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POV: Ayn Rand Interviewed on the Value of Education
by Ayn Rand | May 03, 1964
Your Child Is Not State Property
by Tom Bowden | March 31, 2008
Free Speech on Campus
by Onkar Ghate | February 11, 2005
Educators vs. Students
by Onkar Ghate | February 11, 2005
Columbus Day: The Cure for 9/11
by Tom Bowden | October 11, 2004
Multiculturalism’s War on Education
by Elan Journo | September 26, 2004
Let’s Revive Philosophy
by Onkar Ghate | November 11, 2002
Compulsory Service for High School Students
by Tom Bowden | January 01, 2000
Say No to the “Self-Esteem” Pushers
by Onkar Ghate | September 10, 1998
Global Balkanization
by Ayn Rand | 1977


Culture And Society in Voice for Reason
Culture & SocietyEducation & Multiculturalism

POV: Ayn Rand Interviewed on the Value of Education

by Ayn Rand | May 03, 1964

ARI’s Point of View on Education and a Free Society

For Ayn Rand, a nation’s long-term direction is set not by today’s political headlines and debates, but by the ideas and ideals that come to dominate its culture. Above all else, such dominance depends on trends in a nation’s educational systems, which train young minds and impart fundamental ideas and convictions. If students learn to think rationally and scientifically and to value themselves and their intellectual independence, the culture will come to reflect that. But if education fails in this task, the culture will degrade, with succeeding generations less able to think and to deal with the abstract requirements of life and more willing to follow authority. Such a nation will not remain free for long.

In her lengthy essay “The Comprachicos,” Rand examines the pervasive intellectual influence in education, Progressive education, and finds it thoroughly irrational and destructive. From kindergarten onward the Progressive approach stunts the student’s ability to think abstractly and logically, with far reaching implications for our culture and nation. (Originally published in The Objectivist Newsletter in 1970, “The Comprachicos” can be found in Return of The Primitive.)

ARI stands apart from this modern educational trend. Through our education programs, we foster abstract thinking and intellectual independence in students and oppose the anti-conceptual methodology of Progressive education.

Below is a 1964 interview, part of Columbia University’s “Ayn Rand on Campus” radio series, in which Rand discusses the purpose and value of education, and touches on the effects of contemporary trends in education.

About The Author

Ayn Rand

Learn more about Ayn Rand’s life and writings at AynRand.org.