University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Fortieth annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Beloit, Wis., November, 1911. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays and discussions relating to the dairy interests

Jones, Jenkin Lloyd
Address. The three R's: a plea for the better education,   pp. 26-28 PDF (650.5 KB)

Page 27

Wisconsin Dairymen's Association.             27
I am an alumnus of the log schoolhouse; a log schoolhouse built in
the middle of the road, because it was built before the road was there;
I got ahead of the surveyor. It would ill become me then to speak
lightly of the old three R's that were considered the adequate founda-
tion of an education in the old schoolhouse, readin'. 'ritin' and 'rith-
metic. But it has become clear that there is need of something more
fundamental than these R's in the development of character and the
training of citizens. These R's serve the rogue as well as the painter,
the forger as well as the honest man.
There is much said in these days of the higher education-none too
much. But I plead for the better education, that which was outlined
by the great philosopher and pedagogue, Goethe, in his story of
'Wilhelm Meister".
In that scheme reverence was made the fundamental object of edu
cation, "for," he said, "this was a grace always acquired;
no child is
born reverent."
In his training school for boys there were three classes; the boys on
the front form were taught or occasions calculated to stir deep and high
feeling, to fold their arms before them and cast their eyes upward
and to think of the marvels above.
The next higher class on similar occasions was taught to fold their
arms behind them and cast their eyes downward, and think of the
nwarvelous beauty in things lowly.
The third and highest clads on similar occasions was taught to drop
their arms beside them, and in military phrase to "touch elbows"
cast their eye's to the right and left, "form line," and think
of the
sanctities of the human, the marvel in their neighbor's eyes.
These, then, constitute the three R's, more fundamental than reading,
writing or arithmetic; the reverence with the upward look, the rev-
erence with the downward look, the reverence with the 'round look.
And reverence in this connection means not only the old attitude to-
ward the divine, but also necessarily it means respect for and deference
to those in authority, tenderness towards the dependent and the help-
less, respect for old age.
To develop these three reverences is the object of this lesson.
The first reverence was the primitive reverence, reaching back to the
shepherd priests, who watched the stars and clothed them with divine
The second reverence is peculiarly the gift of modern thought.
Darwin, the great scientist of the 19th century dwelt upon the high
services of the worm; he sickened at the thought of hunting, the taking
by man of that which cannot be restored. * * *
Lincoln, the great twin brother of destiny, born on the same night as
Darwin, was tender to the bird and the dog.
, 1

Go up to Top of Page