Saturday, February 11, 2023

What is the purpose of public higher education in a democratic society?

"Principally, it’s to help students acquire the habits of mind and heart necessary to live as informed, virtuous citizens. I say “principally” because there are other educational aims, or purposes, to a university, such as the cultivation of intellectual autonomy or “universal knowledge,” as John Henry Newman once argued. A university should also aim at career preparation, skill acquisition, and other learning objectives specific to one’s “major.” But United States higher education should primarily be concerned with helping to guarantee the successes associated with the American Experiment; it should educate in view of the Common Good."

True, this was published in a conservation publication (City Journal), and the author was a DeSantis appointee (Henry Mack), but it's been at least 50 years, and maybe 85 since higher education promoted these virtues and objectives. Read the rest at scroll to the bottom. Today you'd have to avoid higher education in order to be virtuous citizens. They'd have to boot all the woke faculty (probably 90%) before it could be an education for the Common Good.

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