Teaching the emotional way

Cover of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

Cover of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

There’s a scene in the film adaptation of Muriel Spark’s classic book,The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, during which headmistress McKay calls Miss Brodie to the office to chastise her for her somewhat unorthodox teaching methods.

Headmistress McKay comments on the precocity of Miss Brodie’s students.Miss Brodie accepts this remark as a compliment, not a criticism, and says:

“To me education is a leading out. The word education comes from the root ‘ex,’ meaning ‘out,’ and ‘duco,’ ‘I lead.’ To me education is simply a leading out of what is already there.”

To this, Headmistress McKay responds rather haughtily, saying:
“I had hoped there might also be a certain amount of putting in.”
Miss Brodie laughs at this notion and replies, “That would not be education, but intrusion.”

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