New Mexico’s Heather Wilson thinks our educational system is failing the elite students. Too much system, too little real education.
One thing to remember here is that callow youth are callow by definition. Even so, Mrs. Wilson has seen a change over the last 20 years. Strange to say, but perhaps the internet and greater connectivity is promoting greater conformity. Conformists generally just don’t avoid hard questions–they often aren’t even aware that the questions exist.
The phenomenon Wilson points to is something I’ve been thinking about in connection with the Church lately. The Bloggernacle likes to talk about how stultifying church education is for people of real intelligence (by implication, themselves). I’m not so sure. I’m pretty high on how we teach our youth, and not just because I’m a teacher and not just because of the recent study that Mormon kids were unique in knowing something about their religion. I’m high on it because its focused on basic questions and first principles that our culture shies away from. I’m high on it because it is countercultural to preach God and morality, so Mormon-taught kids will be challenged by the culture and challenge the culture. Conformity is impossible. Finally, I’m high on it because it has to be applied, and therefore is challenged and adapted by reality. There are no Sunday School answers on day 37 of tracting in a burned-out area with a burned-out companion. At that point, the answers become real, or go away.