You knew Black Mountain was different, right?

Why the recurring preoccupation with [Black Mountain College], a short-lived, unaccredited school at the back of beyond, which never had enough students to pay its way? It could be the school’s believe-it-or-not story and how, the more you learn about it, the more unlikely it seems….

Between Black Mountain and most of today’s universities (and art schools), there lies an unbridgeable gap between teachers willing and able to make a full commitment to students who would do the same, and institutions staffed by poorly paid adjuncts who’d be mad to invest any more care in their fleeting charges than Uber drivers do in their next fare. It’s the gap between a society of members who take responsibility for the whole, and bloated administrations and boards that imagine schools can be run like corporations. It’s the gap between the desire to live and work together as a community day and night, and the fantasy that massive open online courses will allow fewer teachers to impart information to ever more numerous and ever more atomized recipients. It’s the gap between a desire for equality, on the one hand, and the bottom line of profit-making corporations, on the other….”

— From The Weirdness and Joy of Black Mountain College” by Barry Schwabsky in the Nation (Feb. 24, 2016)

 

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