Lord Baden-Powell on Active vs Passive Education

156. A Scout is active in doing good, not passive in being good.

157. It is something to be good, but is far better to do good.

158. Sought knowledge lasts, unsought does not.

159. The average boy (if there is such a thing as the average boy) does not wan to sit down and passively receive theoretical instruction.  He wants to be up and actually doing things in practice.

160. To be good is of little interest to the child, to do good is another matter.

161. The boy is always ready to do rather than to digest.

162. A boy learns by practice, not by precept.  To love is to him merely a state of mind, whereas its expression, namely, to render service, is something he can do – a very different matter.  So for the young we have to translate the spirit of religion into practical acts.  It is for this reason that in the Scout Law and Promise we give in place of the abstract idea “Love God” the positive equivalent, “Do your duty to God”.  Also for the abstract “Love your neighbour”, the positive equivalent, “Help other people at all times”.

163. Our principle of training is to give the boys and girls something to do and not merely something to think of in their spare time.


Baden-Powell of Gilwell, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell – Mario Sica – Nuova Fiordaliso – 2002

What do you think?