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Jason Peters contrasts the traditional telos of education, what John Newman called "a great but ordinary end" with the current emphasis on utility and constant social change.
As utopian as "religious education" and "local food tours" may seem, that doesn't mean we can't approach them with a hope for real formation work in mind.
An empathetic approach to the kind of lofty goals named by Princeton’s aspiration to serve “humanity” might empower talented young people to serve their communities rather than selling out for personal financial success. You have to be very smart and very powerful to save the world, but serving your community begins with empathy, which is a trait we can all cultivate.
In an age of knee-jerk innovation, the warnings articulated by Emerson and Dewey are more needed than ever. They advocated for applied knowledge, but they also insisted such technology must serve human ends.
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.
In my elder, more invulnerable years, when the Untied States had finally established a formal E. Unibus Pluram, I was appointed by lot to assume the position of SAT (Self-Actualizing Therapist) at Saint Thinkery University for Unlimited Personalized Execution.
Perhaps we ought to hope that things won’t quite go back to what’s normal: rootless young folk siphoned away by elite universities and groomed to lead the managerial bureaucracies and mass popular culture that dominate our national life. The students who remain in their hometowns have the potential to restore declining local institutions and community associations.
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