It’s obvious, given my work history, that this topic would be vital to me … but it’s also vital to those not directly involved in education, who know what ignorance is and why the PTB are attempting to foster it something awful:
My students are know-nothings. They are exceedingly nice, pleasant, trustworthy, mostly honest, well-intentioned, and utterly decent. But their brains are largely empty, devoid of any substantial knowledge that might be the fruits of an education in an inheritance and a gift of a previous generation. They are the culmination of western civilization, a civilization that has forgotten nearly everything about itself, and as a result, has achieved near-perfect indifference to its own culture.
It’s difficult to gain admissions to the schools where I’ve taught – Princeton, Georgetown, and now Notre Dame. Students at these institutions have done what has been demanded of them: they are superb test-takers, they know exactly what is needed to get an A in every class (meaning that they rarely allow themselves to become passionate and invested in any one subject); they build superb resumes.
They are respectful and cordial to their elders, though easy-going if crude with their peers. They respect diversity (without having the slightest clue what diversity is) and they are experts in the arts of non-judgmentalism (at least publically). They are the cream of their generation, the masters of the universe, a generation-in-waiting to run America and the world.
But ask them some basic questions about the civilization they will be inheriting, and be prepared for averted eyes and somewhat panicked looks. Who fought in the Peloponnesian War? Who taught Plato, and whom did Plato teach? How did Socrates die? Raise your hand if you have read both the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Canterbury Tales? Paradise Lost? The Inferno?
What is wonderful about Professor Peterson is that he does not engage in the grumpy denunciation of “the young” that so many of our generation fall into. On the contrary, he has found that they are hungry, nay starving for, the very virtues many deny they value.
But is that actually differing? JP’s simply saying that students are hungry for knowledge – that is, those hungry for knowledge are hungry for knowledge. But I’d say so many have had that snuffed out now by the world culture.
Assuming that young children are creatures of natural wonder, then if that wonder is fed by prescriptive globalist programmes spouting c**p, who are they to demur?
And if those programmes cover almost none of what a culture would consider basic knowledge, then whither that culture?
And that is the issue, not whether children begin with a thirst for knowledge. The issue is, always has been, and will be in the foreseeable, the evil muvvers who have hijacked education.
They truly are the damned.
Posts from long ago and the issue of blog navigation
This linked post below, from my early days, has some strange navigation. Perhaps it’s best to start here:
… then go with the appendices one by one.
It refers to a first post [education 1] and an intro to the second [education 2] – the first was just a commentary on the world, not specifically on education and the second was just an intro.
When I re-read them just now, they’re not vital to the topic, so just go with the link above here and the appendices in the sidebar – they will give you all the data.
There was also a post at OoL on the World Core Curriculum, made up of multiple screenshots. I’ve just gone through the html version of the post to see why every screenshot has disappeared – they were where all the core information was – and was dismayed to find that the pics were all from nourishingobscurity, a blog which has been killed off three times from outside in its history [for obvious reasons] and the pics appear to have gone the way of all things along with that old site.
A glance at comments shows that there really was a post and the reason I include the link now that the post itself is decimated [or rather 9/10-ated] is some of those comments are still germane, particularly on Scottish education [see Subrosa].
The underlying purpose of including both of these is to illustrate that this is not a new issue by any means.
[H/T Chuckles and Tom]