Topic: Education and Children
From The Margaret Mead Symposium: Whither the United States in the World?
Commemorating the centennial of the birth of Margaret Mead.
December 2 & 3, 2001
Sponsors: Library of Congress and The Smithsonian Institution
What is the real goal of education? Panelists discuss the importance of curiosity and what a society conveys to its children through education.
Encouraging Curiosity Not Just Education
Speaker: Mary Catherine Bateson
President, Institute for Intercultural Studies, Inc.
Speaker: Gail Leftwich
President, Federation of State Humanities Councils
Speaker: Daniel Metraux
Chairman of Asian Studies, Mary Baldwin College
Bateson argues that education frequently discourages curiosity, and speculates that curiosity is actively discouraged to reduce tensions. She goes on to say that it would be better to engender curiosity rather than preach tolerance. Metraux points out Mead’s belief that the best way to know one’s own culture is to go outside of it.
Children Are the Future
Speaker: Craig Kielburger
Founder and Chairman, Free the Kids
Kielburger discusses Mead’s belief that each civilization conveys different things children, and the dichotomy he sees between children growing up in developing and developed countries.