Compulsion versus choice
DOI link for Compulsion versus choice
Compulsion versus choice book
Two impulses lie behind T S Eliot's concern to limit educational choice. The first was distaste for the idea that, as he put it, 'the only criterion of whether a subject was necessary for our education was whether it happened at that time to be interested in it'. The second was more fundamental and stems from Eliot's aspirations for society. In his influential 1917 essay on Tradition and the Individual Talent Eliot observes that poets tend to be praised above all for their individuality and how they differ from their predecessors but stresses that they are often most 'individual' when shaped by tradition. A way in which Eliot's ideas about commonality in education, and people having read the same small number of books, still makes one think is in drawing attention to the role of elites and aristocracies in shaping and transmitting the 'culture' of their societies.