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An Intellectual History of American Education

Elan Journo

Presented at: OCON 2004

Date: Jul 10, 2004

American schools today have forsaken the goal of cultivating the student’s mind. Instead of being prepared for life as independent thinkers, students face a barrage of “politically correct” dogmas. They are urged to be emotionalist herd-followers, to hate Western Civilization, to revere the “environment.” Many graduates are illiterate, inarticulate and unable to perform simple arithmetic.

The perversion of schools into factories of ignorance did not happen overnight, nor did it happen in an intellectual vacuum. On the contrary, the decline of education is an eloquent illustration of how philosophy shapes the culture. This course surveys the intellectual history of American education and discusses the ideas and influence of major theorists such as John Dewey. The aim is to explain the philosophic underpinnings of those ideas and to map the paths along which they have traveled on the way to the mainstream of today’s classrooms.


Parts: 1

Handout: none


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