Imagine Education Normal: Logocentrism

Homeschool1A recent comment dialogue I was involved with on another blog made me realize that many people act and react out of an imagination that is cable TV connected. Their words lacked perspective, moral imagination and a coherent basis for reality. Their words, wildly absurdist, were meant to make a serious point. Sadly this has become normative for online point-counterpoint.

Below are some excerpts from a brief article about education, books versus TV, imagination, home schooling and preserving what’s good in a civilization. 

The article provides a great prescription for a child’s education.   Two of my children were home schooled for several years, so I know from experience the author’s point of view.

The article begins with the author asking “Are you ever afraid that home schooling your kids will make them, um, oddballs?” As parents we asked ourselves the same question. We found the answer to be a resounding “No.”

 I have heard people tell me that children who are home schooled lack social interaction. That is absolute nonsense. And, consider the social interaction coupled with the teacher’s ‘propaganda’ that occurs now with your child.

What you do as a home schooler is to connect with other parents who are doing the same thing and who share your values. Then, you just let the kids relate. We did this with families from our church community.

Together, you go on field trips. You are free to do myriads of fun learning activities. These would include science, music, sports and drama events.  And, there are plenty of curricula with associated support-internet and otherwise-for anyone who wants to home school their child.

The following excerpts are from a Touchstone Magazine article:

 Education Normal

Mark T. Mitchell on the Oddity of Giving Children a Moral Imagination

 Will your kids be raised primarily on books or on television? To put it another way: Will your children be educated in a logocentric environment, where the written and spoken word is the primary conveyer of meaning, or will they ingest most of their information through electronically generated images?

Now, of course, emphasizing books over television is not the entire story, for books vary in quality and there are plenty of books that cultivate misshapen virtues and a cynical view of life. But I think it is safe to say that parents who make the effort to emphasize books as a way of life will generally be those who have been powerfully moved by books themselves. They have experienced the wonder and joy and goodness of certain books and will introduce these to their children even as one introduces a family member to a much-loved friend.

But setting the content of the books aside (for only a moment), those whose minds are shaped by an ongoing encounter with language will develop mental habits that include patience, perseverance, the ability to think abstractly, and an imagination that does not require the constant stimulation of external images. The imagination of the reader (guided by the author) creates the images, whereas the child raised on television merely imbibes what has already been fully rendered by the camera.

 More than Rules

There are two facets to educating a child well. The first is to recognize that education is not merely the accumulation of facts, but that it has an unavoidably moral aspect. A suitable education must do more, therefore, than simply teach facts, even moral facts. Education must seek to cultivate the moral imagination of the child, for reducing moral education to a list of rules is bound to fail…

But if our children are raised primarily on visual images, if they do not cultivate the mental disciplines necessary to access truth via language, then the Holy Scriptures will remain opaque, the creeds and confessions of faith will be meaningless recitations, and hymn lyrics will be merely pleasant-sounding rhymes to accompany occasionally pleasant-sounding music.

While the ultimate aim of education is to cultivate the souls of children toward godly virtue, a secondary but related end is the preservation of civilization

stewards of our civilization must possess well-cultivated language faculties capable of grasping complex and abstract ideas and concepts.

 Normal Children Needed

If a proper education is to accomplish or at least to seek to accomplish these tasks, then a normal child is one whose moral imagination is well formed, whose soul is oriented toward a love of logos and the Logos, and who knows and loves the best of his own civilization. Such a child will, perhaps unwittingly, become a steward of the good, the true, and the beautiful. In a world where normal is considered odd, such children are desperately needed.

Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Virginia. He is the co-founder of Front Porch Republic.
Read more: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=22-07-014-v#ixzz1ZpTpK4sP

~~~

Teacher propaganda? Do tell:

 Worker Bees, Outcome Based Education and Our Little Ones

 The People of the “White Privilege” Lie

Parents angry after school tells 13-year-olds they can have sex, choose gender

Worker Bees, Outcome Based Education and Our Little Ones

The US education reform system creates…”Worker bees—cooperative, collaborative, team players, not too well educated but willing to work for a pittance for the good of the collective whole (ie, the state). Knowledge is power! A culturally illiterate nation will not long remain free. William Pearson Tolley, Chancelor of Syracuse University, wrote, in 1943,

“In a slave state, vocational training may be education enough. For the education of free men, much more is required. “”

As parents look at education reform, little do they realize that education and the purpose of education are being transformed. No longer is education to produce an innovative, creative, intelligent child, who has a broad but intensive liberal arts background such that he or she can reach for the star of stars of his or her choice. The purpose of education, under this transformation, this paradigm shift, is to mold the child to meet the needs of the global economy of the 21st Century, to produce a world class worker with the attitudes, values and beliefs wanted by big business.” Lynn Stuter (emphasis mine)

Above quotes from: http://www.learn-usa.com/education_transformation/~education.htm

The following quotes are from Lynn M. Stuter’s The Psychology of Becoming:

Some might look at this title and think, “This sounds like something from Abraham Maslow or Carl Rogers.”

The world view of systems governance is humanism, a religion immersed in the concept that “no deity will save us, we must save ourselves” (Humanist Manifesto, 1973). To that end, systems governance has been developed and fine tuned over a period of several decades, the purpose being to “create the future;” to decide what the world is to look like at a designated future time, then design and align everything to achieve that vision. The ultimate goal is to attain and maintain the global sustainable environment.

The concept that we must save ourselves finds basis in the humanist principle that man has no spirituality or self-determinism, that man is merely a product of his environment and must, therefore, be “conditioned” to the perceived environment of the “created future” as one system of many systems.

Conditioning necessarily requires the change of one’s existing world view — one’s existing attitudes, values, and beliefs, one’s existing behaviors. In book after book written by those advocating systems education, that it is the behavior of the individual that must be changed is apparent:

“… a large part of what we call ‘good teaching’ is the teacher’s ability to attain affective objectives through challenging the students’ fixed beliefs and getting them to discuss issues.” (Bloom, 1964)

“The individual acts consistently in accordance with the values he has internalized at this level, and our concern is to indicate two things: (a) the generalization of this control to so much of the individual’s behavior that he is described and characterized as a person by these pervasive controlling tendencies, and (b) the integration of these beliefs, ideas, and attitudes into a total philosophy or world view.” (Bloom, 1964)

“Since the real purpose of education is not to have the instructor perform certain activities but to bring about significant changes in the students’ patterns of behavior, it becomes important to recognize that any statement of the objectives … should be a statement of changes to take place in the student.” (Tyler, 1949)

“… education, as now conceived, leads to demonstrable changes in student behaviors, changes that can be assessed using agreed-upon standards.” (Conley, 1993)
The question becomes how to achieve the change in behaviors … world view … attitudes, values and beliefs.

George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel developed a process known as the Hegelian Dialectic in which opposites (thesis and antithesis) are brought together in compromise (synthesis) to form a new thesis which becomes the view of the group participants, individually and as a whole. Hegel theorized that through a continual use of this process, small groups would evolve to a “higher plane” signified by their becoming part of an ever larger group, until “oneness of mind” in a society theoretically would occur.

Today, this process is known by at least three other names: the Delphi Technique, the Alinsky Method, and the facilitated process of consensus building. It is also the process of the “guide on the side, not the sage on the stage” ~ the teacher (now called a facilitator) in the classroom. It is the process of critical thinking, conflict resolution, peer mediation, focus groups, consensus circles … The process has the effect of forcing the individual, in order to be a member of the group (which is aggressively encouraged and pursued), to give up his individual beliefs for the beliefs of the group.

