Education History

Farmers, Harvard, and Ye Old Deluder

»Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Blog, Education History, Mission-Type Stuff | Comments Off on Farmers, Harvard, and Ye Old Deluder

Farmers, Harvard, and Ye Old Deluder

Harvard College was started and maintained in good part by a collection of farmers and sailors. They paid their teachers and supported their students with crops after wasting no time establishing the first higher education in America: After God had carried us [Puritans] safe to New England, and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship, and settled the civil government, one of the next things we longed for and looked after was to advance learning and perpetuate it to prosperity. (from New England’s First Fruits, 1643) A trademark of these American Puritans was the setting up of schools. One preacher at a huge gathering of churches in Boston prayed, “Lord, for schools everywhere...

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A Religious Problem

»Posted by on Oct 10, 2012 in Blog, Education History, Mission-Type Stuff | Comments Off on A Religious Problem

A Religious Problem

“. . . we must derive our theory of education from our philosophy of life. The problem turns out to be a religious problem.” T. S. Eliot,...

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Uneducated in the Proper Way

»Posted by on Aug 17, 2012 in Blog, Education History, Literature, Mission-Type Stuff | Comments Off on Uneducated in the Proper Way

St. Gregory of Nazianzus (also known as St. Gregory the Theologian) has been one of the most influential Christian thinkers since the apostles. This is one of these guys who has given us more than we know, even 1600 years later, in our grasp of the Trinitarian foundation of the Christian faith (which Jesus set forth). What we sometimes take now as common Bible sense are in reality mysteries of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that have not come to us without the battles fought by faithful scholars such as Gregory. And these things matter a great deal in our daily walk and in how we teach our kids. Gregory is well worth listening to, and conveniently for us, but not surprisingly, he found the matter of education an important one. He makes some notable comments in...

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Secular Education Does Not Exist

»Posted by on Mar 28, 2012 in Blog, Education History, On Government Schooling | Comments Off on Secular Education Does Not Exist

In the early days of American government education, R. L. Dabney wrote the following: So is a really secularized education either possible or admissible? Before ours, no people of any age, religion, or civilization, has ever thought so. Against the present attempt, right or wrong, stands the whole common sense of mankind. Pagans, Catholics, Muslims, Greeks and Protestants have all rejected any education not grounded in religion as absurd and wicked. (On Secular Education) He names attempts at secular education “wicked” because they deny God’s sovereign claims. He names these attempts “absurd” because secular education is not possible. That is why we call them mere “attempts.” All education will be religious, as will all...

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What’s the point of all the schooling?

»Posted by on Dec 23, 2011 in Education History, Mission-Type Stuff | Comments Off on What’s the point of all the schooling?

Why be educated?  Why study?  What is the purpose of academic learning, at home or elsewhere?  In response to these questions, we might say “a good career,” or more vaguely, “a successful life.”  It might even be “to make the world a better place.”  In circles of classical education, we try to get down closer to the root of it, and so the purpose is often “to be a good thinker.”  Dorothy Sayers, in her insightful essay that has helped to generate much of the classical ed revival today, stresses the importance of gaining “the tools of learning” so that one can then tackle any subject.  Indeed, this gets more at the root of it, because if you are a thinker, you can often obtain that “good...

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Outlawing Mom and Dad

»Posted by on Dec 8, 2011 in Education History, On Government Schooling | 2 comments

The enemies of God want the children of God’s people, and it is an old strategy. We see this move made openly by any civil authorities that have the power.  Pharaoh was coerced into letting the men go, but the children not so easily (Ex. 10). Losing the men is a temporary setback, but losing the children means forfeiting the end-game. But even when God’s people themselves wanted a Pharaoh-like ruler (a king like “the nations”), Samuel warned them that this ruler would take their sons and daughters (1 Sam. 8), and that’s even a decent ruler who might fear God. We should not be surprised, then, if our government wants to own our children, and we’re not talking about for the military. This is a more subtle kind of ownership...

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