Monday, January 14, 2008

Educated devils

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil. -C.S. Lewis

When I observe local schools, I sometimes find myself at a disadvantage when I try to sort through the many nuances and cultural details of student life in this county, to say nothing of the technicalities of the budgets and politics involved.

That's fine with me. I've been learning my whole life anyway, and the things I truly missed while being home schooled, will eventually make themselves known to me, I'm sure.

I can't say I am all that disappointed after seeing over the years what I missed when I didn't go to a traditional high school. However, it was to this topic that my mind jumped when I read Lewis' quote.

Lewis doesn't just put his finger onto an important issue of our time, he really jabs mercilessly into the festering sore of American education.

Before I give the impression that I'm speaking ill of local schools, allow me to qualify what I say with some praise for local educators. The fact is, there is so much in this community that puts school kids at an advantage to the country at large. I've seen teachers who care and many unique and effective efforts to improve the quality of local education.

But does that mean Lewis has no wisdom for us? I think not. Rather, it would serve us well (as we take action to fund schools, ensure curriculum is up to date, and replace aging technology) to not overlook something else that makes education worthwhile.

We all know the story of the disadvantaged student -- how difficult it is to teach a student in school what he hasn't been taught at home -- the value of a good work ethic, the existence of right and wrong and the basic answer to the question "why?"

Even if schools cannot do everything a parent should do, they won't help anything if they teach that there is no meaning to life, that truth is whatever they want it to be and that there are no consequences for their actions.

We should reexamine ourselves then and see whether we are making these mistakes, and then get back to the business of teaching reading and writing.

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Blogger iMurphy said...

I only went to middle school in American public schools, but even there I found that getting ahead in all the ways they prescribe does nothing to give your life a purpose or even much of a direction. It's been educational for me to see how different, however, public education is across this country: the bluer the state, the more "revised" their history and the stronger their bias. I thought everyone was like that until my sister started teaching in Dallas. But there just where WA was 30 years ago and speeding towards full-tilt post-modernism in time to catch up.

5:34 AM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger Ruth said...

Wow, this hits dead on what I was thinking as I walked out of a philosophy class today. We talked about causal determinism: about how disastrous it would be to disconnect responsibility from actions because all has been molecularly pre-determined. But we ignored the determinism in our own society: of evolution, that teaches we are merely a randomly assembled collection of cells (and grants no meaning to life and certainly no moral responsibility)... and again, of that ubiquitous idea that man is formed completely by his environment, and is not really responsible for his actions. That's determinism in a nutshell.
And that's education divorced from values, or even perception.
But where do we as Christians fit in?

2:23 PM, January 15, 2008  

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