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The Theory of Education in the United States Paperback – 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001D0JBKG
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ragnarok Books on November 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
In this book, Nock discusses in full length his theory of education in general, and the state of education in the United States in particular. Nock's main objectives are to delineate the differences between education and training and to describe what constitutes true education in his view.

The best review of the book can be found in the introduction, written by his son Francis.

To summarize, Nock's main flaws are his lack of scientific education (he would refer to it as scientific training), and more important, his lack of understanding of the importance of science in societal evolution and progress. It is sad to read a true man of letters like Nock regarding science and technology as unrelated to education.

Nonetheless, Nock's main observation is correct: being a great scientist, physician, or inventor does not preclude one from being an uneducated brute when it comes to the philosophical aspects of life. If you are a member of academia, just look around you and see the veracity of Nock's claims: how many ingenious professors, scientists, researchers, doctors and engineers do you know who are ignoramus nincompoops when it comes to history, philosophy, economics, and political theory?

Despite its flaws, this book is a must read for every person wishing to become truly educated.

As a companion to this book, I recommend Nock's great essays "The disadvantages of being educated" and "The value of useless knowledge".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By anarchteacher on April 19, 2008
Format: Unknown Binding
Albert Jay Nock was a profound champion of the classical Liberal Arts education which served Western Christendom for centuries. Such "education," as distinct from "training," is for a very small select elite, and runs counter to conventional educational dogma, from John Dewey to No Child Left Behind, where egalitarian ideology masks as pedagogy.

Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The education machine has been oiled and lubed, tended and tinkered, adjusted and tweaked. It remains a catastrophic failure, and all indication is that it has grown demonstrably more horrific since Nock gave this early warning.

The general theory of Nock's text is one which is so outlawed, so obscene, so "offensive," yet spoken with eloquence and such careful speech as to disarm gut rejections inherent today with any "-isms." However, why must -isms be immediately disbarred from societal discourse? In Theory of Education, we face the since roundly defeated specter of "elitism" - namely the notion that some are born with the right equipment, and others, despite rigging an entire system to favor their situation- will simply not become Educated. And it is because Elitism has been scrapped in favor of the sentimental, politically correct, and limited capacity Egalitarian theory (the State), that we have chosen "Training" over Education.

Just today as I write, a comprehensive twin study was released which should once and for all satisfy the debate between biology and intelligence. We must make the best of what we have, we are born with limits and predispositions. It is a fact, and only a MIS-educated citizen would cling so futilely to other explanations. Ironically, Nock would have a laugh that Science, which is not the Great Tradition itself, but a tool borne of it, has been unable to lift the mass into any sort of fulfillment of the Great Egalitarian Theory.

Nock, writing in the hopelessly dark backwoods of the United States could convince none of his obvious diagnosis in his time or ours.
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