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.

2 comments:

gina said...

I consider myself to have faith , yet do not practice a religion. However, one can not fully understand or appreciate most world history without learning of the religious undercurrents in place during those times. I agree that avoiding the place religion plays in History is a disservice to students everywhere. And while I don't think public schools should teach children to practice religion(there are religious schools for that)- I think children should grow up with an understanding of the role religion plays in the world.

Veronica Boulden said...

Gina, Well said. I look forward to learning more about other faiths, even different sects of Christianity, which is what we "do," and their influences on the world, past and present, as we study. I love that home school offers this freedom.