Another reason to worry about our cults, er, I mean, universities

Contemporary “education” feeds on the prestige capital of the western tradition. Yet, if we pay any attention, we notice quickly that what conventional schools do would not be considered education by the founders of this tradition. For one thing, conventional schooling focuses its attention on the economy: “How can our graduates contribute to the economy?”

Sometimes, it recognizes citizenship. What it doesn’t attend to, except in a decadent, degenerated form, is the cultivation of virtue, intellectual or moral. It will do these silly things that only an a bureaucratic mind could come up with called Character Studies.

 In the west, education was always seen as an end in itself: it’s goal was to cultivate the human-ness of the student. Educators believed that if people were more human, they would be able to do all the human activities better, like make decisions, relate to each other, etc.

In the 20th century, education came to be seen as more important than ever because of the rise of the new economy. Unfortunately, “educators” then proceeded to change what education was. Largely because people stopped believing in human nature and in God, they determined that education was the means to create the kind of society they wanted, not by cultivating the human-ness of the students, but by training them, by conditioning them, to do and act the way they wanted.

It’s a pretty childish idea, when you get right down to it. But if your conception of human nature has been reduced to something malleable and something easy to control through chemicals and environment, it’s easy enough to see why you would fall for this childish idea.

And that, if I may be so bold, is why education colleges tend to be characterized by immature, idealized, unrealistic, sentimental thinking.

Now, because so many centuries of an education that proved powerful, education has a high reputation. As a result, a group of vandals is using its language, facilities, and resources to overthrow the culture that gave it to us.

Here’s an NAS article that launched this tirade:

How the Dorms Are Politicized: The Case of the University of Delaware

A freshman at Delaware couldn’t escape the ideological, highly politicized messages about consumerism, social justice, affirmative action, world redistribution of wealth, and so on. The messages were woven into the fabric of the very place where students slept or talked late into the night.


And, Oh, look!

“Educated Americans” (i.e. those who went to college) tend to be more liberal. What could possibly have caused that.

A few notes on dealing with economic hard times

In these economically trying times, we can see that our value proposition has never been more important. People who come only because the school is cheaper won’t come back. There’s always a cheaper one.

But people who come because you have better teachers, a better curriuclum, and better vision will continue to invest to the limit of their abilities.

“Cut costs, but not the one’s that make you what you are.”

James Daniels reminded me yesterday that teaching your parents is one of the most important duties for a Christian classical school. Those who have done so will reap the rewards when those parents have hard decisions to make. Those who have not, it probably isn’t too late. Yet. 

  • Make sure they have the vision. 
  • Make sure your teachers have the vision and training they need to separate your school from the pack.
  • Make sure you have a distinctive curriculum that makes the blood flow.
  • Nourish the energy of your teachers and staff – in fact, of the whole community.
  • Build and protect the goodwill of everybody you depend on, especially, if I may say so, your Lord and Provider.
  • Guard your cash flow by tending the “goose” that lays the golden egg. Don’t kill the goose to get the egg. And know what the golden egg is, too.

If we can help, please contact us. It’s what we’re here for.