Author Topic: THe Anti-College  (Read 28 times)


  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
THe Anti-College
« on: June 13, 2019, 06:05:01 pm »
The Anti-College Is on the Rise

Students, teachers and reformers are pushing back against the failures of mainstream higher education.

They represent a growing movement of students, teachers and reformers who are trying to compensate for mainstream higher education’s failure to help young people find a calling: to figure out what life is really for.

These students will read works by authors ranging from Plato and Herbert Marcuse to Tlingit writers. The point is to “develop and flex a more rigorous political imagination,” according to one course syllabus. They will take on 15 to 20 hours a week of manual labor in Sitka, and set their group’s rules on everything from curfews to cellphones. Last summer’s cohort discouraged the use of phones during class and service hours and ordered everyone to turn off the internet at 10 p.m.

It operates on a “pay what you can” model and bans alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and recreational drugs.

The point of bringing students to live, work and read together is nothing short of “the cultivation of wisdom, the living of a good life in thought and action, and selfless devotion to world and humanity,” according to the Arete Project’s website. But what philosophical foundations underlie those ambitions?

“I do wonder whether or not it’s mission-critical for an educational institution to have a fully articulated metaphysics and ethics and politics that underpin it — or to what extent that is inhibitive to the broader project of liberal education,” Ms. Marcus told me. “There is a deep-seated human desire to feel you’re a part of something bigger than yourself, and one of the problems of liberal modernity is that it doesn’t give you a whole lot beyond the self to subsume yourself in. That gives secular institutions like ours a little bit of a question mark about what that grounding vision is going to be.”

Outer Coast and the Arete Project represent one strain of higher education reform: call them the communitarian pragmatists, with liberal arts for the mind, labor for the body and an ethos of secular monasticism for the spirit. They are the descendants of philosophers like John Dewey and educational entrepreneurs like Deep Springs College’s founder, L.L. Nunn.

Way Finding Academy, Portland Oregon

OT: Are Traditional Colleges and Universities Bad Environments?

- The World Is A Ghetto by War -

Cristal blue persuasion

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter