The Goal of True Education
Topic: Education & Character
We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.
Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, as Michael Luther King Jr., but later changed his name to Martin. He came from a family of pastors, with his grandfather and father both serving as pastors at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Martin Luther King Jr. attended segregated public schools and graduated from high school at the age of fifteen. He went on to earn his B.A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, where his father and grandfather had also graduated.
After completing three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary, where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, King received his B.D. degree in 1951. He then pursued graduate studies at Boston University, where he met and married Coretta Scott. King completed his doctorate in 1955 and had two sons and two daughters with Coretta. Throughout his life, Martin Luther King Jr. played a crucial role in the civil rights movement, advocating for racial equality and justice through nonviolent means. His leadership and inspiring speeches, such as his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, made him a prominent figure in the fight against segregation and discrimination. In 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to promote peaceful change and equality for African Americans. Tragically, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, but his legacy as a champion of civil rights continues to inspire people around the world.
The Purpose of Education
King, Martin Luther. “The Purpose of Education.” The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford, 3 May 2017, kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/purpose-education. Source: Maroon Tiger, Morehouse College (January-February 1947): 10.
Martin Luther King Jr.
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Martin Luther King, Jr., The Purpose of Education [Excerpt]
It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the ligitimate goals of his life.
Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one’s self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.
–Martin Luther King, Jr. [“The Purpose of Education,” Morehouse College (Atlanta, Ga.), January 1, 1947 to February 28, 1947] pp. 1-2.
Additional Martin Luther King Quotes
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not rivals.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
In need of attribution
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Education plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr. [No attribution available].