On Conversations with Books

Mr. Colin Pears, the director of CUA’s Undergraduate Advising Center and of CUA’s Center for Academic Success, does an excellent job of drawing lessons from yesterday’s two contrasting views of the written word in order to articulate a vision of learning which transforms people for the better.

What do you think makes the difference between something that purports to be education but which remains empty and a real education that transforms people for the better?

(By the way, in the video Mr. Pears also discusses Saul Bellow’s novel Herzog. Here’s a link to its page on Amazon. Although I have not read Herzog yet myself, I enjoyed reading another novel by Bellow, Henderson the Rain King,  finding it both deep and funny.)

Photo: “Field of Greens” (#7) by Ed Pfueller, featured in an article about a community garden at CUA in the Summer 2013 issue OF The Catholic University of America Magazine.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jaesen Evangelista says:

    Education isn’t just learning things; it should prompt action.

    We are taught lessons from ancient texts, such as the Bible and Greek mythology. We attend lectures by intelligent professors. We take tests, make presentations, and do group projects with our classmates. That is the structure with nearly every class. The difference between an effective education and an ineffective education is the drive to do something after the students have learned. In my World Religions class I learned about all of the misunderstandings of Islam and how similar all of our diverse religious actually are. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all connected in a special way through sacred scripture. They teach the same lessons and believe in the same divine idea. So I pondered on the war between religions, socially and overseas. I asked myself how people who are so similar in faith could possibly kill each other. It made me go out and seek Muslims in my hometown and show them compassion. I listened to their stories; I attended their practices; I was invited into their homes; they easily became some of the kindest people I have ever met; and I learned so much more than I could ever ask from a classroom. This would never have happened if I hadn’t been prompted to do something. I would never have compassionately understood Muslims. I would have misjudged them and copied the people around me showing them resentment. My education pushed me to do something better. That is an effective education.

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