哈佛校長開學致辭:教育的目標,就是確保學生能分辨「有人在胡說八道」

哈佛校長開學致辭:教育的目標,就是確保學生能分辨「有人在胡說八道」
Photo Credit: Ian Lamont @ Flickr CC By 2.0
我們想讓你知道的是

他所認為的高等教育最重要目標就是,「確保畢業的學生能分辨有人在胡說八道」。你會在不斷地挑戰和被挑戰中學到了這種能力,在面對各種分歧和異議中找到自己的方向。

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在今年的8月29日,美國哈佛大學校長福斯特(Drew Gilpin Faust)於開學禮例行致辭,但是在上網公開了後,卻引來很多人分享和轉載。

福斯特在這次的演講中,除了向2021屆新生致辭,也談到了「大學教育應該是什麼?大學教育意味著什麼?大學本身到底是什麼?在這樣一個充滿挑戰和不安的時刻,我們如何認識大學的責任,也就是我們此刻肩負的責任?」

演講原文:Freshman Convocation Address to the Class of 2021

以下節錄幾個不可錯過的段落:

(追求真理)這要求我們具備勇敢、寬容和謙遜的品質,願意參與到知識社群的辯論,願意包容他人的想法,並願意基於理性和證據改變自己的觀點。不過,這些不僅僅是我們希望在你們每個人身上培養的重要智力技能,它們還是至關重要的基本能力——即做出判斷和評估事實的能力,以及在新事實面前虛心學習和自我成長的意願。

......This requires all of us to work with courage and generosity and humility — to be willing to engage in the great debate that is an intellectual community, open to others’ ideas and willing to change our views based on reason and evidence. But these are not just important intellectual skills that we hope to nurture in each of you. These are critical human capacities as well — the ability to make judgments, to evaluate facts, and the willingness to be open to learning and growth as new truths unfold.

也正是在這個一年一度的歡迎新生大會上,前藝術與科學學院院長,已故的諾爾斯(Jeremy Knowles),曾經形容他所認為的高等教育最重要目標就是,「確保畢業的學生能分辨有人在胡說八道」。你會在不斷地挑戰和被挑戰中學到了這種能力,在面對各種分歧和異議中找到自己的方向。

It was on this annual occasion of welcoming the incoming College class that a former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the late Jeremy Knowles, described what he saw as the most important goal of higher education: it was, he said, to ensure that graduates can recognize when “someone is talking rot.” You learn this through challenging and being challenged, through being confronted by disagreement and difference and amidst it all finding your way.

我們興奮地歡迎你們,2021屆的學生們。你們註定會教導彼此,當然你們也會教給我們一些東西,而這正是因為你們身分和經歷的多元性。當哈佛招生辦公室決定錄取你們時,是因為我們希望聽到你們的聲音,希望你們為這種創造性的不和諧音調做出貢獻。所以,請不要沉默無聲。(還有,請不要在網路虛擲光陰,彷彿你不曾來過這裡!)融入到其他人之中。

We are excited to welcome you, Class of 2021, because you are in yourselves a great educational machine — destined to teach one another — and, of course, teach us as well — because of the variety of who you are and what you bring. When the admissions office decided on you, it was because they wanted your voice, your contribution as part of this creative cacophony. So don’t be silent. (And please don’t live your life online as if you weren’t here at all!) Engage with one another.

盡可能的多多發言,這樣別人才能從你們身上學到東西。你們還要盡可能地多傾聽,這樣你們才能從其他人那裡學到東西。不要害怕承擔犯錯的風險,不要害怕承認自己是錯的,這是學習和成長的最佳方式。同時,寬容地傾聽其他人的聲音,這樣他們也才有可能進行和你一樣的冒險。

Talk a lot so others can learn from you. Listen even more so that you can learn from them. Don’t be afraid to take the risk of being wrong. Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong. It is the best way to learn and grow. And listen generously to others so that they may take risks too.

在哈佛的四年裡,我們希望你能超越上週來此前的自己。我們希望你去探索那些你一度認為理所當然而忽略的領域,並培養在多種不同的環境中成長的能力,這樣你很可能在未來的歲月中發現新的自己。

During your four years here, we want you to stretch beyond who you were when you arrived last week; we want you to explore what you have taken for granted and to develop the ability to thrive in the kind of diverse and varied environments in which you are likely to find yourselves in the years to come.

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Photo Credit: harvard

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核稿編輯:楊之瑜