The Big Think

August 29, 2016

Carrying the Light

Filed under: Education — jasony @ 2:16 pm

Exercises in Unreality: The Decline in Teaching Western Civilization | Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Educating for Liberty:

“Now, it should seem a matter of course to say that if you do not know who Michael Faraday and William Harvey are you have no business setting yourself up as a judge of a course in the history of science. It is fascinating that that same ignorance does not prevent people from judging, with loud effusions of righteousness, a course in the development of Western civilization. The reason is not that they believe our course is wrongly taught. They believe it is wrong to teach it at all.

They would not say anything comparable about a course in the development of Chinese civilization or Indian civilization. Far from it; they would hail such a thing as the next Great Leap Forward in the history of our school, despite the plain fact that they would know even less about Chinese dynasties than they know about the Tudors and Stuarts, and that, forget being acquainted with Latin and Greek, most could probably not even name the holy language of ancient India, Sanskrit. That is because they conceive of education almost wholly in terms of their own current political aims. Their horizons end in the backyard. It is not heaven over their heads, open and vast, but a political drop ceiling, the same everywhere, pocked with ephemeral headlines and reductive polls. Had they been present at the raising of Lazarus from the dead, their first question would be whether he was a Pharisee or a Sadducee….

If students are encouraged to think persistently enough, they may think themselves right into a personal relationship with Truth Himself.”

An excellent and worth-while article for anyone interested in education. Highly recommended.

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