Education

DanielBerrigan TIME

The Contradictions of Multi-Generational Liberalism

A recent study by the Pew Research Center finds significant differences between younger and older liberals, differences that are not encouraging either to orthodox religious believers or to the older liberals. The Next Generation Left (NGL) are at one with older liberals on the social issues, notably abortion and homosexual marriage, and it is primarily [...]

Obama Misrepresents Catholic Schools

Recently visiting Northern Ireland for the G8 meeting at Lough Erne, President Obama said this during his now-traditional speech to local young people: If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden—that too encourages [...]

Saving the Uncommon Core of Catholic Education

As Catholic institutions have come under unprecedented pressure from government to trim their religious and social mission, it seems incredible that Catholic educators would consider voluntarily placing their schools under an onerous federal yoke.  But that incongruous prospect may be nearing reality as over one hundred Catholic dioceses have signed onto the Common Core Standards [...]

Stupidity: A Malady of the Cultural Elite

We live in something of a meritocracy, and our rulers believe they are by far the most enlightened and well-informed people who ever lived. For that reason they feel entitled to make the aspirations of the present day, or what they consider such, the compulsory standard for public life. They view the claim that there [...]

Parents vs. the State

One of the most malignant features of modernity since the French Revolution has been the attempt by the State—left or right, fascist, nationalist, socialist, or communist—to take over control of children’s education from parents and local agencies—such as churches and municipalities—and direct that education in the interest of grandiose, intellectually neat, or more efficient plans [...]

The Purpose of Education: A Catholic Primer

Our society, indeed what remains of Western civilization, seems to many people to be falling apart. The economic crisis, the moral crisis, the ecological crisis, and the political crisis combine to create a “perfect storm.” But they all stem from one fundamental error. As a society, we have abandoned a sense of cosmic and moral [...]

Dewey or Don’t We? Why Our Kids are Messed Up

In the first part of this essay, I suggested that an educational system dominated by the philosophical baggage of logical positivism and reductivist materialism, animated by fear of “falling behind” others in math, science, and technology, and focused primarily on training students for a job, had left America’s children bereft of the knowledge and skills [...]

In Praise of Noisy Villages: Homeschooling and the Common Good

A simple premise: nothing short of the complete family being engaged in learning will secure a proper education. Behind this premise is a simple principle: Education is communal. It is communal because that which deals with the formation and perfection of a child, that which draws him to adulthood, is drawing him to the greater [...]

Raising the Bar: Christianity and Liberal Arts in the University

I fear we Christians have lived so long in the shadow of the Enlightenment that, in our apologetic mode, we sometimes forget something we should undoubtedly remember:  that in an earlier time, the question was not (as it so often is now) “Can a great university be Christian?” but rather “Can a great university be [...]

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder Book

“They are three very strange old ladies,” said Quicksilver, laughing. “They have but one eye among them, and only one tooth.  Moreover, you must find them out by starlight, or in the dusk of evening; for they never show themselves by the light either of the sun or moon.” What do the beauty and color [...]

How to Get to the Real Issue in an Argument

Have you ever found yourself having a hard time responding to someone in an argument and not exactly knowing what the problem is? Many times, the problem is that your opponent is making an assumption that you have not identified. And many times, it is this very assumption that is at issue. If you knew [...]

What is Poetic Knowledge?

Editor’s note: Since so many people have responded favorably to the Civilized Reader column with requests for more information about John Senior and his educational vision, it seemed appropriate to republish this review of James Taylor’s Poetic Knowledge: The Recovery of Education by (State University of New York Press, 1998).  Taylor and Kramer were both [...]

Knowledge without Wisdom

There is nothing wrong with vocational training; a fulfilling career is an important part of a good life. Much of my academic work over the years has been devoted to career preparation. I was once a Dean of Medicine and there are few more vocational courses than medicine. Our students were all bright but they [...]

Shakespeare Good and Great

Well did John Senior advise parents and teachers to prepare today’s youngsters for great study, with experiences of the good, such as gardening, graceful dancing, and gazing at the stars dancing above, and also making sure to delight in a thousand good books, before getting to the hundred or so great books by the master [...]

Will Rascals Defend Our Civilization… and What Books will they Read?

He faces execution each day.  Seven days a week, his jury of peers votes unanimously for capital punishment.  The judge’s hand is typically stayed.  Mercy reigns because the accused shows signs of improvement.  Perhaps, this little boy will one day also become fully human.  With him and his kind rests the fate of Western Civilization. [...]

Rising Black Social Pathology

The Philadelphia Inquirer's big story Feb. 4 was about how a budget crunch at the Philadelphia School District had caused the district to lay off 91 school police officers. Over the years, there's been no discussion of what has happened to our youth that makes a school police force necessary in the first place. The [...]

Why We Study “Useless” Things

“You amuse me: You’re like someone who’s afraid that the majority will think he is prescribing useless subjects. It is no easy task—indeed it’s very difficult—to realize that that in every soul there is an instrument that is purified and rekindled by such subjects when it has been blinded and destroyed by other ways of [...]

Is Multiculturalism Evil?

Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans? I’d be glad to read him. – Saul Bellow.   In asking about the Papuan Proust, novelist Saul Bellow summed up the core problem with the twin idols of our age, Multiculturalism and Diversity. For the ideology of Multiculturalism—now dominant on most college [...]

What is a Person Worth? Support the Personhood Campaign

  On Tuesday, Nov. 8,  the voters of Mississippi will have a very rare privilege in today's America, so much of which is governed by unelected judges and unaccountable bureaucrats, where so many basic issues seem invulnerable to change: Those voters will have the chance to make an existential decision, to vote with a flip [...]

Scandalous Education

Last December, I reported on Harvard University professor Stephan Thernstrom's essay "Minorities in College — Good News, But...," on Minding the Campus, a website sponsored by the New York-based Manhattan Institute. He was commenting on the results of the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, saying that the scores "mean that black students aged [...]

Public School Indoctrination

Earlier this month, the left-leaning California State Legislature overwhelmingly passed The FAIR Education Act (SB 48) and has sent the bill on Governor Jerry Brown for what will surely be a celebratory signing. The FAIR Education Act is the seventh sexual indoctrination law to teach the state’s children to regard homosexuality, transsexuality (sex-changes operations) and bisexuality [...]

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