Kurt Hahn

German educator (1886-1974)

Kurt Hahn (5 June 188614 December 1974) was a German-born British educator and founder of several innovative educational movements, including Outward Bound.

Quotes edit

  • Whenever you have to deal with a boy who is a rebel, remember that you must not fail at some time or other to get him to face the question, Are you going to be a fighter or a quarreller?
    • Quoted by Sir Robert Birley in Kurt Hahn: A Life Span in Education and Politics, ed. Herman Röhrs, 1966, tr. 1970, ISBN 0710068859, Foreword, p. xv.
  • What is it that is done to our children that their puberty should deform them? They have the joy of movement; they have an enterprising curiosity; they are ready for sensible self-denial; they dream ahead, and they have a faithful memory, and, above all, great compassion. [...] The well-meaning educator who flatters and humours the young not only does a disservice to the community, but also damages the individual by depriving him of the opportunities of self-discovery.
  • There can be no doubt that the youth of today have to be protected against certain poisonous effects inherent in present-day civilization. Five social diseases surround them, even in early childhood.

    There is the decline in fitness due to modern methods of locomotion; the decline in initiative due to the widespread disease of spectatoritis; the decline in care and skill due to the weakened tradition of craftsmanship; the decline in self-discipline due to the ever-present availability of tranquilizers and stimulants, and the decline in compassion, which William Temple called "spiritual death."

  • The passion of rescue reveals the highest dynamic of the human soul.
  • I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self denial, and above all, compassion.
  • An eminent man challenged me to explain what sailing in a schooner could do for international education. In reply, I said we had at that moment the application before us for a future king of an Arab country to enter Gordonstoun. I happened to have at the school some Jews... If the Arab and one of these Jews were to go out sailing on our schooner, perhaps in a Northeasterly gale, and if they were become thoroughly seasick together, I would have done something for international education.

Attributed edit

  • It is a sin of the soul to force young people into opinions … but it is culpable neglect not to impel young people into experiences.
    • John Gookin, NOLS Wilderness Wisdom: Quotes for Inspirational Exploration (2003), ISBN 0811726460, p. 45.
  • There are three ways of trying to win the young. You can preach at them—that is a hook without a worm. You can say, "You must volunteer"—that is of the devil. And you can tell them, "You are needed"—that appeal hardly ever fails.
    • John Gookin, NOLS Wilderness Wisdom: Quotes for Inspirational Exploration (2003), ISBN 0811726460, p. 45.

External links edit

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