Education and “The Dead Hands of the Past”

Something interesting I read today, in “Between Past and Future” by Hannah Arendt:

“The testament, telling the heir what will rightfully be his, wills past possessions for a future.  Without testament or, to resolve the metaphor, without tradition…there seems to be no willed continuity in time and hence, humanly speaking, neither past nor future, only sempiternal change of the world and the biological cycle of living creatures in it.  …[R]emembrance, which is only one though one of the most important, modes of thought, is helpless outside a pre-established framework of reference, and the human mind is only on the rarest occasions capable of retaining something which is altogether unconnected.”

Oddly enough, I had just read this article on the education theories of E.D. Hirsch at the University of Virginia.  Together, Arendt’s contention and the article provide provocative material for the education reform debate.

Comments are closed.