Yesterday at The Way of Improvement, John Fea had posted about Bret Devereaux’s New York Times Opinion article from this weekend. Devereaux’s article is in today’s print version of the New York Times, continuing this important conversation.
But what is the student perspective on the purpose of college? In November 2022, Grove City College student Sarah Soltis wrote about this for Plough. A taste:
Simply studying the humanities cannot answer the contemporary problems that MacIntyre and Bloom recognized and Covid exacerbated.
Rather as Eva Brann, classicist and St. John’s College tutor, suggests, we need alternative places which can provide the communion requisite for formation, “little places which permit the modesty of pace needed for long thoughts, and the conditions of closeness under which human beings begin to stand out and become distinct.” Without such a context of “closeness,” education cannot reach beyond the shimmering two-dimensionality that the days of Zoom University gave image to.
In a column reacting to abstract educational conferences, G. K. Chesterton writes that “there is no education apart from some particular kind of education. There is no education that is not sectarian education” Disintegrating education from a particular context and a particular worldview, Chesterton maintains, renders talk of education incoherent. As he writes elsewhere, all education necessitates an attempt at “transmission” or “inheritance” of particular ways of seeing the world – education means “giving something, perhaps poison.”
Last but not least, Chris Gehrz, a Current contributor, historian, and a Christian college professor, would like your help, as he works on his next book — a college advice guide for Christian parents. Are there any questions that you wish he would cover in the book? This is your chance to let him know.
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