August 7, 2011
What Good Is Education without the Classical Liberal Tradition?
"Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote that every person is born an Aristotelian or a Platonist. Which are you?" This is what I asked my seventeen-year-old students during end-of-the-year oral exams. Many smiled and responded quickly; others seemed distressed at the prospect of having to choose a favorite. What a great question, I mused. These students, enrolled in a small Classical Christian school, are lucky to have the opportunity to seriously study philosophy. Thinking back to my own secondary school days, I doubt that I could have offered anything about Aristotle, except that a law professor quoted him in Legally Blonde. And Plato might as well have been colored clay for children. My memory, rather, recalls classes like "Career Preparation & Exploration," a course which consisted of monotoning responses to computer modules and an obscene amount of "group work." There's more than enough anecdotal material about bad schooling, and the American...(Read Full Article)