A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 11, 2015
“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows”

Newspaper columnist Sydney J. Harris wrote in August 1978:

“Most people are ‘mirrors,’ merely reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are ‘windows,’ bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester; and the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows” is a frequently cited quotation about education. “Turning Mirrors Into Windows” has been cited in print since at least 1945, when it was the title of a church sermon. “They (good teachers—ed.) turn mirrors into windows” was cited in print in 1966, but it’s unlikely that Harris had known about this use of the saying.


Wikipedia: Sydney J. Harris
Sydney J. Harris (September 14, 1917 – December 7, 1986) was an American journalist for the Chicago Daily News and, later, the Chicago Sun-Times. He wrote 11 books and his weekday column, “Strictly Personal,” was syndicated in approximately 200 newspapers throughout the United States and Canada.

26 January 1945, Waterloo (IA) Daily Courier, “Churches Unite for Temperance Head’s Address,” pg. 5, col. 3:
The tonic of the sermon bv Rev Albert L Drake will be. “Turning Mirrors Into Windows.”

21 March 1966, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “Study Is a Family Endeavor With Mom Back in School” by Louise Ellyson, pg. 19, col. 3:
“A good teacher gives children not just subject matter but attitudes,” she (Mrs. Edgar Bennett Hunt Jr.—ed.) said. “They turn mirrors into windows.”

Google News Archive
5 March 1969, The Leader-Mail (Granby, Quebec), “Education Week, March 2-8,” pg. 8, col. 2:
Obviously, then, there is an answer to the problem—to turn mirrors into windows—education through to broadening horizons, to widening scopes, to understanding others;

Google News Archive
3 August 1978, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), “Thoughts At Large” by Sydney Harris, pg. 7D, col. 4:
Most people are “mirrors,” merely reflecting the moods and emotions of the times; few are “windows,” bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester; and the whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

OCLC WorldCat record
Turning mirrors into windows : teaching the best short films
Author: Marion Bue
Publisher: Littleton, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 1984.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
The Educator’s Book of Quotes
By John Blaydes
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.
2003
Pg. 224:
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. —Sydney J. Harris, Columnist

Google Books
1,001 Pearls of Teachers’ Wisdom:
Quotations on Life and Learning

Edited by Erin Gruwell
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2011
Pg. ?:
The whole purposeof educationis to turn mirrors into windows. —SYDNEY J. HARRIS

Twitter
TES Jobs
‏@TES_jobs
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. - Sydney J. Harris #EduQuote
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2:00 AM - 17 Sep 2015

Twitter
amco
‏@amcoinvestor
“#Education fosters #transparency. It turns mirrors into windows.” - Jonathan Wallentine
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5:22 PM - 9 Oct 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Sunday, October 11, 2015 • Permalink