We have of late been hearing much of the philosophy of tenderness in education; "interest" must be assiduously awakened in everything, difficulties must be smoothed away. Soft pedagogics have taken the place of the old steep and rocky path to learning. But from this lukewarm air the bracing oxygen of effort is left out. It is nonsense to suppose that every step in education can be interesting. The fighting impulse must often be appealed to. A victory scored under such conditions becomes a turning point and crisis of character.

William James
from Talks to Teachers (pp. 51-52)

Back to William James