Home > Uncategorized > Take this in, endlessly

Take this in, endlessly

January 10, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Historian Stephen E. Ambrose may have accidentally put his finger on one of the great flaws of American schools. He took a history class that required each student to do some original research with primary sources, and this insight came to him in the process:

  • “And that just hit me like a sledgehammer,” Ambrose later said. “It had never before occurred to me that I could add to the sum of the world’s knowledge.” (Writer’s Almanac, 1/10/14)

In other words, he was deep into his college education before he understood that a person can help create knowledge, rather than simply receiving it from the pages of the past or the lips of a few experts.

In other words, a smart, talented young person reached adulthood with the most passive understanding of the way meaning-making might be handled by society.

In other words, the schools and colleges are often just fine with that. Take this in, endlessly, is the basic philosophy of our schools. Create nothing. Listen and learn.

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