, with many others scarcely less notable. He rose to a higher and higher conception of art as he lived art more and more fully, and his execution kept pace with the expansion of his conception. He gave content to the word both for himself and for the world until now we associate, in our thinking, art with his name. He himself is now, in large measure, our definition of art—and that because he lived art.
=The child’s conception of truth.=—In his restricted conception, the boy conceives truth to be the mere absence of peccadillos. He thinks that his denial of the charge that he was impolite to his sister, or that he went on a foraging expedition to the pantry, is the whole truth and, indeed, all there is to truth. It requires a whole lifetime to realize the full magnitude of his misconception. In the vitalized school, he finds himself busy all day long trying to find answer to the question: What is Truth? In the Alps, there is a place called Echo Glen where a thousand rocks, cliffs, and crags send back to the speaker the words he utters. So, when this boy asks What is Truth? a thousand voices in the school and outside the school repeat the question to him: What is Truth? Abraham Lincoln tried to find the answer as he figured on the bit of board with a piece of charcoal by the firelight. Later on, he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, and in both exercises he was seeking for the meaning of truth.
=The work of the school.=—Christopher Columbus was doing the same thing in his quest, and thought no hardship too great if he could only come upon the answer. Galileo, Huxley, Newton, Tyndall, Humboldt, Darwin, Edison, and Burbank are only the schoolboys grown large in their search for the meaning of truth. They have enlarged the content of the word for us all, and by following their lead we may attain to their answers. Every school study gives forth a partial answer, and the sum of all these answers constitutes the answer which the boy is seeking. Mathematics tells part of the story, but not all of it; science tells another part, but not all of it; history tells still another part, but not all of it. Hence, it may be reiterated that one of the prime functions of the vitalized school is to invest words with the largest possible content.
QUESTIONS AND EXERCISES
1. To what extent is education the process of enlarging the content of words?
2. As a concrete illustration of the differences in the content of words, compare various definitions of education. Choose typical definitions of education to reflect the ideas of different educational periods.