Thursday, May 07, 2009

Reno - Questioning Approach to Education

A very good critique of education.

Teaching in the Twenty-First Century
By R.R. Reno

I find myself questioning our approach—my approach—to education. I wonder not so much about what we teach as how. I worry about the spiritual outlook presently encouraged by higher education. Do we (often unwittingly, and sometimes contrary to our conscious intentions) promise truth without love?

Yet endless theoretical elaborations of suspicion remain a growth industry all the same. “Truths are fictions whose fictionality has been forgotten”—it continues to be said in a thousand different ways. The reason, I think, is simple. Critical theory plays a significant and important role in contemporary society: it de-mystifies and de-legitimates inherited beliefs. It is not, as some critics would like to think, simply Leftist ideology. Nor is it nonsense dressed up in fancy French words. These days critical theory is an intellectual project, the main goal of which is to show that conventional ways of thinking are hopelessly naïve, if not malign and corrupt. It is a deck-clearing operation—not to prepare students for truth, but to prepare them for life without truths.

Pope Benedict has called this mode of pedagogy a dictatorship of relativism. It is, of course, a soft tyranny. Nobody is imprisoning college students for having convictions. The dominant intellectual regime is satisfied with two basic strategies: continuous assault and a starvation diet. We take apart the belief-systems of adolescents with our multi-faceted and powerful modes of critical analysis—and we give them next to nothing substantive to believe.

Read the article HERE.

My question is how does one "teach" truth if not from love? If one stands aloof, indifferent and separate from The Source of Love than how does one teach Truth?

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