The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.
You have probably seen this compelling quotation attributed to Alvin Toffler thousands of times before on the web. It is especially popular among educators, for reasons that are obvious. Unfortunately, Toffler may never have said it.
The web is awash with all kinds of goofy misquotations and goofier misattributions. I recently saw the proverb, “Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand” attributed to Benjamin Franklin, of all people.
The Toffler quote does not appear in this form in any of his writings. The closest similar text is a paragraph from his 1970 book Future Shock, partially in Toffler’s words and partially in a direct quotation of someone else:
“A similar strategy can be used to enhance human adaptability. By instructing students how to learn, unlearn and relearn, a powerful new dimension can be added to education. Psychologist Herbert Gerjuoy of the Human Resources Research Organization phrases it simply: ‘The new education must teach the individual how to classify and reclassify information, how to evaluate its veracity, how to change categories when necessary, how to move from the concrete to the abstract and back, how to look at problems from a new direction—how to teach himself. Tomorrow’s illiterate will not be the man who can’t read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn.’” (p. 271)
Ironic, isn’t it, that the original quotation relates to the need to teach people how to “evaluate the veracity” of information.
What makes this even more curious is that the popular version of the quote appears at the top of a quotations page on Toffler’s official web site, without citation. If Toffler ever said it or wrote it in this pithier form, it is unclear where he did so. It would be quite ironic if whoever created Toffler’s web site simply echoed the thousands of other misquotations and misattributed this version of the quote to him on his own web site.
Think about this the next time you reblog a quote.
20 Notes/ Hide
- ghostcosmos likes this
- risenapes reblogged this from visualturn
- risenapes likes this
- listenlearnlivebetter-dew0319 reblogged this from visualturn
- dreamsintea likes this
- vanityflair8 likes this
- toniplourde reblogged this from visualturn
- teothemanifesto reblogged this from visualturn
- dead-desperado reblogged this from visualturn
- alisonhpaisley reblogged this from visualturn
- theaniyalator likes this
- thirdstarontheleft likes this
- beedoesthat reblogged this from visualturn
- dead-desperado likes this
- ygrrr likes this
- 6028675309 reblogged this from visualturn
- tmblrofmich reblogged this from visualturn
- tmblrofmich likes this
- nothingxmuch likes this
- visualturn posted this