Updated: Oct 24, 2022
“We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” ~ C. S. Lewis
Pictured above: One room schoolhouse, ca 1890, Fort Meyers, Florida
I hope the annual marching of the seasons finds you well with leaves at your feet and autumnal self-reflection on your heart.
Pardon me for stating the obvious but the education system in this country stinks. What was once the art of arts has been lost to junk science and the bureaucratic state.
A Good Start
The -parent’s first- movement of reclaiming parental rights in education is quite encouraging but it doesn’t go far enough. We cannot stop the current trends like critical race theory and gender ideology and expect our schools to be made new again.
Refreshed! Renewed! Bring all those lovely children back to us! In public or private, and yes that includes 99% of the Catholic schools we have in this country, we find an entire system based on revolutionary Marxist subversion. It’s inhuman. It’s diabolical.
Putting aside the exceptions that prove the rule, the modern system of education is explicitly meant to provide the world with humanoid cogs. Specifically, we want a cog that can be useful to others, unswervingly loyal to any authority presented and useful to PROGRESS!™. Children are products and units that can be measured. The system, which has its inception in the utilitarian, egalitarian and thoroughly Marxist movements of higher education in the 1920s and 30s, has certainly produced many willing cogs. The un-contemplative, emotionally needy children whose imagination has been drowned in a steady milk of informational text have been joining society year after year beginning in the 1940s and 50s. It has been a great success if you look at it from the state’s perspective. Frankly speaking, if you wanted a complacent demoralized populace convinced of their own inherent self-worth that has been taught to forget God and His Goodness, there is no better money spent.
As an alternative, I contend that we must rebuild our system, locally. Instead of fighting for a little ground on a school board here or there we should redesign a better and more human one. In my mind it looks less like reformation and more like replacing the existing multi-headed hydra. What follows are my recommendations: take them for what you will and keep an open mind.
From the ground up, the intent of education should be to connect the child with the truth. This is just not the purpose of modern day education. Transmission of truth from those who know to those who do not should be the foundation.
Education should not be pluralistic and changing, but Godly and unvarying. The atheism of the current system is just about the most inhuman characteristic it has. When God is not a part of education the child will never obtain the knowledge of self which is relative to the One whom we owe our existence to. This lack of self-knowledge creates an intellect and soul that conform to any whim or fancy. Worldly ideas that permeate the media will become the child’s whole being. The instability creates instability.
Action, Action, Action
This new-old system should be very small and resilient. We should look to the model that existed up to the 1930s. Large compulsory schools that require great resources in administration, economics and logistics are not a product of wisdom. It isn’t too big to fail but too big and bound to fail.
I hold that we should regain the de-centralized, thoroughly un-bureaucratic, and fundamentally family based one room schoolhouse. Any superficial search of their vintage curriculum will prove that the education attempted and obtained at these humble and unassuming buildings far out strip the modern child centered and feelings based curriculums.
We must take a page out of the founder of the modern educational system’s playbook and create truth based teaching colleges. Every campus of higher education that is thoroughly engaged in the pursuit of truth; the Hillsdale’s, University of Dallas’, Ave Maria’s, Magdalen’s, and the like should establish programs that will arm and equip idealistic and zealous young graduates with the ability to populate the ranks of educators. No specialization in subject area, no license, no teaching program, just a liberal arts degree.
Pictured above: The Country School, Winslow Homer
Who's the Boss?
Lastly, I must rock the boat. Accreditation and licensing just don’t matter anymore. Parents should understand this fact. Accreditation as a process has done far more damage to the system as a whole than most people realize. And while we are at it, eradicate from the teacher the mindset of “professional.” The above removes the role of the parent as authority and primary educator and replaces them with ineffective authority and a contra-education. Ultimately, the parent’s decision making is provided for by the state, and private corporations. Lucky us.
A young man according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it.
~Proverbs 22:6, Douay