Monday, February 18, 2008

The Returning Sanity in Education

Some encouraging thoughts from the higher education front by Joe Malchow, a student at Dartmouth, on pushing the barbarians back outside the gates:

The Powerline guys, whose short post "Oasis", which occasioned Malchow's reflections, can be found here:

Both pieces are bright spots in an otherwise dreary landscape, and well worth reading.

Joe Malchow descries the long curve of the returning to sanity in education, i.e. a return to the tradition, broadly conceived. Concerning which, some thoughts of my own: The rapid growth of home schooling, private schools, great books colleges, religiously affiliated colleges, and respect for the classical tradition going back through the Medieval era to the Classics of Greece and Rome in all these venues has been rising from the grassroots for some time now. Any day now, "critical mass" will be reached, and the "trend against trendiness" will itself become the trend of things. I've long thought that sooner or later, the presence of well-prepared students from lesser known or unknown colleges and programs is going to make itself felt across the culture. I expect business to recognize this first, and indeed reports of the cash value of an MBA from the top tier business schools (Harvard ,Yale) is falling in relation to second tier schools that resist the pull of the purely, and mostly useless, theoretical approach to business. The same is going to happen in law schools, as this piece about the resolute move by the George Mason Law School to rigorously ground first year law students in the history and content of the Constitution. Oh, you thought all law programs start with the Founders and the Constitution? How do you think we end up the likes of a John Edwards?

One must resist wincing while reading de Tocqueville where he says part of the American genius for democracy is that the lawyers have such a great part in our political order, or Hamilton when he insists that the judiciary--comprised mainly of lawyers-- would be the least dangerous branch. But overall, Western civilization, and its particularly American expression, is built of sturdy stuff--the best efforts of the multicultural postmodern professoriate have certainly steered us away from the uplands and into the swamplands, but conservatives, i.e. those who believe there are things worth preserving in our inheritance, also known as normal, ordinary, commomn-sense people, are beginning again to insist on recovering that patrimony from the memory hole into which the Left has been busily tossing it lo these many decades.

College stundents, parents of college students, and parents of prospective college students, take note! Viva la revolucion!

Harold Kildow, a graduate of one of those unknown traditional schools ...

1 comment:

william said...

It saddens me somewhat to see John Edwards’s interpretation of the Constitution blamed on Carolina Law. In fact, it was a member of Mr. Edward’s graduating class who first taught me to respect the intent of the Framers: I am speaking of my father. So at least some professors were teaching the Constitution…