April 1, 2017
Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement.Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts
— whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide. The end of history for our students signals the End of History for the West. How a Generation Lost Its Common Culture
Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 1, 2017 5:27 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.
Prof. Daneen's article is a year old, but still ever-fresh. I quoted it with intensity amounting to a couple or four thousand words in my post The empty abyss of emotions and feelings: Ignorance is power for rule makers, where I also quote Providence College Prof. Anthony Esolen describing what he and his peers are up against in “Exercises in Unreality: The Decline of Teaching Western Civilization.”
I now regularly meet students who have never heard the names of most English authors who lived before 1900. That includes Milton, Chaucer, Pope, Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Tennyson, and Yeats. Poetry has been largely abandoned. Their knowledge of English grammar is spotty at best and often nonexistent. That is because grammar, as its own subject worthy of systematic study, has been abandoned. Those of my students who know some grammar took Latin in high school or were taught at home. The writing of most students is irreparable in the way that aphasia is. You cannot point to a sentence and say, simply, ‘Your verb here does not agree with your subject.’ That is not only because they do not understand the terms of the comment. It is also because many of their sentences will have no clear subject or verb to begin with. The students make grammatical errors for which there are no names. Their experience of the written language has been formed by junk fiction in school, text messages, blog posts, blather on the airwaves, and the bureaucratic sludge that they are taught for ‘formal’ writing, and that George Orwell identified and skewered seventy years ago. The best of them are bad writers of English; the others write no language known to man.
Posted by: Donald Sensing at April 1, 2017 1:04 PM
Another "who cares" moment for the senior citizen.
Posted by: Mel Pell at April 1, 2017 5:11 PM