The Lost Tools of Learning / Sayers

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"…the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain."

Dorothy Leigh Sayers
Escondido Tutorial Service
1947
Library Topic
Library Topic: What is Education?

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Commentary or Blog Post

"I asked Fulton County high school teacher Jordan Kohanim to write a piece about what she wanted for her students this year. Jordan joined forces with fellow Centennial High School English teachers Larken McCord and Cathy Rumfelt to write a powerful letter about their goals for their students and for all students. School resumes in Fulton County on Monday

Here is their combined effort....

In this article, Charles Murray explains the need that highly gifted children have for a solid, classical education. Classical education involves more than the pursuit of high knowledge, for as Murray implies, a solid, classical education will involve the study of character and sound...

This interview finds Tracy Lee Simmons discussing the issues of classical education in today’s schools. According to Simmons, classical education - and its emphasis on Greek and Latin - was the schooling norm for many centuries. Simmons believes that classical education provides...

In an interview with George Clowes, Susan Bauer explains the core principles of child education and describes how classical education effectively fulfills those same principles. According to Bauer, current public education...

Education philosopher E.D. Hirsch uses this article to differentiate between the romantic and classical ideas of education. According to Hirsch, the romantic - and eventually progressive - idea of creativity and natural learning gradually usurped the unnatural form of...

In this article, Russell Kirk seeks to describe the components and benefits of a liberal education. According to Kirk, "True education is meant to develop the individual human being, the person, rather than to serve the state." Kirk opines that giving students a...

This essay lays out the tenets of classical education or the "trivium." According to Bauer, the "trivium" revolves around "grammar," "logic," and "rhetoric," and presents an education that draws on effective practices and sources from history. In short, classical...

This article explains the philosophical differences between Aristotle and Plato and then relates these differences to the classical education system. According to Cothran, Aristotle’s philosophies represent one of the crowning features of classical...

Analysis Report White Paper

Like many other educational writers, Murray Rothbard believes that education begins with birth and progresses as children grow and learn a variety of things from the world and other influences around them. Among other things, this article gives an extensive overview of education -...

In this piece, Peter Berkowitz takes a look at what education currently consists of on the university front and determines that many students are not being offered a well-rounded curriculum of knowledge. Berkowitz then describes John Stuart Mill’s ideal "...

This article traces the evolution of "formal education" throughout history, particularly in the medieval era. Herbener declares that the education process and market was much more productive in the eras in which parents or private entities were responsible for child education. The...

This paper analyzes and explains the educational ideas in Plato’s Republic. Plato’s educational philosophies seem to have encompassed the whole being, for as Kamtekar explains, "Plato describes education as a process in which the natural capacities...

According to the author, modern education practices fail to train a child’s mind to learn and expand beyond their school years, a fact which Sayers attributes to the academic decline that is currently occurring.

Video/Podcast/Media

In this lecture Professor Nash explores how books and libraries molded the "remarkable elite that made and preserved the American Revolution."

Andrew Coulson discusses the history of education covering ancient times, the Middle Ages, Colonial America and the devlopment of public government-run education in England and America.

This video clip features the audio version of chapter one from The Abolition of Man. This well-known book describes some of C.S. Lewis' views on education practices and theories. Lewis condemns many of the popular educational theories of his day, most notably the process of grammar instruction via "the little green book."

In the second audio section of The Abolition of Man, Lewis begins to question the educational methods of the twentieth century. According to Lewis, the educators of his day were filling children’s minds with philosophical ideas rather than the factual elements which are commonly believed to be the purpose of education. Lewis thus implies that education in...

The third audio section of The Abolition of Man finds Lewis quoting the ideas of many Jewish, Greek, and other ancient educational philosophers. Lewis opines that education should consist of instilling objective truths in young people, not "propaganda" like Lewis believes the educators of his day were engaged in.

This is the final audio section of chapter one from The Abolition of Man. In this part Lewis concludes that the educational ideas of his day were inhibiting students from true learning and were thus producing "men without chests," a product which Lewis soundly condemned.

Primary Document

"This essay, written sometime during King's junior year at Morehouse, explores the dual function of education. According to King, education must 'discipline the mind' and orient human life around a set of morals. Without this latter component, King warns, education is 'a ship without a compass.'"

"The English nation, for their improvements in the theory of government, has, at least, more merit with the human race than any other among the moderns. The late most beautiful and liberal speculations of many writers, in various parts of Europe, are manifestly derived from English sources. Americans, too, ought for ever to acknowledge their obligations to English writers, or rather have as...

A key foundational work in philosophical writings, Plato’s Republic is considered to be "the first treatise upon education." As the introduction notes, Plato’s educational philosophies are expressed specifically in the second section of the ...

"Whether you agree with his ideas or not, Rousseau was an intellectual force of such magnitude that his ideas still impact our thinking about human nature and the educational process two centuries later. His work Emile compares to Plato's Republic in its remarkable breadth. Not only does the book describe a pedagogical method for training children...

