Tag: classical education
One gets the clear sense from Montás that these voices from the past are not just texts with trivial information, but real presences, real friends who have had a significant role in shaping, forming Montás’ life. And if any core program is going to work, it needs men and women like Montás who are the living, breathing embodiment of a life made richer by true fellowship with this great “democracy of the dead,” to borrow Chesterton’s phrase.
Montás deserves great credit for illuminating the perverse priorities of American higher education throughout Rescuing Socrates. It must be admitted, however, that the book suffers from occasional missteps. A fuller engagement with the history of the liberal arts than Montás musters would have enriched the book.
Attunement, attachment, engagement, and identification are all absolutely necessary for properly considering artworks of all kinds. However, I struggle to identify the application of Felski's argument. Perhaps it is because, as a high school teacher in a classical school, I feel free to assert, identify, and argue without invoking a French theorist to support me.
The imagined student’s intentions are honorable: to promote racial justice. But when the conversation begins, she has already set herself against the teacher and the course. The task of the teacher is to encourage her pursuit of justice while showing that the Great Books are not enemies, but allies. If this can be done, the student and teacher may even realize the same about each other.
We all want students to think critically and to reflect on what they have encountered in the course of their education. In order to do that, however, they must have something to reflect upon.
Both Prior and Gibbs agree that ultimately virtue orients us toward one end, to “love God and enjoy Him forever.” Loving God is difficult; it too requires our attention in a culture that is constantly distracting us. And while virtue brings about human flourishing that can be observed from the outside, loving God requires us to remember who we are on the inside. It is the place where we are to be good alone … in the presence of One.
Several months ago I claimed that “the American conservative’s attitude toward education is often even worse than that of his [liberal] counterpart.” It turns out Rush Limbaugh has been so helpful as to emphasize my point.