Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Education in the Time before the Internet

* The New Century Dictionary of the English Language (1927) defined education as: "the drawing out of a person's innate talents and abilities by imparting the knowledge of languages, scientific reasoning, history, literature, rhetoric, etc.--the channels through which those abilities would flourish and serve."

* Whereas, education was defined in An Outline of Educational Psychology in 1934 in these terms: "Learning is the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanation of even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones [sic] only growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection-system of man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the really influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurones, sequence in time, belongingness, and satisfying consequences."


By 1968, John Goodlad, one of the educational establishment's best known spokespersons, made it clear just what was important in "education."

"The most controversial issues of the twenty-first century will pertain to the ends and means of modifying human behavior and who shall determine them. The first educational question will not be 'what knowledge is of the most worth?' but 'what kinds of human beings do we wish to produce?' The possibilities virtually defy our imagination."

Plato and Thought

Plato invented thought.

I am not sure that this writer is a true "perennial". This needs more consideration. However, the point is taken that Plato certainly elevated discourse noetically, past mimesis, and into gnosis.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Education in the Internet Generation

"Yes, young Americans are energetic, ambitious, enterprising, and good, but their talents and interests and money thrust them not into books and ideas and history and civics, but into a whole other realm and other consciousness. A different social life and a different mental life have formed among them. Technology has bred it, but the result doesn't tally with the fulsome descriptions of digital empowerment, global awareness, and virtual communities. Instead of opening young American minds to the stores of civilization and science and politics, technology has contracted their horizon to themselves, to the social scene around them. Young people have never been so intensely mindful of and present to one another, so enabled in adolescent contact. Teen images and songs, hot gossip and games, and youth-to-youth communications no longer limited by time or space wrap them up in a generational cocoon reaching all the way into their bedrooms. The autonomy has a cost: the more they attend to themselves, the less they remember the past and envision the future. They have all the advantages of modernity and democracy, but when the gifts of life lead to social joys, not intellectual labor, the minds of the young plateau at 18. The fonts of knowledge are everywhere, but the rising generation is camped in the desert, passing stories, pictures, tunes, texts back and forth, living off the thrill of peer attention. Meanwhile their intellects refuse the cultural and civic inheritance that has made us what we are up to now."

Mark Bauerlein, The Dumbest Generation, 2007

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ex Cosi Desio Me Mena

"Then Man, who had full power over the world of mortal beings and of animals, leant across the armature of the spheres, having broken through their envelopes, and showed to the Nature below the beautiful form of God. When she saw that he had in him the inexhaustible beauty and all the energy of the Governors, joined to the form of God, Nature smiled with love, for she had seen the features of that marvelously beautiful form of Man reflected in the water and his shadow on the earth. And he, having seen this form like to himself in Nature, reflected in the water, he loved her and wished to dwell with her. The moment he wished this he accomplished it and came to inhabit the irrational form. Then Nature having received her loved one, embraced him, and they were united, for they burned with love."

Titus Flavius Clemens

Second guest post.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Walter Kunneth's doctrine of Resurrection.

One hates to jump into the middle of theological quarrels, it's always dangerous, and so we won't, except to note that the argument appears to be over whether or not Jesus instantiates the Resurrection, and what that means. If the Cosmos is archetypal, then there was already a "pattern", which means that Jesus (in a sense) was not unique. Paul's language is to call Him "firstborn". In our humble opinion, every theological dogma breaks down at some point on the Scylla/Charybdis of the One-and-the-Many Problem. However, it may be possible to either experience such first hand (which is what we do eventually anyway) or use language more precisely to avoid creating dilemmas to begin with.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Guest Post

A guest post over at Gornahoor by myself.

For all of my Christian brothers who happen to read this, let me just say that this is my effort to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth - the transformation which the Church is going to have to undergo is going to be incredibly wonderful and incredibly difficult. Lying to ourselves about it won't make it any easier. As someone said, "Being strong and being weak take the same amount of work - be strong."

The Church can be true to itself, to its Saviour, and still change.