Immanuel Kant’s treatise on education declares that the topic consists of "discipline," "culture," "discretion," and "morality." Kant deals with the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the child, and gives a variety of practical suggestions on how to...

In Meyer v. Nebraska, the Supreme Court struck down a law that prohibited teaching German or other foreign languages until the ninth grade. The Court reasoned that there was no compelling need in this case to infringe on the rights of parents and teachers to decide the best course of education for students. This court helped to shape the meaning of and rights to...

In this piece Dewey truly does lay out his own "creed" on education, even beginning each paragraph with, "I believe."  Using his extensive background in psychology and combining it with his social philosophy, Dewey presents five sections concerning education:
1)      What Education Is
2)     ...

According to Terrence Moore's introduction to this work, George Turnbull was the only philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment to write extensively on the issue of education. Moore explains that although Turnbull drew from John Locke’s work on education,...

"God, that made all things good, and blessed them, Gen. i. 28—31, imparted expressly this blessing first to his creatures, capable thereof, that they should increase and multiply in their kind. More especially, God created our first parents, male and female, and blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth.' This order then set, he hath preserved to this day, and...

John Stuart Mill was a British political philosopher and politician. In this classic essay, he argues that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.... Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."

G.K. Chesterton’s essay on education addresses everything from what education is, to what role parents and public schooling should play in education. Chesterton believes that education is continually occurring whether or not a person is in an acceptable educational...

According to Plutarch, the education of children should begin from the point of their conception. This fact suggests that Plutarch viewed education as something more than the mastery of various scholastic subjects; indeed, this piece demonstrates that...

In this piece, Quintilian, a Spanish-born Roman orator, describes what he believes is the ideal course for educating a child. Quintilian encourages early instruction in a variety of areas, including Greek and Latin, as well as good role-models and...

In the eyes of John Locke, the education of a child includes more than books and schooling. Indeed, Locke’s thoughts on education cover the whole physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional being of the...

"The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia is designed to be a complete classified arrangement of the Writings of Thomas Jefferson on Government, Politics, Law, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, Manufactures, Navigation, Finance, Morals, Religious Freedom, and many other topics of permanent human interest. It contains everything of importance that Jefferson wrote on these subjects."

In the eyes of Maria Montessori, "Education is to guide activity, not repress it." This statement expresses the nature of Montessori’s educational views, which are still frequently referenced and...

The Christian school is to be favored for two reasons.

Aristotle, one of the best known Western philosophers, concluded his work on ethics with the statement that he intended to look into "the whole question of the management of a state." The Politics was his effort to do so. He examines the origin and purpose of government, and then discusses Plato's The Republic and other proposed and existing forms of government.

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At Intellectual Takeout, we think it's about time freedom went viral. Before our generation is the opportunity to embrace freedom, to unleash each individual's potential, and to have a prosperous future. And yet it seems that almost everyone running our cities, states, and federal government is intent on destroying freedom and burying us in debt to pay for it. If you, like us, believe that...
Education history in America is important to know. ITO traces how education has changed from the colonial period to present day America.
While many documentaries on the education system focus on various examples of failure, "Flunked" takes a bit different tack. While certainly acknowledging and exposing the failures of the system, "Flunked" also seeks out individuals and approaches that ARE working in education. The hope is that these points of hope may serve as examples for others working in education.  Here's the trailer:...
In the genre of documentaries revealing the problems with public education, "Kids Aren't Cars" focuses on helping us understand how schools are modeled after a factory system and what we need to do to change them. Understandably, treating kids as if they are a product to be manufactured has had detrimental effects on children going through the system and the overall level of education in America...
"Many parents and taxpayers feel helpless because the problems can seem so monumental. 'Kids Aren't Cars' director Kyle Olson reviews what he learned in the filmmaking process and the small things individuals can do that will add up to make a big difference." Here's Kyle being interviewed on a few things you can do and share with friends, family, and educators: Part 1Part 2
Okay, so your friends and family keep telling you to jump on the social media bandwagon, but you have no idea what the fuzz is about. Here’s the deal: The Internet gives liberty-loving folk like us an opportunity we have never had before: to make the case for individual liberty, limited government and free market economics instantly and globally. But with the vast amounts of information...

