Plan for 2016:
- Read or reread my way through the foot and a half of shelf space dedicated to various education histories, commentaries and biographies conveniently located at eye level in my desktop bookcase, plus the additional virtual foot or so on my Kindle or on the floor by the bed, etc. This includes well-know stuff like The Republic, as well as biographies of people few have ever heard of such, as Henry Barnard.
- Do more research. While Fichte’s ideas on education are largely contained in his Addresses to the German People, the same cannot be said for many of leading minds. How much Mann and Barnard should I read? (Barnard wrote a book on school architecture – don’t think I can pass that up!). The American Journal of Education from the second half of the 18oo’s is preserved in 19 large, heavy page-burning volumes! A real scholar would, I suppose, read it. Yikes!
- Try to get answers to several burning questions. How much anti-Catholicism was involved in the adoption of the Prussian model in America? Clearly, some – but how much can be documented? How did the compromise in NYC, wherein the Catholic schools got state funding for a while, but also came to mirror the public schools in all essential features? What was the role of peculiar nature of Irish immigrants in all this? The need to fit in and be respected in their new country seems especially strong in the Irish, and oddly prone to bad ‘compromises’, it seems to me.
- Then, as I do this, begin writing a book on how to re-form Catholic education into something both truly enlightening and truly Catholic, that reinforces the family, church and community instead of attempting to kill them off in favor of the omni-competent state.
As the sister below demonstrate, time to get serious!
This effort will require that I set aside my Scifi reading for a bit, although I imagine I will need a break from the likes of Mann once in a while.
Reading wretched boring stuff so you wont have to! Wish me luck!