05 January 2006

More on Bauerlein

Dave at Garfield Ridge posts on Bauerlein's article as well, and argues that the trouble is lack of intellectual curiosity, which in turn is caused by a "decline of respect for knowledge, and...a lack of humility before authority." He also says the liberal arts are hit the hardest, because (and I paraphrase) they are the most forgiving of B.S.

Other comments I've had include a general observation that education is fairly low on the list of national concerns, which is true, and that we don't need to try to make education fun, because it already is, which is also true.

Now, while education barely makes the radar as an election issue (for example), I'm not convinced this is entirely a bad thing. I personally don't believe that education can be managed nationally in an effective manner. The only answer the government provides is more standardized tests. The government, whether local, state, or federal, does not have the resources or the ability to discern whether individual children are performing as they should. I understand the longing for a national solution, because I've thought about this problem in depth myself. But I really don't think there is one. As I said previously, I think the only solution to the decrease in intellectual curiosity is parent-child interaction. If the parent doesn't value education, the child very likely won't, either, regardless of how much money the government pours into his school. Similarly, if the parent does value education and teaches the child to do so, the child will get a good education, regardless of how little money the government spares his school.

Anyway, I'm all depressed now. But since I derive ridiculous amounts of comfort from quotations, I present the following passage from T.H. White's The Once and Future King:

"I think I ought to have some eddication," said the Wart. "I can't think of anything else to do."

"You think that education is something which ought to be done when all else fails?" inquired Merlyn nastily, for he was in a bad mood too.

"Well," said the Wart, "some sorts of education."

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