The Education of Charles Lindbergh

With the COVID pandemic lingering longer than anyone had hoped, I haven’t had many chances to give talks about my newest book. So it was wonderful to speak about Charles Lindbergh in Bethel’s library last month. We had a good turnout, but in case you couldn’t be there — or able to Zoom in live — you can find a video recording of that event in our Digital Library and on YouTube:

Entitled “The Education of Charles Lindbergh,” the talk gave me a chance to take a different angle on the biography of “America’s most infamous pilot.” I still addressed his spiritual journey, but because I was speaking near the start of our academic year, I instead focused on what we can learn from Lindbergh’s education: from his itinerant schooling and short-lived college career to his autodidactic adulthood — influenced by his wife Anne Morrow and his mentor Alexis Carrel, but largely self-guided.

While I suggested that Lindbergh’s life can inspire people like me to be more attentive to the particularities of my students and more conscious of my role in sparking and sustaining their curiosity, it also points to the need for educators to challenge their students: to complicate their assumptions and help them consider divergent points of view.