Valin Posted October 12, 2021 Share Posted October 12, 2021 First Things Renatae Litterae James Hankins 10 . 11 . 21 Last weekend I attended the “Higher Education Summit,” an annual gathering sponsored by the Classical Learning Test (CLT) in (mask-free!) Annapolis, Maryland. For two days I mixed with the movers and shakers of the spreading movement for classical education among American K-12 schools and colleges. I heard talks from the likes of Robert George, Cornel West, Anika Prather, Spencer Klavan, Jessica Hooten Wilson, Jennifer Frey, and Elias Moo. It struck me how different this movement is from the classical education movement of the period I study, the Renaissance. During the Renaissance the study of the classics always had an elitist edge. When Petrarch refounded classical education in the fourteenth century, his goal was to fight the tide of ignorance, violence, selfishness, political corruption, and religious indifference he saw rising all about him. The real problems of his time could not be solved by passing more laws or strengthening institutions. Laws were worthless if made by evil men; institutions could not accomplish their goals if the men (and some women) who ran them could not be trusted to do what was right. The character of Christendom’s elites would have to change if institutions human and divine were to be restored. (Snip) The question I’m left with now is how long elites can remain elite when their “elite” educational system is turning the next generation into ignoramuses, people who have never been allowed to think for themselves, androids who know only how to repeat the approved slogans and adopt approved attitudes. A decade from now, won’t the children who have been brought up on great literature, encouraged to think for themselves, taught how to argue and speak with eloquence, urged to develop their full humanity, children who know history and poetry and philosophy—won’t they become the new elite, the “true nobility”? ________________________________________________________________________ Bold Me Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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