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A new edition of Christopher Dawson's classic work on Christian higher education. The Crisis of Western Education, originally published in 1961, served as a capstone of Christopher Dawson's thought on the Western educational system. Long out of print, the book has now been updated with a new introduction by Glenn W. Olsen and is included in the ongoing Works of Christopher A new edition of Christopher Dawson's classic work on Christian higher education. The Crisis of Western Education, originally published in 1961, served as a capstone of Christopher Dawson's thought on the Western educational system. Long out of print, the book has now been updated with a new introduction by Glenn W. Olsen and is included in the ongoing Works of Christopher Dawson series. In all of his writings, Dawson masterfully brings various disciplinary perspectives and historical sources into a complex unity of expression and applies them to concrete conditions of modern society. Dawson argued that Western culture had become increasingly defined by a set of economic and political preoccupations ultimately hostile to its larger spiritual end. Inevitably, its educational systems also became increasingly technological and pragmatic, undermining the long standing emphasis on liberal learning and spiritual reflection which were hallmarks of the Christian humanism that created it. In this important work on the Western educational system, Dawson traces the history of these developments and argues that Western civilization can only be saved by redirecting its entire educational system from its increasing vocationalism and specialization. He insists that the Christian college must be the cornerstone of such an educational reform. However, he argued that this redirection would require a much more organic and comprehensive study of the living Christian tradition than had been attempted in the past. Dawson had reservations about educational initiatives that had been developed in response to this crisis of education. Among them, he expressed doubts about newly emerging great books programs fearing that they would reduce the great tradition of a living culture to a set of central texts or great ideas. In contrast, he insisted that a Christian education had to be concerned with "how spiritual forces are transmitted and how they change culture, often in unexpected ways." This would require an understanding of the living and vital character of culture. As Dawson saw it, "culture is essentially a network of relations, and it is only by studying a number of personalities that you can trace this network." Dawson offers a diagnosis of modern education and proposes the retrieval of an organic and living culture which alone has the power to renew Western culture.


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A new edition of Christopher Dawson's classic work on Christian higher education. The Crisis of Western Education, originally published in 1961, served as a capstone of Christopher Dawson's thought on the Western educational system. Long out of print, the book has now been updated with a new introduction by Glenn W. Olsen and is included in the ongoing Works of Christopher A new edition of Christopher Dawson's classic work on Christian higher education. The Crisis of Western Education, originally published in 1961, served as a capstone of Christopher Dawson's thought on the Western educational system. Long out of print, the book has now been updated with a new introduction by Glenn W. Olsen and is included in the ongoing Works of Christopher Dawson series. In all of his writings, Dawson masterfully brings various disciplinary perspectives and historical sources into a complex unity of expression and applies them to concrete conditions of modern society. Dawson argued that Western culture had become increasingly defined by a set of economic and political preoccupations ultimately hostile to its larger spiritual end. Inevitably, its educational systems also became increasingly technological and pragmatic, undermining the long standing emphasis on liberal learning and spiritual reflection which were hallmarks of the Christian humanism that created it. In this important work on the Western educational system, Dawson traces the history of these developments and argues that Western civilization can only be saved by redirecting its entire educational system from its increasing vocationalism and specialization. He insists that the Christian college must be the cornerstone of such an educational reform. However, he argued that this redirection would require a much more organic and comprehensive study of the living Christian tradition than had been attempted in the past. Dawson had reservations about educational initiatives that had been developed in response to this crisis of education. Among them, he expressed doubts about newly emerging great books programs fearing that they would reduce the great tradition of a living culture to a set of central texts or great ideas. In contrast, he insisted that a Christian education had to be concerned with "how spiritual forces are transmitted and how they change culture, often in unexpected ways." This would require an understanding of the living and vital character of culture. As Dawson saw it, "culture is essentially a network of relations, and it is only by studying a number of personalities that you can trace this network." Dawson offers a diagnosis of modern education and proposes the retrieval of an organic and living culture which alone has the power to renew Western culture.

