Noting the widespread concern about the quality of education in our schools, Schall examines what is taught and read (and not read) in these schools. He questions the fundamental premises in our culture which do not allow truth to be considered. Schall lists various important books to read, and why.
"James V. Schall has written a delightfully odd book about books, because he believes that (1) to be educated is to confront the great questions about what is; that (2) many modern students, in or out of school, never learn to raise, much less answer, the great questions, thus are uneducated in the deepest sense; and that (3) great books, past and present, which wrestle deeply yet non-technically with these questions rather than passively mirroring popular culture with its myopia and prejudices, can fill this vacuum for anyone, in or out of school. It contains unusually sane reflections on education, unusually reflective reviews of books, and unusually discriminating booklists. Just the book I have wanted to give my students for years."
- Peter Kreeft, Boston College
"For years I have meant to write such a book as Another Sort of Learning, suggesting how the rising generation might acquire some measure of wisdom despite the intellectual vices or indifferences of the Academy; but I am happy that Schall has forestalled me. It is full of much valuable wisdom."
- Russell Kirk, Author, The Conservative Mind
"Few teachers can match Fr. Schall at conveying a sense of the life of the mind, few would have the audacity to write about `what a student owes his teacher', or the charm to carry it off, or the wisdom to make it memorable. He never forgets that `to learn' is a transitive verb, and that its object is truth."
- Joseph Sobran, Editor, National Review
"This is a book for those who like to read and to think--about ultimate questions of existence and essence, `about time and learning, about humor and wonder'. It is chock-full of ideas about reason, faith, doubt, truth, evil and good."
- John H. Bunzel, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
"Fr. Schall's observations about the American scene in general and education in particular are, as usual, wise and perceptive. He cuts against the grain in exactly the places where this needs to be done."
- Dr. James Hitchcock, St. Louis University
Inspiring insights from an IP customer
I am waiting to board a flight and will be reading my well loved copy of Another Sort of Learning. I wanted to thank you for writing it. It has been a gift in my life.
When I was just out of high school I was diagnosed with cancer. The treatment caused me to miss the normal college period of a young life. After all the surgeries and treatments I ran for the mountains to wrestle with God. And He patiently wrestled back.
In all of this I missed out on formal education. By the time I was ready I could not afford to attend. I was to busy earning my living. Your book opened up the exploration of not only why we are alive, but how to live well. It lead to a better understanding of faith and life. For this I thank you.
I am 40 now. The education your writing helped me find makes life a passionate exploration of the divine in the here and now. And makes the future all the more alluring.
Fr. James Schall, S.J., is a professor of Political Philosophy at Georgetown University, and the author of some 15 books in the areas of social issues, spirituality and literature.