Fiction helps us to see. It doesn’t stop with our head, but goes right to our heart. It is not only wisdom that suffers from a reading diet restricted to nonfiction. As Kilpatrick points out, modern methods of character instruction rely on either a rational appeal or an emotional appeal. They call on children either to try to solve ethical dilemmas or to get in touch with their feelings. But both these appraoches are inward directed, and don’t lead us anywhere outside ourselves. Fiction does. If our purpose as educators is to cultivate wisdom and virtue in our students, we cannot settle for just teaching them “the facts.”

Hat tip: Flying Stars
(I lifted the quote directly, I’ll admit it.)