Changing Values

The Value of Education

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Changing Values

Quoting from “The Value of Education”

Written by Blackwood from the Sanders New Third Reader, 1869

“Every person should have his head, his heart, and his hands, educated. Let this truth never be forgotten. By the proper education of the head, he will be taught what is good and what is evil, what is wise and what is foolish, what is right and what is wrong. and right, and to hate what is evil, foolish, and wrong. And by proper education of the hands, he will be enabled to supply his wants, to add to his comforts, and to assist those

By the proper education of the heart, he will be taught to love what is good, wise, The highest objects of a good education are, to reverence and obey God, and to love and serve mankind. Every thing that helps in attaining these objects, is of great value, and every thing that hinders us, is comparatively worthless. do good; order and peace smile around, and sin and sorrow are almost unknown.”

This book, published in 1869, tells clearly the value of education. It was not, as I first thought, written for teachers, but rather for a third-grade reader of the time.

  1. What should every person strive to educate?
  2. What should we be taught by proper education of the head?
  3. What is proper education of the heart?
  4. What, by a proper education of the hands?
  5. What are the highest objects of a good education.

Two things I noticed as I read this passage; first of all, that most third graders today would struggle to understand this brief passage. I’m sure they would struggle to understand what proper education of the head, heart and hands referred to. We have sorely neglected anything beyond

I also noticed immediately that academics and political correctness, which, today, is the primary focus of education, is not even mentioned. In fact, this passage refers to the highest object (or objective) of a good education as learning to reverence and obey God and to love and serve mankind.

  1. Today mention of (let alone assuming there is a) God would be (indeed, has been) removed
  2. Thinking of educating as anything other than pouring facts down a child’s throat in the
  3. Differentiating between what is good and evil, right and wrong, foolish and wise would never
  4. Today’s highest objectives seem to be socialization, compliance and not “rocking the boat.”
  5. Absence of moral context is more typical of our day.
  6. be allowed in our society of “nonjudgementalism” and “tolerance.”

What has changed since 1869? I believe the answer is worldview of the modern teachers and authors; the problem is that the secular worldview has become so pervasive that not even its opponents realize how very secularized they have become.

What about you? Could your third-grader read this passage? Could you discuss those understandings with him/her? Does the above describe the education you are giving your children? Or are there adjustments to be made?