Schooling Children Prevents Educating Them

Schools have stripped some of knowledge and skills needed to be independent beings.
View of Students Working Through Classroom Window
Photo: Pavel Danilyuk/Pexels

What is the difference between sending children to school and educating them? Modern public education tends to see them as one and the same. But what if that perspective is skewed? What if sending children to school and educating them are two very different functions with two very different purposes, and the conflation of the two is the basis of many of the social and cultural problems in the United States today.

Since the end of World War II we have sent children to school to receive training on a basic set of skills that the government and teachers unions think are necessary for children to serve an economic purpose in society- “to go to college and get a good job.” We all want children to be able to become economically self-sufficient adults, so on the surface the idea of school teaching the basic skills of the workplace is fine- if not good.

But upon deeper reflection, this approach reveals several flaws. Life is not solely about economic productivity, and, like it or not, life functions according to a set of universal principles. Educating children involves opening their eyes to those universal principles in the realms of humanity, beauty, nature, and the Divine. If schools are solely focused on standardized tests and economic benchmarks like “college and career readiness,” then sending a child to school has little in common with educating that child. While there is some overlap between sending a child to school and educating them, these are separate goals with different means and ends.

Unfortunately, in the United States today, schooling children almost universally comes at the cost of educating them. Teachers are prohibited from teaching children anything about the Divine (even independent of a specific religious context) and do not teach about universal principles. Modern public schools reduce natural laws to facts or equations in books that students use for a short time and discard as soon as the test is completed. Beauty is something “in the eye of the beholder” and good music is simply a matter of personal taste. Both beauty and music are taught devoid of the universal principles of symmetry, harmony, purpose, and resolution. Students are not taught how the skills one uses to reason out a problem in geometry are the same as those for preparing an oral presentation or creating a beautiful piece of art or music. Students are not taught how to read the foundational texts of western civilization and are denied the opportunity to engage in the multi-thousand year old conversations about the purpose of humanity, the working of the world, or the essence of joy.

In the name of college and career readiness, schools have stripped our society of the knowledge and skills to be fully functioning, responsible citizens of a republican democracy.

The Founding Fathers were able to build a system of government which has stood for nearly 250 years not because they were college and career ready but because they were educated. Because they were educated, they understood the universal principles upon which nature and humanity operated. Even those who were not specifically Christian understood that there was a power greater than humanity who created the world and the laws governing it, and that these truths were the basis of human rights, purpose, and responsibility.

The generation that founded this country had a deep understanding of virtue, logic, rhetoric, reason, political theory, and human nature. It understood that some things in life were unchanging, no matter what earthly power wanted to change them. Because they were educated, the Founding Fathers recognized the critical importance of education for a republican democracy. They saw that in a society with more human freedom than any other on the planet, citizens needed an education in order to use their freedom appropriately – that the universal truths of humanity, beauty, nature, and the Divine and the practice of virtue, logic, and reason were to be the left and right boundaries of our society so that freedom did not become anarchy. Citizens needed to understand universal truths and natural laws or else the entire system would collapse.

We collectively have lost the ability to act in accordance with natural law or live according to universal truths. We have exchanged the truth for a lie, and the current social dynamic and instability of the government of the United States is bearing witness to that fact. We are experiencing the penalties of ignoring reality and discovering that a society that makes choices in contradiction to a natural law or universal truth will reap the consequences.

Dr. Amie Bowman
Dr. Bowman is the treasurer of the Fauquier County chapter of Moms for Liberty. A proud, patriotic American, Dr. Bowman is a mother of three boys, wife to a fantastic husband, and devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chalkboard Review team.

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