30 review for The Crisis of Western Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    Mentioned in Gamble's The Great Tradition as a reference for further reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Wilson

    Great.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anderson Paz

    O renomado historiador Dawson publicou essa obra em 1961. É dividida em três partes. A primeira trata da história da educação liberal no ocidente. A segunda é sobre a educação cristã no mundo moderno. E a terceira trata do homem ocidental na era tecnológica. Na primeira parte, Dawson começa destacando que a educação formal é apenas um aspecto da “enculturação”, isto é, da transmissão da cultura. Na antiguidade grega, a educação formal era restrita à classe dominante, mas as pessoas comuns tinha O renomado historiador Dawson publicou essa obra em 1961. É dividida em três partes. A primeira trata da história da educação liberal no ocidente. A segunda é sobre a educação cristã no mundo moderno. E a terceira trata do homem ocidental na era tecnológica. Na primeira parte, Dawson começa destacando que a educação formal é apenas um aspecto da “enculturação”, isto é, da transmissão da cultura. Na antiguidade grega, a educação formal era restrita à classe dominante, mas as pessoas comuns tinham cultura oral e prática. Não eram primitivos sem conhecimento. A essa época, difundiu-se uma educação liberal (gramática, lógica e retórica). Com o cristianismo, os estudos liberais ganharam um conteúdo teológico que, já na Idade Média, concentraram-se nos mosteiros. Essa educação que era clerical e concentrada em mosteiros passou a introduzir o estudo em filosofia e ciência gregas, especialmente, com os estudos escolásticos em Aristóteles. Os studium generale (universidades) passaram a formar a elite intelectual. Com o tempo, esses locais de estudo afastaram-se do homem comum e da igreja, iniciando-se o período de Renascimento. Mas este Renascimento ainda tinha forte conteúdo cristão. Ocorre que com o Renascimento italiano, a educação passou a ser vista como um todo científico, moral, e estético, perdendo paulatinamente seu conteúdo cristão. Com a Reforma Protestante, houve uma forte ruptura de Lutero com o humanismo. Ainda assim, os humanistas católicos e protestantes (inclusive o próprio Calvino) continuaram a concordar sobre a educação como formadora do homem. As classes baixas passaram a ser educadas. A essa época, novas descobertas e tecnologias possibilitaram o surgimento de um Renascimento racionalista italiano. Francis Bacon e Descartes uniram ciência e razão em prol do progresso humano à parte do cristianismo. Com o tempo, o empirismo inglês, o racionalismo francês e a física de Newton possibilitaram o movimento iluminista e a Revolução Francesa. Esta destruiu o sistema educacional francês, abrindo um vácuo até a chegada de Bonaparte ao poder. Este, por sua vez, centralizou no Estado o sistema educacional. Enquanto isso, no século XVIII, influenciados por Rousseau, o movimento nacionalista alemão promoveu uma educação do Estado que fosse universal e moral. Apesar de Humboldt ter pensado uma educação humanista liberal, prevaleceu o ideal de Fichte de concentrar a educação e a ciência no Estado. A educação se tornou instrumento para fins nacionalistas. Com o tempo, essa estatização influenciou a Inglaterra. Dawson, já no sétimo capítulo, divide a história educacional dos EUA em quatro períodos. Destaca-se que a partir da metade do século XIX, o Estado americano se expandiu sobre o ensino superior, tornando a educação mais técnica e especializada. No século XX, essa educação foi universalizada e influenciou o restante do mundo em tornar sua educação mais técnica. Para o autor, o processo de secularização mitigou o cristianismo da educação. O laicismo democrático se tornou uma religião imposta pelo Estado, privatizando a igreja. Dessa constatação, Dawson, na segunda parte, propõe que é preciso que a educação ocidental descubra suas fontes morais e intelectuais no cristianismo, começando suas investigações pela cultura cristã. Para ele, a educação moderna é desintegradora: utilitarista e especialista. A cultura cristã deve ser estudada como um todo integrado para a compreensão do conhecimento de modo holístico. O sistema superior precisa ser realinhado com o conhecimento de suas origens cristãs. E esta, por sua vez, deve resgatar os fundamentos do valor comunitário e sua estrutura explicativa da história. Na última parte, Dawson sugere que a cosmovisão cristã deve mudar o ambiente cultural, mostrando a importância da fé cristã para além da ética e da moral. Frente ao laicismo, os cristãos devem oferecer uma cultura cristã, posto que a era tecnológica precisa de fundamentos espiritual e moral sólidos. Essa é não é uma obra propriamente de história, com detalhes de fatos e datas. É mais uma obra de história da filosofia da educação. A erudição de Dawson é uma grande contribuição para o estudo brasileiro sobre as raízes da educação moderna.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Raborg

