SIXTH COLUMN

"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What Do Colleges (And Obviously High Schools) Forget to Teach?

The answer: Civics

Without instruction and discussion, how else can expect them to understand the system of rights and responsibilities?

What is the source of this educational breakdown? The trouble isn’t the students—they’re bright and eager to learn. It’s that too few teachers are presenting students with the Founders’ philosophy, much less introducing them to the great issues, some still with us today, that divided the Founders.
And if teachers aren’t teaching the Founding’s principles, where will students learn them? They’re not likely to get any sense of the distinction between the delegated powers of the national government and the general jurisdiction of the states from any newspapers, national magazines, or television news networks, that’s for sure. Have the editors of the New York Times and the folks at CBS News even heard of that distinction yet? News travels slowly, true; but it shouldn’t take 218 years.
The solution to this educational breakdown is straightforward: we need to make a commitment at every level of schooling and within the public media to promote a deep awareness of the principles of the American Founding. Why educate students into archaism? some will doubtless object. Surely governing principles set forth in the eighteenth century have little relevance to us in the twenty-first. But American ideals, as embodied preeminently in the Declaration of Independence, are universal and timeless. ...”

Read it all.

Our schools are in a progressive decline.

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