According to Thoreau in Walden, the most beneficial education is achieved by what?

2 Answers | Add Yours

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As an American Romantic, Thoreau clearly did not believe in the benefits of civilisation and living with others. This text is his account of his own sojourn to be with nature, which he saw as the perfect kind of education that anybody could wish for. Let us consider his reasons for secluding himself away from human company and how this relates to his ideas about education. If we look at "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For," Thoreau very clearly states his reasons for doing what he did:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

Secluding yourself from civilisation therefore enables one to "live deliberately" and to learn the important lessons that are available to us from nature if we have ears to hear them. In addition, not the way that this quote infers that to be blind and deaf to these lessons from nature is to spend your life not really living. Therefore we can conclude that Thoreau would have said the most beneficial education would be achieved by doing what he did and secluding yourself away from humanity and spending time alone in nature.

dawnmarsh76's profile pic

dawnmarsh76 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

He believes in the "project method". He thought children learned best by hands-on experiences, which is very true. Children need to be invloved in projects and create experiences on thier own.

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question