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Let's face it, most of us love to watch TV and movies. A wonderful way to spread ideas is to embrace our love of the cinema by hosting a movie night with friends and family.  There are numerous documentaries that do a fantastic job of sharing the ideas of liberty. You can pull a small group of friends together at your house or even consider asking a local restaurant or tavern to let you...
Curiously, not a few individuals are realizing that their education (K-12 and even college) neglected to provide them with as much understanding of the world as they would like. At Intellectual Takeout, we believe that however you feel about your education, there is still much to be learned. To that end, we'd like to refer you to one book and a collection of "study guides" that serve as...
Sure, the idea of homeschooling is likely overwhelming. Indeed, homeschooling is a big commitment and a lot of work. That said, there's a reason why more and more parents are turning to homeschooling as the best option for their child(ren)'s education(s). Perhaps you are starting to realize that the public school system has changed a lot since you last attended it. Maybe you can't afford private...
Are you concerned your child isn't getting the education necessary to compete in the global economy or even, perhaps, to carry on the lessons and learning of Western Civilization? If so, you have a number of choices. You could, of course, consider changing schools to a charter school, private school, or even homeschooling. If that's overwhelming for you right now, you can always supplement your...
While there are a variety of really good documentaries about the failing public school systems in America, "The Cartel" stands alone in its frontal assault on the teacher unions, particularly those in New Jersey. If you'd like to get an inside look into how some teacher unions operate and the effects they have on education, you'll want to watch "The Cartel."From the movie's website: "This movie...
Another movie that tells the story of the failing public school model in the United States is “The Lottery”. It takes its own unique look at the systems by focusing on the use of lotteries to choose which children will be plucked from failing public schools and put into more successful public charter schools. Here’s the trailer:  You can watch the whole movie right now with the help of Hulu...
Watch "Waiting for Superman" to learn about the problems with the public education system.
Looking for an internship? If so, Intellectual Takeout has an opportunity for you. We have plenty of work to do as well as ideas to spread, and we need your help to get it done. If you're interested in an internship with Intellectual Takeout, you likely share our passion and you're excited about the possibility of working for a great cause. That said, you might have a few questions about what "...
How often do you hear conservatives being called a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals? Here's the reality: Conservatism, classical liberalism, and libertarianism have a rich, intellectual heritage reaching back many millennia. Our ideas are not just some historical relics from bygone eras; they are the very foundation of Western Civilization in general, amd the United States in particular....
Sadly (or happily for some), life goes on after college. So does the fight for freedom. Building friendships, networking, and growing the movement is critical after college. If our ideas are to be preserved and promoted, you need to stay involved. Plus, in a time when the individual seems to be ever more isolated and adrift, these groups can help plug you into social networks you can use....
Okay, so we don't expect you to drive a wooden stake into your flat screen. Plus, we're total hypocrites since we watch some TV. But here's the point: People waste a ton of time watching TV. If you're cool with government taking over your future, than keep watching Dancing with the Stars. If you consider yourself to be a free man or woman and want to live in a free society, then watch what you...
A great way to make a difference on your campus by spreading the ideas of individual rights, limited government, and free markets is to tutor. Plus, you can occasionally make a little bit of money. Depending on the subject matter, you will be discussing a variety of ideas, key thinkers, and theories. As anyone who has tutored knows, there are almost always opportunities to expand upon a topic....
In a highly regulated society such as ours, it's very easy to get yourself in trouble with the law. Learn more about how to protect yourself with the 5th Amendment and how to interact with the police.
The Association of American Educators (AAE) advances the teaching profession through personal growth, professional development, teacher advocacy and protection, as well as promoting excellence in education so that our members receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve.

On Campus

Now that you're at college and the initial excitement has worn off, maybe you're thinking that the course selection is a bit biased and you'd like some options. So how do you (the consumer) get the college (the business) to change up its offerings? It certainly won't be easy. Nevertheless it's something that should be done--particularly since you're footing the bill. A good, education in a free...
Whatever activism you choose to do on campus, you need to get your story out. A popular tactic used by the Left is to isolate and intimidate freedom-loving students. You're not alone and there are a lot of people in your city, state, and country that can probably support your efforts. They just need to know what is happening. Whenever you can, record in-class bias, discrimination against...
The reality is that most students (and people for that matter) won't speak out. It's called human nature and it was recognized in the Declaration of Independence: "...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." While you might feel alone when debating a teacher,...
If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved. Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join. Below is a list of some of the larger non-...
When it comes to campus life injustices, student fees rank high on any list. On most campuses across the country a mandatory student fee is assessed to each student at the beginning of the year. A portion of this fee, which may be several hundred dollars, will go toward funding various political, religious, and interest groups.  A college requiring you to support groups espousing ideas which...
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, speech codes are a particularly odious example of politically correct repression on many a college campus. In some ways, college campuses are the least free places for thinking and speech in America. Your best friend for fighting your school's repressive speech codes is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Here's a short clip...
Running for office isn't easy, even in college. Not everyone is cut out for it, either. For those of you who are, this completely non-partisan section is for you. If you are inclined to pursue student government, we're not going to spend time on telling you how to get elected. A good place to go for ideas and training is CampusReform.org. Rather, we want to help you in office, as a believer in...
We've built Intellectual Takeout to provide you with quick, easy access to information. In time, we hope to become your one-stop-shop for the ideas of freedom. If your professor allows you to bring your laptop to class (if not, you can use an iPhone), we recommend keeping a tab open to Intellectual Takeout. As we continue to generate new content on the site, you will be able to fact check the...