‘One is apt to think of moral failure as due to weakness of character,’ the British educator Sir Richard Livingstone wrote. ‘More often it is due to an inadequate ideal.’ So one job of a teacher was, in this educational model, to hold up exemplars. ‘I make honorable things pleasant to children,’ a Spartan educator put it. When the students emerged from school they would have had at least some contact with the best things human beings have thought and done.
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