Ancient Wisdom – Why Study Classics? (via Jonathan Knott)

Club UK magzine, July 2011 I don’t like Cicero,’ says Rachel Cunliffe, a second-year undergraduate reading Classics at Cambridge University. ‘I think he was an arrogant so and so who thought he was far more important than he actually was. But I recommend that every modern politician who wants to give inspiring speeches should study him. To read him you’d think he was the most incredible man in Rome.’ Fellow student Afra Pujol i Campeny from Barce … Read More

via Jonathan Knott

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7 thoughts on “Ancient Wisdom – Why Study Classics? (via Jonathan Knott)

  1. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt

    Jen,
    You have a great article here, but one that also disturbs me beyond belief. I am consistently amazed at a generation of people that don’t see the importance of studying the classics or of having a Liberal Arts education. Even on the University Level, I have witnessed an arrogance and disdain for scholarship/history/ academia from students. I hope many will read this post.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer Lockett Post author

      You are right in that many people now feel that the role of education is to ‘make money’ or have tangible application – they do not see the value in understanding the world around us. A part of me feel that this is connected to the new ‘business model’ of education that we see gaining popularity.

      Reply
  2. Michael Hulshof-Schmidt

    I do apologize for having been so snarky in my last comment. You absolutely nailed it when you said: “role of education is to ‘make money’ or have tangible application.” I suspect this is part of the legacy of the Reagan/Bush/Bush years. Oy! Such a legacy.

    Reply
  3. stumdanger

    Interesting that you have this, and just a few posts earlier you talk about blazing into the future of digital footprints. Love the duality of it all.

    Now, if I might play devil’s advocate. Education must have a tangible application. After all, it is merely the method of learning how to do something. A farmer is an educated person. So is a soldier or carpenter. Any trade skill has education.

    Of course, assuming that you meant the education system, then yes even that must have tangible application, otherwise what is the point of requiring and supporting it with public funds? Let the kid drop out and learn a trade. College is only worth the sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in it if it has a tangible payoff and application in the end. And, to be fair, the entire process has suffered under Liberal Arts influence and Democrat presidents as well. Not starting an argument, just saying.

    But on the bright side, a study of classics does tell one that all things are fairly cyclic and that balance will eventually be restored.

    Reply
    1. wildwomanswimming

      Apologies for joining the dabate late…Stumdanger your definition of ‘education’ fails to differentiate it from ‘training’. What’s interesting for me in the British system is our refusal to accept Polytechnics as (often excellent) institutions for higher, vocational training, and their transformation into universities alongside the ‘upgrading’ of vocational qualifications to ‘degrees’. Once this transformation had taken place, the concept of a ‘degree’ changed and traditional, academic education for its own sake (which was a transferrable skill) was challenged precisely for being non vocational. So now students must choose a narrow-ranging, vocational degree in order to be employable. If that person decides they don’t like working in that area, they have to do another vocational degree in order to change tack. I agree absolutely with you Jen that this is to do with the business model of education, which trains people to work in its own interests. In my view this is a tragedy.

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Ancient Wisdom – Why Study Classics? (via Jonathan Knott) » Greece on WEB

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