Self-directed pioneer

18th March 2011 at 00:00

"All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education."

Sir Walter Scott, in an 1830 letter to JG Lockhart, predates by nearly two centuries the current drive for children to take charge of their own learning. Even after bankruptcy, Scott maintained this spirit of self- sufficiency, refusing offers of help and vowing to write his way out of financial meltdown: "This right hand shall work it all off!"

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