Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Rambling thoughts about integration

As I write this morning, I am listening to some news analysis about the Oklahoma University fraternity that chanted their racist pledge on camera recently.  I am glad to see such racism universally condemned.  How were  these young men allowed to lead their privileged lives without confronting questions of moral virtue until young adulthood? It ties in well with my recent ponderings about integration.

I have not been thinking of integration as the opposite of racial segregation, though it certainly is that, but in terms of our current educational model of separating everything into differentiated subject area studies, and what that leads to.  When we learn "English" as separate from "history" or "logic" or "composition", we miss a huge aspect of what education ought to be about.  The whole concept of a "university" was that all things were brought together, not separated.  When we view our world as separated into categories that don't overlap, we have failed to educate the whole person, and we have made it impossible to educate in a way that develops moral virtue. When "ethics" is its own course, and never meets "math" or "business", we should not be surprised at the moral failure evident among us. The young men mentioned above are a result of our culture's disintegrated education, disintegrated families, and the tendency to sin which exists in all human hearts. What a tragedy.

An integrated education aimed at nurturing virtue cannot cure all that ills us.  It can, however, shine light in dark places, and call forth that which is good and beautiful and true,and, by implication, help us to name the evil that lurks in our own hearts.

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