“There are two kinds of education, one teaches us how to make a living, the other teaches how to live,” a quote attributed to William Barclay, the Scottish author and television presenter. The former US Commissioner of Education under President Carter, Ernest Boyer said: “School is in a very real sense a mirror of its community.
Time and time again, we saw that community support or community conditions were shaping the school. So, in a very real sense, the report card on the school, is a report card on the nation.”
A profound contribution into the perils and promise of education came from Prof. Alan Boom in his book ‘Closing the American Mind.” He wrote: “Every educational system has a moral goal that it tries to attain and that informs its curriculum. It wants to produce a certain kind of human being.’
According to recent media reports 4000 early years Victorian educators are about to receive training regarding gender sensitivity in the classroom. In a honey.nine.com.au report, foundation teachers will learn it is inappropriate to say things like ‘boys will be boys’ when talking to children and indeed about them. Honey.nine described this plan as part of the Labour Government $21.8 million ‘gender-equality’ program to counter domestic violence.
I found it interesting to learn the phrase ‘boys will be boys’ is actually derived from an ancient Latin proverb which said, ‘children will be children.’ In English it arrived around 1589.
In presenting the new plan Jenny Mikakos, the Victorian Minister for Families and Children said, "The early years are an important time to start helping children develop a secure sense of self and healthy, respectful relationships — this will help prevent family violence in the long-term.” (see Victorian government to spend $3m teaching pre-schoolers not to be sexist – honey.nine.com.au)
Violence in our society is way beyond acceptable and every attempt to educate and eradicate the problem must have wide approval. Sadly the education of children today goes way beyond the classroom. What so many children see at home or on TV or on their numerous devices portray a violent expression of behavior. Rap artists openly call for aggression, hate and abuse, with little or no complaint or restraint from the so-called adults. Long gone are our earlier definitions of being a gentleman or a lady, sadly labels from another era, old-fashioned even.
Frank Martin, the South Carolina head Basketball Coach gathered an avalanche of ‘likes’ on Facebook recently saying, “You know what makes me sick to my stomach? When I hear grown people say that kids have changed. Kids haven’t changed. Kids don’t know anything about anything. We’ve changed as adults. We demand less of kids. We make their lives easier instead of preparing them for what life is truly about. We’re the ones that have changed.”
The famous Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing said, “A child born today in the United Kingdom stands a greater chance of being admitted to a mental hospital than to a university. This can be taken as an indication that we are driving our children mad more effectively than we are genuinely educating them. Perhaps it is our way of educating them that is driving them mad.” He also said, “Human beings seem to have an almost unlimited capacity to deceive themselves, and to deceive themselves into taking their own lies for truth.”
Laing was right. God has been removed from the classroom and He is not welcome in every family. His absence creates a vacuum which is more than willingly filled by me, myself and I – selfish me-centredness!
Legislation alone will not restrict domestic violence. A lifestyle change is needed. The pattern for life was outlined for us in Psalm 78. These are words of wisdom, which the psalmist says ‘we will not hide from our children.’ The Psalm speaks of wisdom from generation to generation ‘so the next generation might know – that they might set their confidence in God – and not forget the deeds of God.” When God is banned bad things happen.
One of the meanings of the word deception is to ‘wander from the straight path.’ I do not believe we have wandered, we have taken an almighty leap away from the foundations of life provided by faith in Jesus Christ. Right now many children follow musicians, TV stars, fictional heroes! They are constantly fed deception, lies for truth.
I was drawn to Alan Bloom’s chapter on ‘Values’.
“’God is dead,’ Neitzche proclaimed. But he did not say this on a note of triumph, in the style of earlier atheism – the tyrant has been overthrown and man is now free. Rather he said it in the anguished tones of the most powerful and delicate piety deprived of it proper object. Man, who needed God, has lost his Father and Saviour without possibility of resurrection. The joy of liberation one finds in Marx has turned into terror at man’s unprotectedness.”
Despite our bombs, missiles and weapons of mass destruction we are a very fragile species. Bloom describes sociologists as those who are keeping ‘a toothless old circus lion around the house to experience the thrill of the jungle.’
God is not like that lion. He is not toothless and He is not old. Ignoring our need for Him is having a resounding impact. God is not dead and there is evidence all over the world, we need to acknowledge Him all over again.
Ron Ross is a Middle East consultant for United Christian Broadcasters (Vision FM). Previously he was radio news editor for Bridges for Peace in Jerusalem, Israel.
His career started at WINTV (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ron Ross' previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/ron-ross.html