Education: a function of how one conceives of culture and its aims

It is surely the case that schooling is only one small part of how a culture inducts the young into its canonical ways. Indeed, schooling may even be at odds with a culture’s other ways of inducting the young into the requirements of communal living…. What has become increasingly clear… is that education is not just about conventional school matters like curriculum or standards or testing. What we resolve to do in school only makes sense when considered in the broader context of what the society intends to accomplish through its educational investment in the young. How one conceives of education, we have finally come to recognize, is a function of how one conceives of culture and its aims, professed and otherwise. 

Jerome S. Bruner, The Culture of Education, ix-x

American vs. European culture

The great thing about American culture is its unique ability to tell a story. That’s what artists are able to tell on some level—a story that is fairly readable. America is a culture where there’s always a narrative. European culture is different. European culture is sometimes…more symbolic, more convoluted, more romantic, more enlightened. But America has a kind of urgency, which, in movies, in literature, in art, is able to tell you a story. American-ness is this capacity.

Interview with Francesco Bonami, Co-curator, Whitney 2010 Bienneal
Interview Magazine, February 2010