Here’s a fairly long passage that leapt out at me just now:
Education can do comparatively little to aid the cause of the arts as long as it must turn out graduates into an industrialized society which demands specialists in vocational, technical, and scientific subjects. The humanities, which could reasonably be expected to foster the arts, have fought a losing battle since the issue between vocational and liberal education was raised in the nineteenth century. Or, they have kept their place by imitating the technique of their rivals, so that one studies the biology of language, the chemistry of drama, the evolution of the novel, and the geological strata or fossil forms of literature and the fine arts. That is, they abdicate the function by which they were formerly able to affect the tone of society. So far as they still maintain this function, they still face a dilemma. Either they will appear as decorative and useless to the rising generations who know that poetry sells no bonds and music manages no factories, and hence will be taken under duress or enjoyed as a pleasant concession to the softer and more frivolous side of life. Or, the more successfully they indoctrinate the student with their values, the more unhappy they will make him. For he will be spoiled for industrial tasks by being rendered inefficient. He will not fit in. The more refined and intelligent he becomes, the more surely will he see in the material world the lack of the image of nobility and beauty that the humanities inculcate in him. The product of a humanistic education in an industrial age is most likely to be an exotic, unrelated creature—a disillusionist or a dilettante.
(“A Mirror for Artists,” Donald Davidson)
That’s something to think about, isn’t it? How do we guard against that—our children becoming unhappy “disillusionists”? I know I struggle against cynicism.