About education

The light of comprehension

Next to God, I have a loving father to thank not only for life and its sustenance during my childhood and youth, which most parents provide for their children, but rather for untiringly instructing me from my tenderest years. He did not follow the usual path of merely burdening the memory of his children during their instruction. He taught them to think and at the same time to let the light of reason incline their hearts to virtue and piety.

Autobiography (1780), p. 123. Translated by Peter C. Hogg.

Violence creates violence

One teacher brings up free, intelligent, virtuous and obedient people in his school without the use of the cane, while another starts with beatings and finishes with beatings and leaves behind stupid and slavish people with treacherous intent.

The Improvement of Finnish Agriculture (1799), § 18,p. 585. Translated by Johan von Willebrandt and Viveka Malmberg-Elliot.