Building on Hegel’s theory, Marx came to the conclusion that religion, with its authoritarian principles and higher authority, caused alienation of the individual from the group. As such, Marx wrote, religion is antithetical to the cohesion of the group and must be eradicated.

The Hegelian Dialectic is about compromise ~ the bringing together of opposites, and from those opposites, theoretically, a new truth emerges. In this environment, there is no right or wrong answer, only differences of opinion ~ how people “feel” about an issue. In this setting right and wrong stand on equal footing.

What happens when you synthesize right (good) and wrong (evil)? Which will prevail, right or wrong?

If you believe that man is inherently good (humanist world view), you will say that man will choose right over wrong, good over evil. But if you believe that man has a sin nature (Christian world view), then you will say that man will, unless he has been instilled with a moral compass of right and wrong in obedience to the teachings of a higher authority, choose wrong or evil.

 

So it is, in consensus building, that right does not prevail, but wrong does prevail in the name of synthesis. As stated in one conflict resolution curriculum, “conflict resolution is rarely about honesty or establishing truth~it is more about unifying perceptions.” (Bodine, 1994) If you have a bully and his victim in conflict resolution or peer mediation to achieve consensus (compromise), who will prevail in such an environment? Obviously, the bully will prevail.

Returning to the concept that man must be conditioned to the perceived environment, one proponent of the New Age world view wrote:
“You can only have a new society, the visionaries have said, if you change the education of the younger generation. … Of the Aquarian Conspirators surveyed, more were involved in education than in any other single category of work. … Marion Fantini, former Ford consultant on education, now at the State University of New York, said bluntly, ‘The psychology of becoming has to be smuggled into the schools.'”

At this point, it is imperative that we remember what the new basics are: “team work, critical thinking, making decisions, communication, adapting to change and understanding whole systems” (WTECB, 1994)
As noted above, in book after book, advocating systems education, it is made very clear that behavior must be changed to achieve the wanted outcomes or exit outcomes defined at the state level, benchmarked to the national goals for workforce development, and implemented at the local level. Assessments are the tool used to determine if the wanted behaviors are being achieved.

This is occurring in the classroom via teachers (facilitators) and paraprofessionals (facilitator aides); in the counselor’s office; in the school psychologist’s office; on the playground and in the hallways via social workers who watch students and note their observations (called “profiling”).

 

What is happening in the classroom, in the name of education reform, amounts to medical malpractice. What is even worse is that the created future cannot be achieved unless a majority of children in the government school acquire the wanted belief system. That psychological manipulation is the only route (because the philosophy is not normal or natural to the human condition) from present to future should serve as a wake-up call to parents and citizens.

But many parents are going along with this, believing their child(ren) actually needs psychological help. Very few children really need psychological help, and those who do certainly do not need the type of psychological help they are getting in the government school.

The name that has been given this non-directive, feelings based education system is “psycho-education.” Psycho is right. It is destroying or badly damaging young lives and leaving children ill-equipped to meet the realities of the world beyond the classroom.

Some Christian parents send their child(ren) to the government schools, believing that in so doing, they are following the commandment of God to “go forth and witness.” The bible also says, in three consecutive chapters;
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin … to stumble … to be offended, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung about his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (KJV)
Can we surmise that Christ commanded us to protect these “little ones” from harms way? Most adults could not withstand what these children are being subjected to on a daily basis in the closed environment of the government school. How could any Christian parent believe their child(ren) could withstand the same?

Quotes from Lynn M. Stuter – The Psychology of Becoming (February 26, 2003!!!)

Now a few chilling words from Cynthia Weatherly:

 

 

 Education:

Logocentrism

A Landscape With Dragons; Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture

The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America

The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself

The Higher Education Bubble (Encounter Broadsides)

 

Educators:

The People of the “White Privilege” Lie

Logocentrism

Below are some excerpts from a brief article about education, books vs. TV, imagination, home schooling and preserving what’s good in a civilization.  The article provides a great prescription for a child’s education.   Two of my children were home schooled for several years, so I know from experience the author’s point of view.

