The World Beyond Your Head

Matthew Crawford, a philosopher who has found wisdom in being a motorcycle mechanic, is the author of an excellent book on vocation entitled Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work.  He now has another book that shows how the Enlightenment has given us a very distorted view of the self, one which insulates the inner mind from outside reality.  The new book has the felicitous title  The World Beyond Your Head.

After the jump, I excerpt and link to an extremely thoughtful and perceptive review of the book, one that interacts with Crawford’s ideas with great learning and insight.  I was stunned to see that the reviewer is Gracy Olmstead, a recent student of mine!  I can see Patrick Henry College’s classical liberal arts curriculum underlying her essay, as she draws on the “great books” that we have read and takes part in the “great conversation” of the history of ideas.  Note too the depth of her thinking and how she compares to other recent graduates that you might have encountered.  Sorry–I’m just proud of her, that’s all. [Read more...]

The new Encyclopedia of Christian Education

The  Encyclopedia of Christian Education  has been released today, a three-volume reference book packed with information about the influence of Christianity on education as a whole, as well as the various ways Christians have taught the faith.  I wrote the entries for the Liberal Arts, the Renaissance, Johann Sturm, and the Concordia University System.

Details after the jump. [Read more...]

School testing as a civil right

Teachers, who have big clout in the Democratic Party, don’t like standardized testing, a major reason being that it often provides evidence of their ineffectiveness.  So Democrats generally support gutting No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush’s education law designed to make sure that children who perform poorly get the help they need.  Republicans, who are usually against a federal role in education, are mostly OK with scrapping the law.

But now civil rights groups are arguing that mandatory testing is a matter of civil rights.   Poor and minority students have a right to an education, they argue, and mandatory testing identifies the students who need extra help and makes sure school systems don’t ignore them. [Read more...]

U. S. History as oppression studies

The National Association of Scholars, an organization of conservative academics, has put out an FAQ page on what is wrong with the new Advanced Placement U. S. History exam.  It sums up well the problems also with the Common Core, contemporary text books, and the state of the history profession in general.

The point is not that America doesn’t have skeletons in its closet and that we need to study those bad parts of our history.  It’s that these have become the only emphasis, and that other important facets of our history (the concepts behind our constitution) and just facts in general (why we fought World War II) are left out. [Read more...]

Universities recruiting girls to have late-term abortions

The University of Hawaii and the University of Washington-Seattle are recruiting girls as young as 14 to have second-trimester abortions, as part of a research study on those kill-and-dismember procedures. [Read more...]

When children played

Did you know there was a time when children on their own played games, sang songs, collected things, and had fun outside?

The Intercollegiate Review has posted an excerpt from the estimable Anthony Esolen’s book on child-raising (and how not to do it), Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. [Read more...]