… is from page 89 of Thomas Sowell’s 1993 book, Inside American Education (original emphases):
Everyone wants education to be relevant. It is hard even to conceive why anyone would wish it to be irrelevant. Those who proclaim the need for “relevance” in education are fighting straw man – and evading the crucial need to define what they mean by “relevance,” and why that particular definition should prevail.
Beginning in the 1960s, insistence on “relevance” became widespread and the particular kind of “relevance” being sought was typically a relevance judged in advance by students who had not yet learned the particular things being judged, much less applied them in practice in the real world. Relevance thus became a label for the general belief that the usefulness or meaningfulness of information or training could be determined a priori.
DBx: One of the truly most-relevant scholars of the past 60 years is Thomas Sowell, who today celebrates his 93rd birthday. May he have many more!