Education

China Is the Key to Hollywood—and Joe Biden

As expected, Hollywood is lining up to support Joe Biden with lavish fundraisers and high-profile endorsements. According to Variety, Biden’s campaign is tapping a “network of donors and fundraisers who raised millions for the Obama-Biden ticket.” Last month, film producer and co-founder and CEO of DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg, raised $6 million for the Biden campaign at a [...]

Separation of School and State

We are living in a strange time, to be sure—a strange amalgam of the last short years of the antebellum South and Weimar Germany. If we were selling it to a studio as a film idea, we would have to say it’s the first half-hour or so of Gone with the Wind meets Cabaret. Amid [...]

The Fate of the First Amendment Will Be Decided By These Nine Cases

This month the Little Sisters of the Poor returned to the U.S. Supreme Court, once again defending their right to practice the Catholic Faith by refusing to provide for contraceptives in their health insurance plan. This is a stark reminder that even years later the Obama administration’s assault on religious freedom continues to impact religious [...]

Education for Darkness

Pity today’s college teachers, especially those at the rank of assistant professor. After years of graduate study, they were fortunate enough to find a college teaching job. Soon, however, they discovered that the subjects and courses they love to teach must be made “user-friendly.” This means emphasis, primarily, upon getting good student evaluations. One usually [...]

Teaching on COVID Time

England declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939, just two days after the Nazis invaded Poland. It became a live question, with the Michaelmas term about to begin, whether universities in England should continue to carry out their essential task of learning. For at universities (and any educational institution) students learn (presumably!), and they [...]

Why Boys Are Failing

When he was 13 years old, a mere boy was effectively the American ambassador to Russia, in Saint Petersburg. This was because the lad was fluent in French while his nominal superior, the ambassador himself, was not. The boy had already, at his father’s instruction, translated works of Plutarch from Greek and poems by Horace [...]

Just Say ‘No’

In 2018, the Maryland legislature passed a bill requiring that sex education classes—those taught to thirteen-year-olds—include lessons on the meaning of consent. The results have been unsurprising. A January article in the Washington Post reports on seventh graders at Hallie Wells Middle School “huddled around a table in their second-period health class,” debating a scenario [...]

Will the Blaine Amendments Fall at Last?

Imagine there was a program to help fund alternative schooling including religious schooling, and even the costs of homeschooling, that was not under the control of the U.S. Congress. Not possible, right? Wrong! I was at the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday for oral arguments in the landmark case of Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. [...]

The Battle for St. Anselm College

Fearing that New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm College is at risk of losing its Catholic identity, and that their voices will be silenced, members of the order of Benedictine monks of Saint Anselm Abbey—the monastic order that founded the college—have filed a lawsuit against Saint Anselm’s Board of Trustees. The lawsuit, filed on November 27th in Hillsborough [...]

The Model Priest for a Church in Crisis

In his spiritual autobiography, Apologia pro Vita Sua, Blessed John Henry Newman informs us: “When I was fifteen (in the autumn of 1816), a great change of thought took place in me. I fell under the influences of a definite Creed, and received into my intellect impressions of dogma, which, through God’s mercy, have never [...]

Are Our Schools Overdosing on Self-Esteem?

I was recently in a Catholic school assembly of about 6oo elementary students watching various children receive awards and recognition. After the various awards were given, a music video was shown on the screen and all the children began to sing the lyrics. It was here, watching this music video about how “I am great, [...]

The Protestant Origins of Dysfunctional Education

As a former boarding school teacher, this time of year brings memories of enormous frustration at the chaos, moral and intellectual, that is contemporary American education. While the general disorder is the fault of Adam and Eve, the particular mess has much to do with Luther and Calvin, who not only spawned the Protestant Reformation [...]

What it Means to be an Educated Human Being

We are born and live in a certain location and in a certain time. By what appears to be the caprice of geography and chronology, we are thus, in a sense, “locked into” a particular place and period. In other words, we are trees in a forest we cannot descry; consequently, gaining perspective—seeing macroscopically instead [...]

All Teacher Candidates Need to Know Is On the Web

In one of Baudelaire’s spleen poems called “The Generous Gambler,” a boulevardier is steered by a “Mysterious Being” into a subterranean casino. There they drink and chat till dawn, gambling all the while. The Mysterious Being proves an urbane and chatty devil, old fashioned in manners, but progressive in philosophy. The only time he’d ever [...]

Boys, Porn and Education: What Can Be Done?

Problems are oftentimes more obvious than solutions. In a recent article, I wrote on the obstacle that Internet pornography introduces to masculine education by injuring the sense of wonder and the sacred. I recalled how the effects of this “drug” were ones that my old boarding-school headmaster was reticent to allow into the culture of [...]

Boys, Porn and Education

The headmaster of the all-boys boarding school I attended when I was a teenager was always wary of admitting students to the academy that had been exposed to pornography. Among his reasons for this was that boys who had carnal knowledge—even on the level that pornography affords—very often found it an impediment in the process [...]

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 [...]

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