Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I am reading further into The Well Trained Mind. I came across a portion about public education "without" religion:
"We don't deal in matters of faith, the (public school) teachers explain. We're neutral...
Think about this for a minute. Arguing for the presence of God is generally considered 'bias.' Assuming His absence is usually called 'neutral.' Yet both are statements of faith; both color the teacher's approach to any subject; both make a fundamental assumption about the nature of men and women.
To call this neutrality is intellectual dishonesty...
I don't blame the public schools for sidestepping this issues. In most cases, it is the only measure they can adopt."
I went to public school and I am wondering, how was I taught about the middle ages or the Crusades in any comprehensive form with little more than a reference to "the church" or its teachings? How did I learn about the pilgrims, prohibition, women's suffrage, the rise and then the eventual abolition of slavery in America without my teacher, at least, mentioning how religious ideas influenced these?
I don't know, but know I was "taught" and even tested on these things. I also know that as I study history for myself these days, apart from the white-washed textbooks, I notice religion's influence on almost every major event in history. And, I am coming to the sad conclusion that my public education is even less complete than I thought it was when I decided to home school my kids.
The book goes on to say:
"We aren't arguing that religion should be 'put back' into public schools. We'd just like some honesty: an education that takes no notice of faith is, at the very least, incomplete.
When you're instructing your own child, you have two tasks with regard to religion: to teach your child your own convictions with honesty and diligence, and to study the ways in which other faiths have changed the human landscape."
And, by God's grace, I plan to use the freedom in our home-classroom to do just that, give my kids a more complete education than they'd be offered anywhere else.