Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The English Syllabus

C.S. Lewis starts this essay out with explaining the difference of education vs. vocational training.  Lewis states that the purpose of man is to produce a good man and a good citizen.  The purpose of vocational training is to train the person for a specific job.  He then goes on to add later that education then is for the freedman while vocational training is for slaves. 

Education is learning for the sake of learning.  When we are thinking of a major that interests us in College, we must think of the question, “ What do I most want to know?” However, we must not think of the question, “ What will do me the most good? Something that does you good may not be something that you like, however, when we study what we most want to know, we keep interest with those things and have fun with it making life enjoyable.

One thing that I would like to point out is that later on Lewis makes the statement that the good man produced by education means “ the man of good taste and good feeling, the interesting and interested man, and almost the happy man.”  So, an educated person is an interesting person.  This means that they must know a variety of things, not just a lot about one thing.  An interesting person to talk to is someone who can carry on a conversation about a variety of subjects. 

Calvin College provides people with an education, not merely vocational triaining.  We are required to take a lot of General Education courses.  There are good and bad aspects of this.  On the bad side, people might have to take courses that they don’t want to take, and even be persuaded not to attend school here because of this.  On the good side, people at Calvin learn a large variety of things.  A Calvin College graduate generally comes out smarter than people graduating from other colleges.  This is because they are forced to learn a lot more material from a wide variety of subjects.


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