Sunday, May 10, 2009

If you're interested in education

-- then think some education thoughts with me.

What do people want from education these days?

As I contemplate the educational institutions I've been associated with over the years, I notice that this element of education is changing.

We see it when academics are replaced with athletics.

We see it when classroom instruction is "dumbed down" to the level of the least-gifted or least-motivated child.

We see it in the huge numbers of parents choosing to home-educate.

We see it in schools that seem to fluctuate back and forth (and back and forth again) from supporting their academic excellence, to neglecting it.

We see it in each student who thinks that his educational world is supposed to revolve around himself.

We see it when faculty are shuffled around to teach in a jumble of fields, not allowed to focus on their specialties and strengths.

We see it when students are undisciplined at home and families expect the same at school.

There was a time when parents expected that schools would take their children, teach them valuable information and how to use that information, and conform those children to a standard accepted by society: the well-educated person.

Now, if you want to be a well-educated person, you'd better look to some other source, because schools no longer offer this product. Why? Because parents no longer want it.

And I'm sure the parents reading this will shout that this is NOT TRUE for them! But I want to say that the parents I often deal with, and the ones who have the most influence on school administrations, demand that schools conform the education to fit the child, ensure that the child enjoy himself in sports without an opposing burden of study, and are incensed when anyone dares to discipline the child (or even suggest that he needs it).

Not all parents, but many.

And, I'm sad to say, administrators tend to agree with them.

Not all, but most.

And that's because professional educators tend to get their ideas from the world, an increasingly pagan world with ungodly ideas about children and how they should be raised.

And most Christians don't feel that it is the administation's place to oppose the parents, regarding how their children should be raised.

Sigh.

Next fall, I will again join the ranks of the homeschooling moms. I'm looking forward to it. I may feel differently next May, but I'm excited to explore how much excellent education I can feed my children next year. They're already ahead of their peers in many ways, and often bored at school. How far can I challenge them?

If you're a parent with a child in school, I'd encourage you to be informed and vocal about your administration's opinions on the children in their care. Go to meetings. Listen. Evaluate worldview. And if you're dissatisfied with what you hear, take your child out of that school, or work to change it.

20 - 30 years ago, we all learned that the public system was no longer an educational system we could trust. Unfortunately, the Christian school system is now this way. Know your school. And don't forget, along the way, to re-examine yourself.

3 comments:

  1. MK,
    Not all Christian schools are as you describe. Ours has been great. I see this school striving to teach the biblical worldview, have high standards and teaching the kids to have a winsome attitude. All the while teaching them the Reformed Theology. Does it have its faults - yes, as our Headmaster likes to say, it is a school full of sinners that is run by sinners.

    Just another viewpoint from a Classical Christian School that has not sold out to athletics.

    SB

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  2. Yes, I do think the classical Christian school trend has had positive things to offer, usually because they are not tempted by sports, and thus far have maintained a general appreciation of academic rigor. But it will only last as long as the parents want it, and they can find administrators who know how to produce it. I'm glad you've found such a school.
    Some homeschoolers also remove their students from school in order to escape the neglect of academics, and to produce a well-trained child.
    I think the difficulty with private schools is that so few people can afford them; this makes the potential pool of students rather small, comparatively. From that pool, to find the ones who have not been lulled by a worldly message, is difficult.

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  3. I do think that Christians schools in general are only reproductions of the public schools. That has always bothered me about Christian schools. I wish more would think outside of the box and not give in to the world.

    I think I will send my headmaster your blog and have him read your lastest entry. It would be good for him to have your perspective.

    SB

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