The article begins with the author asking “Are you ever afraid that home schooling your kids will make them, um, oddballs?” As parents we asked ourselves the same question and we found the answer to be a resounding “No.”

 I have heard people tell me that children who are home schooled lack social interaction. That is absolute nonsense. What you do as a home schooler is to find other parents who are doing the same thing and then just let the kids relate. You go on field trips and do a lot of fun learning activities which include science, music, sports and drama.  And, there is plenty of support out there for anyone who wants to home school their child.

 From Touchstone Magazine:

 

Education Normal

Mark T. Mitchell on the Oddity of Giving Children a Moral Imagination

 

Will your kids be raised primarily on books or on television? To put it another way: Will your children be educated in a logocentric environment, where the written and spoken word is the primary conveyer of meaning, or will they ingest most of their information through electronically generated images?

Now, of course, emphasizing books over television is not the entire story, for books vary in quality and there are plenty of books that cultivate misshapen virtues and a cynical view of life. But I think it is safe to say that parents who make the effort to emphasize books as a way of life will generally be those who have been powerfully moved by books themselves. They have experienced the wonder and joy and goodness of certain books and will introduce these to their children even as one introduces a family member to a much-loved friend.

But setting the content of the books aside (for only a moment), those whose minds are shaped by an ongoing encounter with language will develop mental habits that include patience, perseverance, the ability to think abstractly, and an imagination that does not require the constant stimulation of external images. The imagination of the reader (guided by the author) creates the images, whereas the child raised on television merely imbibes what has already been fully rendered by the camera.

 More than Rules

There are two facets to educating a child well. The first is to recognize that education is not merely the accumulation of facts, but that it has an unavoidably moral aspect. A suitable education must do more, therefore, than simply teach facts, even moral facts. Education must seek to cultivate the moral imagination of the child, for reducing moral education to a list of rules is bound to fail…

But if our children are raised primarily on visual images, if they do not cultivate the mental disciplines necessary to access truth via language, then the Holy Scriptures will remain opaque, the creeds and confessions of faith will be meaningless recitations, and hymn lyrics will be merely pleasant-sounding rhymes to accompany occasionally pleasant-sounding music.

While the ultimate aim of education is to cultivate the souls of children toward godly virtue, a secondary but related end is the preservation of civilization

stewards of our civilization must possess well-cultivated language faculties capable of grasping complex and abstract ideas and concepts.

 Normal Children Needed

If a proper education is to accomplish or at least to seek to accomplish these tasks, then a normal child is one whose moral imagination is well formed, whose soul is oriented toward a love of logos and the Logos, and who knows and loves the best of his own civilization. Such a child will, perhaps unwittingly, become a steward of the good, the true, and the beautiful. In a world where normal is considered odd, such children are desperately needed.

Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Virginia. He is the co-founder of Front Porch Republic.
Read more: http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=22-07-014-v#ixzz1ZpTpK4sP

In Joy So High, So Very High

When two of my children were much younger they were home schooled.  In the evenings after dinner I would read to my son and my daughter from Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories

Here’s what we read…

The Little Mermaid

The Princess and the Pea

The Little Match Girl

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

The Ugly Duckling

Thumbelina

The Snow Queen

And so many more…

…I remember reading the Snow Queen while snow was falling quietly one winter evening.

From Hans Christian Andersen’s diary, a prayer:

 “Almighty God, thee only have I; thou steerest my fate, I must give myself up to thee! Give me a livelihood! Give me a bride! My blood wants love, as my heart does!”

I recommend reading this book to your children:

Hans Christian Andersen: The Complete Fairy Tales and Stories, translated from the Danish by Erik Christian Haugaard,

Here are some excerpts:

“And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety–they were with God.” The Little Match Girl

“”I cannot bear it!” said the pewter soldier.” I have shed pewter
tears! It is too melancholy! Rather let me go to the wars and
lose arms and legs! It would at least be a change. I cannot
bear it longer! Now, I know what it is to have a visit from
one’s old thoughts, with what they may bring with them! I have
had a visit from mine, and you may be sure it is no pleasant
thing in the end; I was at last about to jump down from the
drawers.”” The Old House

The Old House