Jacob J. Walker's Blog

Scholarly Thoughts, Research, and Journalism for Informal Peer Review

Quote of the Day: “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.”

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He who opens a school door, closes a prison.

This is the third quote in a series from, “The 10 Most Inspiring Education Quotes of All Time“. The site, along with many books attributes this quote to Victor Hugo. And, it appears quite likely that he did say something similar to this, although my search of Google Books, only turned up one book from Mr. Hugo that might actually have a similar phrase, which is Histoire D’un Crime from 1877.  Unfortunately, Google Books doesn’t actually have the full text of that book available, and it is also in French, so any English quotation will only be a translation.  (This is always an issue in sourcing “quotes” that were not in English, as they are of course NOT the original quote, just translations of it!)

But, several books and journals of the 1800’s cited Victor Hugo talking about how opening schools will close prisons.  But, it is interesting that U.S. Bureau of Education at the time said that this was not necessarily true.  I think this shows that with any aphorism, we need to think more deeply to be able to truly understand the wisdom contained within.  In the case of schools, there is now very good evidence to show that education can reduce crime.  But there is also a clear truth that it makes a HUGE difference about the type of education.  I will talk more about how schools can effectively reduce crime in an upcoming post…


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Written by Jacob Walker

November 13th, 2013 at 11:59 am

Posted in Quotes from Others

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