Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory. Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book I Chapter 2.
Quintilian imagines his student growing and being ready to learn “in earnest.” He considers the merits of a private education at home and more public education in a larger school. Some, who prefer the private education, assert reasons of protecting morals and wish the student to have more attention from the teacher. Quintilian first addresses the idea of morals. It is not possible to be an orator without being a good man. Yet morals can be corrupted whether at home or in school. The student and tutor alike may have a bent toward evil, no matter where the education takes place. Yet the parents can certainly find a tutor who is above reproach. They can also appoint a friend or caretaker who will serve as a positive influence. It is important in upbringing that the parents not indulge the children, as that serves to weaken them. In fact, evil children bring immorality from home to the schools.
Quintilian observes further that the best teachers prefer to have many students. A student can learn best from a popular teacher, who can give as much time as is appropriately needed, allowing space for the student to work independently much of the time. At the same time, it is important that the teacher be able to attend to all the students and care for each one.
Quintilian further recommends that a student of rhetoric not isolate himself. He must be accustomed to crowds, which is hindered by excessive solitude. In addition to this, friendships formed in school can last a lifetime and be very helpful. Above all, since rhetoric is a public activity it is best learned in public.