Teaching the Morality of Capitalism at Hillsdale

I am quite impressed with the work Hillsdale is doing. They continue to employ some great minds, seek great praxis, and graduate above-average thinking graduates. I read Imprimis, and the March 2006 issue contained a portion of a speech by Steve Forbes. The link to it for the moment is: http://www.hillsdale.edu/imprimis/ (once it gets archived, you will have to go looking for it: The Great (and Continuing) Economic Debate of the 20th Century.

My only point in blogging about it is to state what I wished I could have read: Forbe’s constructing something of the collectivist side so as to then more properly expound his own capitalist side. I see this far too often in most forms of “lecture” or discursion for the sake of education: the speaker sets up a straw man at best, or fails to deal with his opponents view at all. From what I was given to read of Forbe’s speech, he assumed the other’s arguments without giving them any time thus his audience was only given half the story. A student is best convinced of an argument when he has the means to compare the sides and make his own informed decision from the evidence, rather than having to choose the only solution given.

This goes right to the heart of good teaching. Good teaching involves the good use of comparisons. For some reason, we get nervous with that when its properly stated, especially as it applies to youth. Surely there is but one truth (fact), and all other views are therefore false (fact), therefore why teach various views when all we need to do is teach the truth (factually sound conclusion). Correct? But what about…oh, stop asking questions and just learn the stuff already!


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