Humanity and Education

Going into college my best friend and I talked about what majors we wanted to pursue.  He was most fascinated by philosophy, largely because of it impact on history and our current societal situation.  I was equally compelled, but I decided to “narrow” the focus down by studying psychology.  My thinking was that philosophy studied many things– psychology being one– but the determinate factor was what philosophy had to say about the human being.  I still hold that view, but — naive me– psychology (the discipline) doesn’t exactly encounter psychology (the subject) in some of the important ways philosophy does.

As an educator and a student, I have been interested in some time in how a proper vision of humanity affects a proper vision of education.  More often than not, “Christian” education is one that sees one or two things wrong with the current secular educational model, and creates their own clone that leaves those things out.  Sometimes this is married with a conservative zeal for the “good ol” times, so they enforce uniforms, teach Latin, and don’t offer sports; calling themselves “Classical”. While many of these institutions are good places to send you kids (largely because they are filled with good people, not by virtue of their curriculum), they do not have the proper vision of humanity and the proper vision of education.

Implicit in my critique is that the Christian denominations from which these schools spring up lacks the proper vision of humanity.  That is why the Roman Catholic school ethos is vastly different from that of a Presbyterian or Bible church school.  Imagine (if you don’t have an example handy) being a freshman in high school, undergoing a steady barrage of “Total Depravity” (whatever that means) and then wandering into art class.  How is one to paint anything true and beautiful? Imagine being taught to “Let Go and Let God”, and then being forced to work hard in Algebra.  Imbalanced Christian doctrines lead to imbalanced educational programs: anemic Christianity will certainly offer up an impoverished education.

With that in mind, listen to John Granger, who is much more to be trusted on the subject than I.

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