The High Cost of Cultural Amnesia

Famed literary critic George Steiner once said that cultural knowledge allows one to “resist” and that “no one can make a zombie of you if you carry [cultural knowledge] inside of you.” Today, Steiner’s argument for cultural education is being severely tested. Just how little today’s students know about their own cultures was brought home … Continue reading “The High Cost of Cultural Amnesia”


Student Learning Outcomes and the Decline of American Education

Educational fads always come with a shelf life; the implacable resistance of reality eventually makes them expire. Usually, the promised educational miracle has done more harm than good. The wreckage is all around us: the Self-Esteem Movement, Students Right to Their Own Language, Whole Language, Whole Math, Multiple Learning Styles, Guide On the Side Not … Continue reading “Student Learning Outcomes and the Decline of American Education”


A New College Makes the (ACTA) Grade

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) advises trustees and alumni about higher education issues, identifies “oases of [educational] excellence,” and examines graduation requirements at various colleges to answer the question “What Will They Learn?” In that report, ACTA scrutinizes each college’s curriculum, looking for seven requirements: composition, literature, foreign language, U.S. history, economics, … Continue reading “A New College Makes the (ACTA) Grade”