A letter from a reader: Teaching about the Constitution

March 19, 2008:

Why must everything be either/or when it comes to political issues? Like Roe vs. Wade: abortion on demand or none at all. Professor Stanley Katz's approach (Perspective, Nov. 21) seems very like that: either heroes, or just a little chronology and a lot of interpretation in accordance with current politically correct opinions.

Heroes is a loaded word for professors who would like something a bit more nuanced and much more critical. But I think Sen. Robert Byrd's objective is educating the "great unwashed," as they used to be called, who do need some facts and a realization that the Constitution was a remarkable achievement for its time that has survived to the present day with just a few key modifications. Even college students outside of serious liberal institutions could use a good dose of, dare I say it, official history. Our national institution is all we have in the dangerous world in which we live. International institutions for other than technical purposes are hardly a substitute.

John Dewey has done irreparable damage to the American educational system by hollowing out its core and substituting child-pleasing techniques instead of knowledge. If that is your inspiration, I would beware of your conclusions. By the way, why was American democracy not secure in 1916 when Woodrow Wilson 1879 was president?

Bethesda, Md.

Respond to this letter
Send a letter to PAW

Go back to our online Letter Box Table of Contents


Current Issue    Online Archives    Printed Issue Archives
Advertising Info    Reader Services    Search    Contact PAW    Your Class Secretary