    This is a very good book on the need for Western civilization to reconnect with its Christian roots. Every country needs a moral and spiritual vision. Without it, the West is doomed to adopt a dangerous ideology of class struggle or ultranationalism. Only Christianity can provide a true moral vision for the West. The book also concerns the problem with Christianity retreating into the ghetto, as it were, than confront modern society in order to preach the gospel. Dawson makes the interesting prop This is a very good book on the need for Western civilization to reconnect with its Christian roots. Every country needs a moral and spiritual vision. Without it, the West is doomed to adopt a dangerous ideology of class struggle or ultranationalism. Only Christianity can provide a true moral vision for the West. The book also concerns the problem with Christianity retreating into the ghetto, as it were, than confront modern society in order to preach the gospel. Dawson makes the interesting proposal that Christian culture needs to be made a field of study in state schools. The reason is so that people understand the origins of their civilization and Christianity retains a link with secular culture and education. I highly recommend this book for the accuracy of the author’s perception and the wealth of his ideas.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Samuel

    Chritopher Dawson vo svojej knihe ponúka komplexný pohľad na dejiny vzdelávania Západu. Od antického Grécka, Platónovej akadémie, cez stredoveké katedrálne, kláštorné školy, až po univerzity a štátne školstvo, ovplyvnené utilitarizmom a sekularizmom. Práve 19. storočie znamenalo zlom vo vzdelávaní, pretože došlo k prerušeniu tradície vzdelávania a v podstate sa prišlo s novým konceptom, ktorý ignoruje duchovnú podstatu človeka. Pre Dawsona je vízia jednotného duchovné dedičstva našej kultúry kľú Chritopher Dawson vo svojej knihe ponúka komplexný pohľad na dejiny vzdelávania Západu. Od antického Grécka, Platónovej akadémie, cez stredoveké katedrálne, kláštorné školy, až po univerzity a štátne školstvo, ovplyvnené utilitarizmom a sekularizmom. Práve 19. storočie znamenalo zlom vo vzdelávaní, pretože došlo k prerušeniu tradície vzdelávania a v podstate sa prišlo s novým konceptom, ktorý ignoruje duchovnú podstatu človeka. Pre Dawsona je vízia jednotného duchovné dedičstva našej kultúry kľúčová pre zachovanie Západnej civilizácie. Vo svojej knihe preto ponúka 6-bodový program vzdelávania v kresťanskej kultúre, ktorý je podľa neho pre Západ esenciálny, pričom nehovorí, že by ľudia mali vyznávať kresťanskú vieru, ale len poznať svoje kresťanské korene a kultúru. Pretože Dawson považuje štúdium kresťanskej kultúry za chýbajúci prvok, esenciálny pre podporu Západného vzdelania a hlavne prvok potrebný na prežitie Západnej civilizácie, pretože len skrze štúdium sme schopní pochopiť, ako niečo také ako západná civilizácia mohlo vzniknúť a čo sú jej základné hodnoty, na ktorých stojí. Dawson už v roku 1961 hovorí, že myseľ študenta je preťažená a omráčená množstvom nového poznania, ktoré sa zhromažďuje prácou špecialistov, zatiaľ čo potreba využitia vzdelania ako prvý krok k dobrej kariére mu zas nenecháva žiaden čas na zastavenie a premýšľanie. Rovnako sú na tom aj učitelia, ktorí sa stali štátnymi pracovníkmi, spútaní rutinou, nad ktorou nemajú takmer žiadnu kontrolu. Nie je vari toto problém dnešného školstva aj u nás? Dawson o tom písal už pred 60 rokmi. Najväčším nebezpečenstvom pre západne vzdelanie je podľa Dawsona štátom riadené a ovládané školstvo.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Matthys

    Provides and excellent historical survey of the traditions and institutions of education in Western Europe cumulating with State's assumption of universal educative responsibilities in recent times (first established under Napoleon). Dawson pays special attention to the role of education in the Anglo-saxon, and specifically American, tradition in which religious traditions, in particular Catholicism, have largely been able to resist the universalist tendencies of the State in the sphere of educa Provides and excellent historical survey of the traditions and institutions of education in Western Europe cumulating with State's assumption of universal educative responsibilities in recent times (first established under Napoleon). Dawson pays special attention to the role of education in the Anglo-saxon, and specifically American, tradition in which religious traditions, in particular Catholicism, have largely been able to resist the universalist tendencies of the State in the sphere of education. Dawson proceeds from his historical survey to analysis of the contemporary (1961) educational systems of the United States and their impact on the national culture. Of particular concern for Dawson is the secularising effect of the universalist, secular education which does not acknowledge the religious beliefs, or even the religious impulses, of its students. Dawson's understanding is that this secular education is not in anyways neutral but a contributing factor in the construction of a culture in which religion is not so much actively rejected as poorly understood and treated with indifference. Furthermore such an education is essentially incomplete or, in Dawson's own words subhuman, as by largely ignoring religion it ignores a fundamental part of the human past and psyche. Dawson's solution is to advocate the study of Christian culture from a historical perspective. Such a study, in Dawson's opinion, is of fundamental importance both to non-Christians, as its explanation of Christian culture as an objective, historical fact allows a proper comprehension of the civilisation which gave rise to modernity, and to Christians who must necessarily be concerned with the transmission of Christian Culture. Dawson furthermore couples this call for a general program with a stirring call to action for the individual christian to embrace an "apostate of study" to complement the apostates of action and prayer so that they may act as an interpreter of Christian Culture to society at large.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Adam Ross

    Dawson does a good, if introductory, job of dealing with the problem in modern western education. He traces this problem, crisis and decline to the abandonment of the great works and the Western Canon. The book isn't so much a lament of this problem, or of whining that his favorite books don't get taught anymore. Its really more of a calm, reasoned explanation about what these Great Works actually do to a person's character, and to their culture. As a Catholic, Dawson also views this educational Dawson does a good, if introductory, job of dealing with the problem in modern western education. He traces this problem, crisis and decline to the abandonment of the great works and the Western Canon. The book isn't so much a lament of this problem, or of whining that his favorite books don't get taught anymore. Its really more of a calm, reasoned explanation about what these Great Works actually do to a person's character, and to their culture. As a Catholic, Dawson also views this educational decline as partly the result of gradually shifting away from a Christian culture. Good stuff.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steven Hunter

    This is a must read. Dawson gives a great study of the history of education, and then in the midst of secular education he argues for a study of Christian culture. Keep in mind, this was originally published in 1961, and many of his words -- given our modern context -- he seems almost prophetic. Every educator should read this work.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 5, as one of Three Books on Education. Recommended by James Schall in Another Sort of Learning, Chapter 20, as one of Ten Books on the Humanities.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joel Zartman

    Clear, interesting, illuminating. If I am ever a teacher, this is one to re-read and master.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    DAWSON is always very worthwhile. In modern terms, he holds all the wrong views. A great defender of Christian culture and education.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Withun

    -

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    Prophetic and enlightening. A must read for anyone in the educational field.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Father Nick

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Ramos

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  17. 5 out of 5

    Khalil

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sean Gibson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Robert Corzine

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ben House

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tom Gourlay

  22. 5 out of 5

    Luke Enkosky

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Donohue

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christina

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steven

  27. 5 out of 5

    Darrell

  28. 5 out of 5

    Prof. Richard M. Fougerousse

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alberto Esteves

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christoffer

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