Dennis Prager offers a concise commentary on the reason for our students are morally bankrupt. Prager is a radio talk show host who rises above politics and the usual diatribes and rantings to provide intelligent, cogent and beneficial discussions. He is a practicing Jew and the equivalent of an adult Sunday School teacher in his Synagogue in Los Angeles.
Check out this excellent video by Ken Robinson on creativity. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably get angry, but you have to see this video. I imagine that Sir Ken Robinson holds many ideas contradictory to a Christian world view, but his presentation at TED2006 is an exceptional and very funny critique of what modern education does to a child’s creativity. Click here and please comment and leave your thoughts.
They say you learn a lot in kindergarten, but not all of it is good. For instance you might learn numbers, shapes and colors from your teacher, but from your classmates you can also learn that it is okay to hit, talk back to adults, and disobedience. This problem has been exasperated by placing students into age-grouped classrooms. Continue reading
Andrew Carnegie told his mega-rich friends that they were depriving their children of the things that made Carnegie and his friends great. While we might disagree on the definition of Great Children, Andrew Carnegie, the son of a poor Scottish immigrant who became probably the wealthiest person in American history, was concerned that his wealthy friends were spoiling their kids with trust funds, servants, polo ponies and every indulgence a 19th century youth could want. Carnegie felt Continue reading
Gary North, an economic historian, publisher and author, made this observation:
In 1910, only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school.” Today, millions have graduated, but is their education equal to sixth grade in 1910? In the best high schools, of course it is. I’m talking about the typical high school. I’m talking about the typical graduate.
My friend Bertel Sparks taught at Duke Law School for years. For his entering students, he passed out an essay on property written by Blackstone. It was from “Commentaries,” published in 1765. It was the law-book for English lawyers. He had them discuss the essay in the following class. They always had great difficulty. The essay was over their heads.
Then he would hold up the source of the essay: the Sixth McGuffey Reader. He said this exercise stomped the arrogance out of them early.
I purchased a copy of the Sixth Grade McGuffey and sure enough the passage from Blackstone is there. The entire article which is filled with interesting comparisons of American now and America in the past is accessible at: http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north289.html.
When I was a new teacher, I dismissed America’s poor showing in international comparisons of schools performance. We all knew those foreign exchange students were a couple of years ahead of us, but I figured, ‘We’re Americans and we’re doing just fine.’ But a year later when I read “Little House on the Prairie” to my 4th grade students I saw American education from a different perspective. Continue reading
Exceptional American Children from History
Long before achieving fame and fortune as inventors of the airplane, ten-year old Wilbur Wright, purchased a lathe and other woodworking tools and with the help of his six-year-old brother Orville built a fancy Queen Anne style, wrap-around porch onto their parents’ house. They were so successful that they were hired by a number of neighbors to build porches onto their homes; this at the age of ten and six. We won’t even let our young people use knives, let alone start changing the appearance of our homes. Continue reading