Than can be talked about, but it is a good beginning, I do believe.
“I condemn the ignorance that currently reigns in democracies as well as in totalitarian regimes. This ignorance is so strong, often so total, that one would say it was wanted by the system, if not by the regime. I have often thought about what the education of the child could be.
I think it would take very simple basic studies, where the child would learn that he exists within the universe, on a planet whose resources he will later have to spare, that he depends on the air , water, all living beings, and that the slightest mistake or the slightest violence risks destroying everything.
He would learn that men have killed each other in wars which have only ever produced other wars, and that each country arranges its history, lying, in such a way as to flatter its pride.
We would teach him enough of the past for him to feel connected to the men who preceded him, to admire them where they deserve to be, without making idols of them, any more than of the present or of a hypothetical future.
We would try to familiarize him with both books and things; he would know the names of the plants, he would know the animals without indulging in the hideous vivisections imposed on children and very young adolescents under the pretext of biology; he would learn to give first aid to the wounded; her sex education would include attendance at childbirth, her mental education the sight of the seriously ill and the dead.
He would also be given the simple notions of morality without which life in society is impossible, instruction that elementary and middle schools no longer dare to give in this country.
In matters of religion, no practice or dogma would be imposed on him, but something would be said to him about all the great religions of the world, and especially that of the country where he is, to awaken in him respect and destroy advances certain odious prejudices.
He would be taught to love work when work is useful, and not to let himself be taken in by advertising deception, starting with the one that boasts more or less adulterated sweets, preparing him for cavities and future diabetes.
Surely there is a way to talk to kids about really important things sooner than you do. »
Marguerite Yourcenar, “Eyes Open.” 1980