An interesting podcast episode on the history of the American Education system (with obvious overlap here in Canada, albeit with a slightly diffeterent emphasis) to kick off a new school year.
Interesting to note the religious roots and how secularization also emerged as a way of controlling ideology and assimilation.
Uncovers a common tension between the accumulation of wisdom and economic interest.
I was also reminded of Louis menand’s book The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War.
There he touches on the historical development of post secondary education and the creation of and rise in America of a distinguishable youth culture. The formation of later high school grades and post secondary college/universities were established so as to extend the market of youths who were seen as the engine of Americas economic machine and its enusing appeal to an emerging culture of individualism. Thus this formulated a culture that isolated youth from the same family systems which governed the rest of the world, the image of the “youth” becoming the new symbol of eternal life and the aged person being relegated to a burden.
A reminder that when we invest in educated societies we are investing in wisdom as a virtue, and wisdom as a virtue always leads to the betterment of the whole. That is the value of education that we find in the ancient world where art and theology and philosophy were seen as equal to and of the same mind as the maths and sciences. It is when we exchange wisdom for economic function and a need for progress that we end up with something quite different, which then tells us something about the ideologies lying underneath the systems.