❮ Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Live!

Volume 21: Man Must Teach (1959)

One 1-hour lecture.

To teach means to speak to one’s successors… When we teach, we try to save a seed that had been planted thousands of years ago—like the English language—from obstruction by the living generation… At the heart of the school itself is today the superstition that in order to teach mathematics, you see, you can act mathematically. You cannot. You have to enthuse your children… No field is taught by its own method, but by the power of conviction that the teacher irradiates, and emanates … that emanates from him and begets the younger generation.


Rosenstock-Huessy makes the point that the child is taught, ultimately in the community and by the community. “Training” (memorization) and “instruction” (the passing-on of expert knowledge) he argues, are important, but not complete.

The student must also have a zest for life and an understanding that he is being prepared to serve crucial roles in the community. Integrating these three goals makes for true “teaching.” Thus, this larger context for teaching has both a space dimension (in the classroom and community) and a time relationship (from past into the future).

This lecture is another eloquent take on Rosenstock-Huessy’s reverence for and investment in teaching.