"I am not fully informed of the practices at Harvard, but there is one from which we shall certainly vary, although it has been copied, I believe, by nearly every college and academy in the United States. That is, the holding the students all to one prescribed course of reading, and disallowing exclusive application to those branches only which are to qualify them for the particular vocations to which they are destined. We shall, on the contrary, allow them uncontrolled choice in the lectures they shall choose to attend, and require elementary qualification only, and sufficient age."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
in a letter to George Ticknor, 1823
The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition 15:455 (Lipscomb and Bergh, editors), 1903-04
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Reader comments about this quote:
I like the blending of the differing concepts.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    YES THE LEFT GRABBED CONTROL OF TEACHERS,UNIONS,&POLITICAL EDUCATION OF DIF AREAS OF THE MASSES NOW WHAT??
     -- BOB.HESS, @YAHOO     
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    Unlike the statists of today, Jefferson stated his thoughts, but he forced them on no one.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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     -- jm doslobos, washington ut      
    Sounds great. Jefferson's vision was that any citizen of the state could attend school with the sole criterion being ability. I wonder if the University of Virginia is still structured that way?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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