To shape the future it helps to know the ideas of the past
I like these quotes from John Dewey's Experience and Education (1938), which I'm reading at the moment:
Every movement in the direction of a new order of ideas and of activities directed by them calls out, sooner or later, a return to what appears to be simpler and more fundamental ideas and practices of the past - as is exemplified at present in education in the attempt to revive the principles of ancient Greece...
..We have the problem of discovering the connection which actually exists within experience between the achievements of the past and the issues of the present. We have the problem of ascertaining how acquaintance with the past may be translated into a potent instrumentality for dealing effectively with the future.
We may reject knowledge of the past as the end of education and thereby only emphasize its importance as a means. When we do that we have a problem that is new in the story of education: How shall the young become acquainted with the past in such a way that the acquaintance is a potent agent in appreciation of the living present?