Thursday, May 14, 2015

Reality and utility...

This spring several op-ed pieces making the rounds have, almost apologetically, questioned the wisdom of abandoning liberal education in lieu of pursuing a STEM-centered one (see here and here for examples).

For those of us who pursue classical education as our vocation (and avocation), there is nothing new here.  But the problem goes, not surprisingly, much deeper than is possible in the pages of the Post.  As David Hicks put it:

"...When the analytical methods and denotative language of scientific rationalism are forced on human learning... behaviorism replac[es] humanism and a mood of professional disinterest supplant[s] the emotional atmosphere of the ancient classroom...the analytical method itself calls into question the utility and reality of such concepts as valor, while affirming that of the distributor cap..."
~David Hicks, Norms and Nobility, p.33

May we always, always, be emotionally attached to our students, and care for their souls.  And while it is important to describe and understand what is, may we never forget the importance of examining what ought to be.

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