Education as Training Lovers

» Posted by on Jun 4, 2011 in Blog, Mission-Type Stuff | Comments Off on Education as Training Lovers

Education is also about training lovers.  Lovers?  What??  Yes, and by this we mean worshippers or desirers.  This is what all people are at the most fundamental level.  But educational aims nowadays are rarely directed at speaking to this nature of ours, or to an end that would be a right formation of this nature.  These aims are usually directed foremost at our intellect (although this has not always been the case, or where it has been the case, it’s been with less of a dichotomy between the mind and the rest of a person’s being).  As we said in the previous post, however, education comes down to students’ being trained to follow, and in particular here, we are talking about how students follow whatever it is that captures their desires, not what appears true upon rational analysis (although of course this has great value as well).  So we must aim to capture desires both before and as we train the intellect, and the end we must have in view is the formation of true worshippers, students who desire the kingdom and His righteousness above all else, and who take pleasure in what they do in school, even when it takes some sweat and perseverance.

This involves something deeper and less tangible than propositions to be understood or believed.  It involves the imagination, and it is about students’ being wooed.  In the same way as being discipled, young people will be taught to give worship, one way or another, to someone or something.  Here are few ways we aim to use the school day to assist parents in creating the right kind of worshipping learners:

  • by keeping this understanding of man as a lover at the core of all activities, and thereby undergirding–rather than being overshadowed by–a shaping of propositional beliefs, intellect, and bodily skills
  • by training up sound thinkers, but within a framework that emphasizes man as a worshipper foremost…
    • by shaping a love for the academic standard, and a love for using the God-given intellect to attain that standard, and by keeping the standard only at a height at which students can keep loving it as they work toward it and as the standards are steadily raised
  • by daily liturgies that include psalm-singing, scripture, and prayer
  • by lots of music (singing psalms, reading/writing music, learning instruments)
  • by hearing, reading, and telling loads of the right stories, especially from the Bible, the Christian West, and from students’ own making
  • by deliberate consideration of aesthetics in the school environment; surrounding the students with beauty
  • by using externals to shape internals– by purposeful physical activity and bodily habits (practiced in posture, sports, greeting people, theater, dance, or other) that help students form a gut instinct of faithful and creative ways of being
  • by helping individual students work toward what they are good at and what they love to do, and not pressing older students to continue at high levels of subjects which are clearly not their strength
  • by maintaining an environment of joy and delight, full of life, where discipline is consistent but only as a helper to this end
  • by guarding the school culture…
    • with the admittance of students being limited to those who want to be in the school
    • with the admittance of families being limited to those who consist of at least one believing parent who is an active and goodstanding member of a faithful church, and whose church and home compliment the goals and nature of the school