Mussolini and a certain baggage of concrete facts

In this post here I noted that E.D. Hirsch often cites Antonio Gramsci’s work in defence of his ideas. The quotation he (and others) often refer to is this one:

The new concept of schooling is in its romantic phase, in which the replacement of “mechanical” by “natural” methods has become unhealthily exaggerated. Previously pupils at least acquired a certain baggage of concrete facts. Now there will no longer be any baggage to put in order. The most paradoxical aspect of it all is that the new type of school is advocated as being democratic, while in fact it is destined not merely to perpetuate social differences but crystallize them in Chinese complexity.

Intriguingly, Gramsci wrote this in response to Mussolini’s Italian educational reforms. These reforms were based on the idea that traditional education was  ‘narrow, formal and sterile’. Some references here, more in Hirsch, The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them.


2 thoughts on “Mussolini and a certain baggage of concrete facts

  1. Pingback: Execution of Mussolini (1945) « News World Wide

  2. Don Hirsch

    Daisy (May I), I’m delighted by your citing of Gramsci, and thought you would like to know about an exchange I had with Professor Buttigieg, an important Gramsci scholar, on a point of translation and interpretation. But I can’t figure out your email address so I can forward the emails to you.

    I much admire your blog, and your comments on the BBC program.

    E D Hirsch


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