Georgia, we're bringing our regional conference your way!

Mr. Berry on Universities and Literacy

From Wendell Berry’s Life is a Miracle:

The university as a whole gives no support to the cause of literacy. If technical or workmanly competence in writing is required only by teachers of freshman English, and virtually all other teachers either require no written work or grade what they do require “on content,” then the message is unmistakable: Competence in writing does not matter and is not necessary. And that is what most students believe.

page 68

Mr. Berry identifies one of the fatal flaws of the modern university its specialization and consequent fragmentation. This excerpt hints at some of the problems that bind the modern college students’ minds and deplete our cultural energy. Never have so many participated in so many classes while studying so little to such damaging consequences.

I might add that the high school history teacher who allows students to write poorly because he is not teaching writing is teaching a very harmful lesson.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles