MEDITATION ON EDUCATION

Adler, Mortimer.  “In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you... Reading the Great Books has done more for my mind than all the rest of the academic pursuits...it is the best education.”

Aristotle.  “The aim of education is to make the pupil like and dislike what he ought” (Nic. Ethics, II.3).

Augustine.  “This experience sufficiently illuminates the truth that free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than religious coercion.  Nevertheless, the free-ranging flux of curiosity is channeled by discipline under your laws, O Lord ” (Confessions, 1.23).

Chesterton, G.K.  “There are no boring subjects, only disinterested minds.”

Cicero.  “A home without books is a body without a soul.”

Clemens, Samuel
.  “Never let schooling interfere with your education.”

Eliot, T.S. “The purpose of a Christian education would not be merely to make men and women pious Christians: a system which aimed too rigidly at this end alone would become only obscurantist. A Christian education must primarily teach people to be able to think in Christian categories.”


Johnson, Samuel.  “The supreme end of education is expert discernment in all things - the power to tell the good from the bad, the genuine from the counterfeit, and to prefer the good and the genuine to the bad and the counterfeit.”


L'Engle, Madeleine.  “If our vocabulary dwindles to a few shopworn words, we are setting ourselves up for takeover by a dictator. When language becomes exhausted, our freedom dwindles - we cannot think; we do not recognize danger; injustice strikes us as no more than ‘the way things are’. "

Lewis, C.S. “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head” (Abolition of Man).


Luther, Martin.  “I advise no one to place a child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not increasingly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt.”


Mason, Charlotte.  “Education is an atmosphere… We are probably quite incapable of measuring the religious receptivity of children… Let the child grow up aware of the constant, immediate, joy-giving…  Presence in the midst of them… Let them grow up too with the shout of a King in the midst of them.”

Give your a child a single valuable idea, and you have done more for his education than if you had laid upon his mind the burden of bushels of information… Mothers seldom talk down to their children; they are too intimate with the little people, and have, therefore, too much respect for them: but professional teachers, whether the writers of books or the givers of lessons are too apt to present a single grain of pure knowledge in a whole gallon of talk, imposing upon the child the labor of discerning the grain and of extracting it from the worthless flood.  (Vol. 1, Part V: Lessons As Instruments Of Education, pp.174-175)

 

Mitchell, Mark  “People sometimes ask, ‘Are you ever afraid that homeschooling your kids will make them oddballs?’  I’m tempted to retort, ‘Compared to what?’  The foundations of our civilization, bought at such a high price, are being attacked in many quarters.  Consider which would educate a young person more effectively: (1) a rule stating, ‘Be brave,’ or (2) the story of Leonidas at Thermopylae or Henry V’s St. Crispin’s Day speech.  Stirring a child to aspire to noble thoughts and deeds is a central role of education.”

Piper, John.  “What is needed is great teachers with great hearts for the great old verities of the faith--verities that they hold because there are great reasons for holding them--reasons that will stand up to hard questions… Our problem is that so few people have ever tasted great Christian education or seen great Christian thinking going on from a profoundly God-centered perspective in an atmosphere where students can feel that the faculty would gladly die for Jesus.”


Plato.  “He who has received this true education of the inner being will most shrewdly perceive omissions or faults in art and nature, and with a true taste, while he praises and rejoices over and receives into his soul the good, and becomes good and noble, he will justly blame and hate the bad, now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why; and when reason comes he will recognize and salute the friend with whom his education has made him long familiar” (Republic, III; 402 A).

Postman, Neil.  “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see” (The Disappearance of Childhood; 1982).

NOTE: Neil Postman (1931 - 2003): received a master's degree in 1955 and an Ed.D in 1958, both from the Teachers College, Columbia University, and started teaching at New York University (NYU) in 1959. In 1971, he founded a graduate program in media ecology at the Steinhardt School of Education of NYU. In 1993 he was appointed a University Professor, the only one in the School of Education, and was chairman of the Department of Culture and Communication until 2002.


Sayers, Dorothy.   “We let our young men and women go out unarmed in a day when armor was never so necessary... We have lost the tools of learning, and in their absence can only make a botched and piecemeal job of it… Is not the great defect of our education today... that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils ‘subjects,’ we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think: they learn everything, except the art of learning?”


Schaeffer, Francis.  “True Christian education is not a negative thing; it is not a matter of isolating the student from the full scope of knowledge. Isolating the student from large sections of human knowledge is not the basis of a Christian education. Rather it is giving him or her the framework for total truth, rooted in the Creator's existence and in the Bible's teaching, so that in each step of the formal learning process the student will understand what is true and what is false and why it is true or false. It is not isolating students from human knowledge. It is giving the tools in the opening the doors to all human knowledge, in the Christian framework so they will know what is truth and what is untruth, so they can keep learning as long as they live, and they can enjoy, they can really enjoy, the whole wrestling through field after field of knowledge. That is what an educated person is.”


Seneca.  “No man ever became wise by chance.”

Sproul, R.C. “Socrates sought to guide his student into authentic knowledge.  He did it via a method of discreet, guided questioning.  He engaged his student in deep dialogue [challenging] the student to think his way to a sound conclusion.  Socrates wanted to teach his students to think.  The goal of thinking is truth.”

Yeats, W. B.  “Education is not about filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”