Wednesday, March 19, 2014

From the Commonplace Book: Wendell Berry on Education

"The schools are no longer oriented to a cultural inheritance that it is their duty to pass on unimpaired, but to the career, which is to say the future, of the child. The orientation is thus necessarily theoretical, speculative, and mercenary. The child is not educated to return home and be of use to the place and community; he or she is educated to leave home and earn money in a provisional future that has nothing to do with place or community. And parents with children in school are likely to find themselves immediately separated from their children, and made useless to them, by the intervention of new educational techniques, technologies, methods, and languages. School systems innovate as compulsively and as eagerly as factories."
          -Wendell Berry, 'The Work of Local Culture' 

I might add that modernist school systems imitate factories in destructive ways because they are essentially factories. Production and utility are the ultimate measures of success.