The Lost Sense of Learning by Ken Myers

Column: Contours of Culture

The Lost Sense of Learning

by Ken Myers

Many books that most wisely describe the ideals of cultural flourishing (and which thereby diagnose cultural confusions) are books about education. This should come as no surprise, since the work of education is at root the transmission of culture—of a body of knowledge and a way of situating ourselves in the world so as to seek understanding and live well.

Our society typically regards education as a means of progress to some unknown and better future, not as a matter of cultural conservation. So we tend to think of schools as place . . .