“The temperament that starts at the sound of a voice or chance noises in general is an unstable one and one that has yet to attain inward detachment. It has an element of uneasiness in it.” -Seneca, Letter LVI
What is the type of person that education is supposed to produce? Is education supposed to produce a better worker as it’s primary end? No, because workers like most human activities are improved by exercising in their vocation. Education is meant to mold a certain character in the young that goes beyond the immediate utilitarian value.
The young used to be required to grow in the wisdom of their elders, but that changed with the cultural revolution of the 60’s in which the wisdom of the past was deemed poisoned and offensive. By the 1970’s the core curriculum was deemed too White Western Male and changed up to favor a Neo-Epicurean experimentation method of learning modern academia have lost touch with reality and truth.
“Sated with easy, clinical and sterile satisfactions of body and soul, the students arriving at the university today hardly walk on the enchanted ground they once did. They pass the ruins without imagining what was once there. These most productive years of learning, the time when Alcibides was growing his first beard, are wasted because of artificial precociousness and a sophistic wisdom acquired in high school.” -Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind
Bloom makes the point that the modern student is bereft of the capacity to learn because they lack the fundamental knowledge that Socrates did. Socrates in the Apology learned that he “knew nothing,” hence he had become “wise.” Thus the original philosophy of Western education was acquire wisdom instead of mere knowledge and facts. When the student has grasped that, mere knowledge becomes a formality.
However when the goal of working towards a common culture is removed all that can be left is sophistic learning, this leaves the education of psyche neglected. from there the emphasis of learning shifts to the Unbalanced, students who’s natural abilities may be an didactic memory, or a knack for solving mathematical puzzles, or simply people who can study to the test.
This shift can be seen in the highest levels of academia, consider law school. Before the 1920’s Law Schools educated their students in the Jurisprudence of their culture, in Europe this is known as the common law. In America law was based off the principle set forth in the Constitution, but after the 1920’s the teaching methodology went from Constitutional law to case law.
“Do not be whirled about, but in every movement have respect to justice, and on the occasion of every impression maintain the faculty of Comprehension [or Understanding].” -Marcus Aurelius, The Meditations
There are people who are good test takers, but this does not mean that these people do well when put to the test.