If a free people is going to be reproduced, it will require watering and revivifying and owning anew older traditions and awaking the curiosity in the soul of each citizen. National greatness will not be recovered via a mindless expansion of bureaucratized schooling. Seventy years ago, Dorothy Sayers wrote, 'Sure, we demand another grant of money, we postpone the school leaving age and plan to build bigger and better schools. We demand that teachers further slave conscientiously in and out of school hours. But to what end? I believe,' Sayers lamented, 'all this devoted effort is largely frustrated because we have no definable goal for each child to become a fully formed adult. We have lost the tools of learning, sacrificing them to the piecemeal, subject matter approach of bureaucratized schooling that finally compromises to produce passive rather than active emerging adults. But our kids are not commodities, they are plants. They require a protected environment, and care, and feeding, but most basically, an internal yearning to grow toward the sunlight. What we need is the equipping of each child with those lost tools.
β€” Ben Sasse The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisisβ€”and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance