哈佛前校長談大學教育 經典開學禮講辭:確保畢業生認清有人在胡說八道
2019年10月02日18:04

哈佛前校長Drew Gilpin Faust(德魯·吉爾平·福斯特)於2017年時向2021屆新生作一個開學禮講辭,當中談及大學教育的目標及對新生的期望。今年9月開學至今,這篇兩年前的講辭又再一次於社交媒體上出現及轉載,除了大學教育的目標應是「確保畢業生認清有人在胡說八道」外,當中仍有不少經典及值得深思與反思的要點,前校長希望學生能在爭議聲中找到屬於自己的道路。

撰文:Sunday Kiss |圖片:shutterstock、wikimedia commons

Drew Faust:「我不是哈佛第一任女校長,我是哈佛校長。」

Drew Faust 是哈佛大學建校以來首位女校長,於2007年至2018年期間擔任哈佛大學第28任校長,她總是笑回應:「我不是哈佛第一任女校長,我是哈佛校長。」 (I’m not the woman president of Harvard, I’m the president of Harvard.)

大學教育
大學教育

其實她亦有不少提醒學生的說話,在2008年的一次演講中,她表示:「如你不去追求你認為最值得做的事,你將會後悔。生命是漫長的,你總可有另一個計劃,但千萬別一開始便選擇走後路。」 (if you don’t pursue what you think will be most meaningful, you will regret it. Life is long. There is always time for Plan B. But don’t begin with it.)

圖左為哈佛前校長Drew Gilpin Faust(德魯·吉爾平·福斯特)

在這2017年的演講中,當中約有4點助學生面對未來的困局及銘記於心。2021年級新生大會講辭節錄:

大學教育的意義何在?

大學教育應該是什麼?這意味着什麼?大學本身到底是什麼?在這樣一個充滿挑戰和不安的刻,我們應如何看待大學的責任,也是我們肩負的責任?

原文:What should a university education be at such a moment and what should it mean? And what indeed is a university? How do we think about its responsibilities — our responsibilities — at such a challenging and unsettled time in our country and in the world?

大學教育應如何啟發學生?

1.追求知識及真相的重要性

首先,大學是關於知識和對真理的追尋。我們信仰事實以及人類探知事實的能力。我們堅信教育和學習是人類進步的手段,是民主政制的重要基礎。

原文:First, universities are about knowledge and the pursuit of truth. We believe in facts and in the power of the human mind to ascertain them. We are committed to education and learning as vehicles for human betterment and as essential foundations for democratic government.

2.追尋真理的態度

我們認為,追尋真理需要持續的驗證和重新評估,需要不斷的論證、挑戰和辯論。我們非常自信地認為,我們已經取得了一定的成功。真理既是願望,也是靈感。我們知道對知識的探索永無止境,所以我們必須對新的想法、新的觀點以及犯錯的可能性持開放態度。

這就要求我們具備勇敢、寬容和謙遜的品質,願意參與到知識社群的辯論,願意包容他人的想法,並願意基於理性和證據改變自己的觀點。不過,這些不僅僅是我們希望在你們每個人身上培養的重要智力技能,它們還是至關重要的基本能力——即做出判斷和評估事實的能力,以及在新事實面前虛心學習和自我成長的意願。

原文:We believe that the pursuit of truth requires a continuing process of testing and reassessment, of argument, and challenge and debate. We are never so complacent as to believe we have unerringly attained it. Veritas is both aspiration and inspiration. We recognize there is always more to know, so we must be open to new ideas and new perspectives, to the possibility — even the probability — of being wrong. This requires all of us to work with courage and generosity and humility — to be willing to engage in the great debate that is an intellectual community, open to others’ ideas and willing to change our views based on reason and evidence. But these are not just important intellectual skills that we hope to nurture in each of you. These are critical human capacities as well — the ability to make judgments, to evaluate facts, and the willingness to be open to learning and growth as new truths unfold.

3.大學教育的目標:確保畢業生能夠辨別「有人在胡說八道」

哈佛藝術與科學學院已故的前任院長傑里米·諾爾斯(Jeremy Knowles)曾描述過他所認為的高等教育最重要目標: 他說,那就是確保畢業生能夠辨別「有人在胡說八道」。 你們會通過挑戰和被挑戰,通過直面異議和分歧,來學習這種能力,並在這當中找到自己的道路。

原文:It was on this annual occasion of welcoming the incoming College class that a former dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the late Jeremy Knowles, described what he saw as the most important goal of higher education: it was, he said, to ensure that graduates can recognize when “someone is talking rot.” You learn this through challenging and being challenged, through being confronted by disagreement and difference and amidst it all finding your way.

4.不要沉默無聲,對話同時也要聆聽

當哈佛招生辦公室決定錄取你們時,是因為我們希望聽到你們的聲音,希望你們為這種創造性的不和諧音調做出貢獻。所以,請不要沉默無聲。還有,請不要在網絡虛擲光陰,彷彿你不曾來過這裡!所以,請不要沉默無聲。還有,請不要在網絡虛擲光陰,彷彿你不曾來過這裡!你們要跟其他人接觸,多多發言,這樣其他人才能從你們身上學到東西。你們還要更多地傾聽,這樣你們才能從其他人那裡學到東西。不要害怕承擔犯錯的風險,不要害怕承認自己是錯的,這是學習和成長的最佳方式。同時,寬容地傾聽其他人的聲音,這樣他們也有可能進行這樣的冒險。

罷課
罷課

原文:When the admissions office decided on you, it was because they wanted your voice, your contribution as part of this creative cacophony. So don’t be silent. (And please don’t live your life online as if you weren’t here at all!) Engage with one another. Talk a lot so others can learn from you. Listen even more so that you can learn from them. Don’t be afraid to take the risk of being wrong. Don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong. It is the best way to learn and grow. And listen generously to others so that they may take risks too.

演講原文:Harvard

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